‘Thor: Ragnarok’ continues superhero reign, storms box office in India
New Delhi: Marvel’s new superhero film Thor: Ragnarok which has swept the box offices globally is setting records in India too. At Rs27.66 crore, the Walt Disney-distributed venture notched up one of the best opening weekend collections for a Hollywood film in India in recent times.
The Taika Waititi-directed film has beaten records of other Hollywood blockbusters like Transformers: The Last Knight (2017), Wonder Woman (2017), Captain America: Civil War (2016) and The Conjuring 2 (2016) that made Rs14. 75 crore, Rs16. 50 crore, Rs27.13 crore and Rs19.75 crore over the first three days in India respectively. The worldwide earnings of Thor currently stand at more than $427 million, including $121 million in the US and $306 million in the non-US markets.
“The feedback on the film is great; audiences seem to be really liking the big-budget spectacle feel that is almost a precursor to another superhero film, Justice League out on the 17th,” said Atul Mohan, editor of trade magazine Complete Cinema.
Mohan added that the Thor brand was not as well-known in India which explains why Ragnarok has surpassed the collections of the previous two Thor films, 2011’s Thor and 2013’s Thor: The Dark World. Besides, Disney’s marketing team has also done an impressive job of pushing the film over the past month. Besides alliances with both English and Hindi television networks, the studio kick-started a campaign as early as Dussehra to promote the trailer along with cinema exhibition chains like PVR and INOX and online ticketing site BookMyShow. A Thor figurine tour across India and multiple brand partnerships followed.
“The audience for such films is well-versed with social media and the massive US numbers have added to the traffic,” Mohan said.
To be sure, Hollywood films have rapidly increased their hold over India in the last two years. According to the Media and Entertainment Industry Report 2017 prepared by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry and KPMG, in 2016, gross collections of Hollywood movies grew by around 10% over 2015. But the superhero genre has always been popular, even four or five years ago, Mohan said, adding the Spider-Man and Batman too notched up good numbers.
“There is something about these superhero films with ensemble casts,” said Brijesh Tandon, a distributor who primarily operates in the Delhi-Uttar Pradesh circuit. “Multiple stars ensure everyone has some favourite that they want to watch and a ticket guarantees maximum entertainment.”
The Chris Hemsworth-starrer that released across 1,200 screens in India also benefited from the limited showcasing provided to the Hindi offering of the week, Sidharth Malhotra and Sonakshi Sinha-starrer Ittefaq that managed Rs16.05 crore over the weekend.
“The advantage that Hollywood films enjoy is that they are widely enjoyed in the south too,” Mohan pointed out. After more than two weeks of a successful box office run, Vijay’s Tamil film Mersal was unlikely to impact the earnings of the superhero flick. “Unlike the Bollywood releases that only cater to the north.”
All figures have been sourced from movie website Bollywood Hungama.