New Delhi: Way more than new releases, the month of May was about the success stories of films that spilled over from April with record-breaking box office performances.
Beginning the month with collections of ₹ 165 crore, Disney’s fantasy adventure The Jungle Book that hit screens in early April currently stands at ₹ 182.52 crore, according to movie website Bollywood Hungama.
Disney’s other project, superhero film Captain America: Civil War, that released in early May finished at ₹ 59.25 crore.
“The month was pretty much dominated by The Jungle Book but Captain America also did very well," confirmed trade analyst Taran Adarsh, adding that May generally tends to be good for film business.
“It’s the peak of summer vacations, people do like to go out and spend money," he said.
Adding to Hollywood’s grand box office record in India this month were superhero film X-Men: Apocalypse and animation flick The Angry Birds Movie that earned ₹ 26.06 crore and ₹ 9.04 crore, respectively.
Also, carrying over gloriously from the past month was Nagraj Manjule’s Marathi film Sairat that has made close to ₹ 75 crore till date, the highest ever for a movie made in the language.
“Sairat is completely rewriting history," said Adarsh. “It has definitely benefited from the unanimous praise it’s been getting."
Word-of-mouth praise, however, has not worked in favour of the Hindi releases this month, including star-driven vehicles like Sarbjit and Azhar that have only managed ₹ 27.38 crore and ₹ 32.7 crore, respectively.
“There were great expectations from Azhar and Sarbjit, but I presume audiences come to biopics looking for more than what they already know about the person. There was no shock value here," said Vajir Singh, editor of movie trade magazine Box Office India. “For example, what worked for a film like Neerja was perhaps the lack of awareness about the protagonist."
The month, which clearly did not belong to Hindi cinema, also saw smaller films failing to boost their sales in spite of critical praise. Naseeruddin Shah and Kalki Koechlin-starrer Waiting and Radhika Apte’s horror film Phobia earned ₹ 1.3 crore and ₹ 1.24 crore, respectively. While Sharman Joshi’s horror flick 1920 London cashed in on its brand value with collections of ₹ 15.42 crore, road movie Traffic only made about ₹ 3.72 crore. Ram Gopal Varma’s biographical drama Veerappan and Sunny Leone-starrer One Night Stand touched ₹ 5.95 crore and ₹ 3.05 crore, respectively.
With the Indian Premier League (IPL) having wrapped up, there is much to look forward to in the coming month, according to trade experts. To begin with, multi-starrer comedy Housefull 3, featuring Akshay Kumar, Abhishek Bachchan and Riteish Deshmukh, releases on 3 June to high expectations.
“Housefull is a successful franchise and also marks the return of Akshay Kumar to comedy after a long time," said Singh. “Then of course there is Udta Punjab, which looks very unusual and real and the trailer has been well-received."