New Delhi: The first quarter of 2019 has brought cheer to Bollywood, with box office collections in the traditionally slow three-month period poised for a record haul.
Total box office collections in the January-March quarter are expected to be around ₹1,150 crore, and trade experts say the industry is looking at the highest first quarter revenue ever and a 15-20% increase from that of the first quarter of 2018, which had also done very well.
The biggest winner this season has been Uri: The Surgical Strike that made ₹245.36 crore in domestic box office collections, emerging as the 10th-highest grossing Hindi film ever, after blockbusters Bahubali 2: The Conclusion, Dangal, Sanju, PK, Tiger Zinda Hai, Bajrangi Bhaijaan, Padmaavat, Sultan and Dhoom 3.
The Vicky Kaushal-starrer on the 2016 surgical strikes carried out by the Indian Army, banked on the nationalistic wave, which received a boost after the Pulwama attacks in February.
The list of other hits is significant, too.
This includes Kangana Ranaut-starrer Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi ( ₹92.19 crore), Zoya Akhtar’s musical drama Gully Boy ( ₹139.93 crore), ensemble comedy Total Dhamaal ( ₹153.58 crore), romantic comedy Luka Chuppi ( ₹91.28 crore), thriller Badla ( ₹81.79 crore) and most recently, period saga Kesari ( ₹116.76 crore).
“The first quarter of the year has traditionally been considered a dull period," said film trade and exhibition expert Girish Johar, referring to the cold climate in most parts of the country in at least the first two months, followed by pan-India school exams. That has changed of late, with releases early in the year bringing in great returns and boosting the fraternity’s confidence for the months ahead, Johar said.
“These earnings do not include the spillover business of Ranveer Singh’s Simmba that released end of December but made most of its money this year," said Atul Mohan, editor of trade magazine Complete Cinema.
All figures have been sourced from movie website Bollywood Hungama.