New Delhi: What the trade circuit expected to extend into a profitable last quarter post the Diwali blitz hasn’t been the happiest month at the movies this year. November’s biggest news remained the protests against Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmavati and its consequent delay. A slew of underperforming releases only added to the woes of the industry.

The only film to provide some respite, said film trade and exhibition expert Girish Johar, was Rohit Shetty’s multi-starrer comedy, Golmaal Again, a Diwali offering that spilled over into November, crossing the Rs200 crore mark, the only Hindi film this year to do so.

“November is generally an average month for movies considering the festive season is largely over and end-of-the-year celebrations are still a month away. The dynamics only differ if the festive season extends till November. Even in 2016, Dear Zindagi was the only big release in November," said Ashish Saksena, chief operating officer, cinemas, at online ticketing site BookMyShow.

Among the Hindi releases of the month, only Vidya Balan-starrer Tumhari Sulu, romantic comedy Qarib Qarib Singlle and mystery thriller Ittefaq managed decent collections of Rs32.49 crore, Rs15.85 crore and Rs30.07 crore respectively.

“Both Qarib Qarib Singlle and Sulu surpassed expectations, owing to strong word of mouth which reflected directly in their business," Saksena said. “Ittefaq was also able to entertain the audiences with its gripping script and storytelling."

The other Hindi offerings couldn’t manage the same—Kalki Koechlin-starrer Ribbon, Rajkummar Rao-starrer Shaadi Mein Zaroor Aana, climate change tale Kadvi Hawa and erotic thriller Aksar 2 only earned Rs36 lakh, Rs9.05 crore, Rs23 lakh and Rs5.6 crore respectively.

The two Hollywood films to have nominally benefited from lack of movie options this month in India were superhero films Justice League and Thor: Ragnarok that made Rs34.15 crore and Rs58.73 crore respectively. Others like animation musical fantasy Coco and mystery drama Murder on the Orient Express only managed Rs4 crore and Rs4.75 crore respectively.

Despite not notching up phenomenal numbers, regional releases like Nayanthara’s Tamil film Aramm, action adventure Indrajith, action crime thriller Theeran Adhigaaram Ondru and Gujarati film Love Ni Bhavai held fort, to some extent, in their respective territories.

To be sure, there is much to look forward to in December. Topping the list, without doubt, is Salman Khan and Katrina Kaif’s Tiger Zinda Hai. In the absence of Padmavati, it is the only hope to end the year on a high note. There is also comedy thriller Fukrey Returns, fantasy adventure Jumanji and the next installment of Star Wars, The Last Jedi.

“Tiger Zinda Hai is the last hope for this year. The trailer with Salman in an action avatar looks fantastic and he seems even hungrier to get it right after the failure of Tubelight," Johar said.

All figures have been sourced from movie website Bollywood Hungama.

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