New Delhi: Usually bowing down to the pressure of pan-India school examinations and the closing of the financial year, the month of February brought good news this time for the movie business. At collections of ₹98.38 crore and ₹86.50 crore, musical drama 'Gully Boy' and ensemble comedy 'Total Dhamaal', released within a week of each other, are both nearing the ₹100-crore mark.
“February is generally a decent month for films. Despite no major public holidays, a lot of love stories are slated for release on the occasion of Valentine’s Day," said Ashish Saksena, chief operating officer, cinemas at online ticketing site BookMyShow. “February belonged to 'Gully Boy' for sure, with its hard-hitting storyline, acting prowess and vocal talent showcased by Ranveer Singh. 'Total Dhamaal' also is a complete family entertainer and is proving yet again that Indian audiences love slapstick comedies."
Film trade and exhibition expert Girish Johar said between the two of them, 'Gully Boy' and 'Total Dhamaal' covered all sections of the audience with the former concentrating on niche, multiplex-goers in the top cities and the latter gaining wider acceptance in the small towns. The two have together made for an exciting February compared to the last few years.
The same did not hold true for other Bollywood offerings of the month — Anil Kapoor, Sonam Kapoor and Rajkummar Rao-starrer 'Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga', a tale of homosexual relationships that only managed ₹20.26 crore, horror thriller 'Amavas' ( ₹3.06 crore) and romantic comedy 'Hum Chaar' ( ₹19 lakh).
Among Hollywood releases,the only female superhero action film, 'Alita: Battle Angel', stood out with collections of ₹9.60 crore, riding on the back of a unique partnership between producer James Cameron (still remembered for films such as 'Titanic' and 'Avatar') and director Robert Rodriguez.
Among the non-Hindi local films, Gujarati comedy drama 'Chaal Jeevi Laiye' and Malayalam critically acclaimed film 'Kumbalangi Nights', stood out.
To be sure, there is much to look forward to next month. Romantic comedy 'Luka Chuppi' and action drama 'Sonchiriya' this week will be followed by Amitabh Bachchan and Taapsee Pannu’s thriller 'Badla' and Marvel’s superhero flick 'Captain Marvel'.
“The big one, however, is Akshay Kumar’s 'Kesari' later in the month. The trailer shows a tale of courage and valour besides the return of Kumar to action after long," Johar said.
All figures have been sourced from movie websites Bollywood Hungama and Box Office India.