July 2022 witnessed a total box office collection of Rs 270 crore, while August was tepid with much lower collections of Rs 142 crore.
The start of September brings the festive season along with some new movies scheduled for release. The line-up has some big releases like Brahmastra, Beast, Vikram Vedha and a couple of Tamil and Telugu films. The film releases do have some promising probables, but the question is: Can they translate to big money?
Analysing the initial two months of the second quarter gives a better sense. July 2022 witnessed a total box office collection of Rs 270 crore, while August was tepid with much lower collections of Rs 142 crore.
Collections in July missed expectations due to weaker-than-estimated box office performance of some star-studded movies like Ek Villain Returns, Rocketry, Shamshera, and Shabaash Mithu – based on the life of retired cricketing icon Mithali Raj. ‘Thor’ was the only outlier with collections in excess of Rs 100 crore.
Movie releases in July 2022 (Note: Nos. are rounded off; Source: Bollywood Hungama)
|Thor: Love And Thunder||Rs 102 cr|
|Ek villain Returns||Rs 42 cr|
|Shamshera||Rs 42 cr|
|Rocketry||Rs 26 cr|
|Shabash Mithu||Rs 2 cr|
For August 2022, the content pipeline was strong, with big star movies lined up like Liger, Raksha Bandhan and Laal Singh Chaddha. The much awaited Laal Singh Chaddha, starring Aamir Khan & Kareena Kapoor Khan, managed to draw in just around Rs 50 crore. Raksha Bandhan, starring Akshay Kumar, did not manage to cross Rs 50 crore as its lifetime collections. Even Liger failed to attract filmgoers, resulting in it being tagged a flop.
Jinesh Joshi, Media & Entertainment analyst at Prabhudas Lilladher, says, “Movies like Raksha Bandhan & Laal Singh Chaddha were a complete writeoff on audience expectations. PVR & Inox shall witness a dip in footfalls in Q2FY23."
Movie releases in August 2022 (Note: Nos. are rounded off; Source: Bollywood Hungama)
|Laal Singh Chaddha||Rs 57 cr|
|Raksha Bandhan||Rs 43 cr|
|Liger||Rs 6 cr|
|Do Baaraa||Rs 4 cr|
|Total||Rs 142 cr|
Given the weak content show in July and August 2022, Q2FY23 could well be a soft quarter for players in the film exhibition business, which is already battling for eyeballs with OTT players. What has incrementally dented business are unflattering reviews, especially on social media of films released, which dissuade movie lovers from heading to theatres, and the waning interest in what are said to be poorly crafted Bollywood productions. The hit rate of Bollywood films has dipped sharply from 42 percent in 2019 to just 7 percent this year.
% of Hit Bollywood movies declines sharply post Covid (Source: Emkay)
|CY2021-22 (Till Date)||7|
Will September bring a sigh of relief for film entertainment industry?
A near-term catalyst could be the release of much-awaited Ranbir Kapoor and Alia Bhatt movie 'Brahmastra' on the 9th September, 2022. Abneesh Roy, Executive Director, Institutional Equities - Edelweiss Securities, says Brahmastra advance booking is strong at at least 27,000 tickets.
Movie lineup for September with release date
Unless some of the big films turn blockbusters or a few underdogs spring a surprise at the box office, September 2022 is not expected to ring in much cheer for the film exhibition industry.
Joshi says, “If Brahmastra does not manage to gain footfalls, September could be a well washout month."
This eventually is a downside risk to the film exhibitors’ stocks. PVR & Inox have witnessed declines of 15 percent in the last one month (as on 1st Sept, 2022), while Nifty Media index is down 3 percent, contrary to Nifty which is up 1 percent in the past month.
A big reversal in film exhibitors’ stock performance is likely only once the box office scripts a turnaround.
First Published: IST