Marvel Studios’ latest release, Avengers: Endgame released globally last week (April 26). And since then, it has gone on a record-breaking spree at the worldwide box office. Collecting a humongous Rs 14,000 crore plus in its first week itself, the Marvel movie has given the world something to think about. In fact, take a look at the cumulative box office collection of all the releases in Bollywood across the globe over the past five years. It still can’t match the might of what the Marvel release has managed at the worldwide box office in just 7 days. A closer look home at the Indian box office reveals that Avengers: Endgame has crushed Bollywood in its own backyard!
The Marvel movie with a first week box office collection of Rs 260.40 crore has beaten the first week collections of biggies like Baahubali 2 (Rs 247 crore, Hindi version), Sultan (Rs 230 crore), Sanju (Rs 205 crore) and Dangal (Rs 200 crore). It has also crushed Uri: The Surgical Strike‘s lifetime collection (Rs 244 crore) in just 7 days and become the highest grosser of 2019 so far. And it is already well on its way to beat Sanju (Rs 340 crore) and Dangal‘s (Rs 390 crore) lifetime collection record.
Clearly, Hollywood has outplayed Bollywood in India completely. But this success is not an overnight phenomenon! In fact, Bollywood can also learn some lessons out of this and dominate the world box office someday. Karan Johar, a few years ago, had said that Bollywood needs to learn from Baahubali 2‘s success. Well, they haven’t! But maybe they will learn something from Avengers: Endgame!
Our trade experts – Akshaye Rathi (exhibitor and distributor) and Amul Vikas Mohan (Editor of Super Cinema) tell us the way forward. Talking about the super success of Avengers: Endgame, Akshaye offers a valid explanation. He tells us exclusively, “The numbers you are seeing for Avengers: Endgame is a result of the investment that Disney and Marvel made over ten years. They cultivated the Marvel Universe in the minds of the Indian audience. It is not that Avengers: Endgame became an overnight success, it is the result of cultivating an audience for this universe in India for over a decade. Avengers: Endgame is not a lesson just to Bollywood, but to the global film fraternity.”
Amul Vikas Mohan also agrees, as he adds, “Bollywood is not only competing with Hollywood, but also the regional films in India. Baahubali 2 did Rs 900 crore (all languages) and that is a huge benchmark. What Bollywood needs to do first is to play a long game. A movie like Avengers: Endgame comes once in a generation. It is the hype that is generated over the last ten years, covering nearly 20 films of different superheroes coming together. It’s a big game. It is the vision that is coming to fruition now. We need to develop that.”
So what are the lessons Bollywood needs to learn?
# Put the audience first!
We’ve often seen the audience and movie-goers feel disappointed after having watched movies. Yes, people were also disappointed after Avengers: Endgame, but here the disappointment was that it was over. To create such a movie that not only engages the audience, but also makes them excited to come out and spend their money is what Bollywood needs to do! We have so much content on OTT platforms that everyone’s watching movies and videos on their phone. But we all know that some films cannot are not as enjoyable on the phone, as the impact is lost. Those kind of films need to made!
As Akshaye rightly says, “Avengers: Endgame proves that it is time to give the audience more than their money’s worth. Going to a cinema has become an expensive proposition. And as an incentive for the audience to come to the cinema, you need to give a lot more than what they can experience in the comfort of their homes, on a home theatre screen or on their mobile phone. So it needs to be a big screen experience. It needs to be an experience that cannot be replicated on any other medium of entertainment. And that is what Avengers: Endgame has done brilliantly!”
He further adds, “Be it the phenomenal 3D effects or the scale or the VFX or the ensemble cast that comes together for it, Avengers has nailed it. All these things make it a spectacular experience! And these factors account for a lot more than the money people are spending on the tickets as well as the refreshments and commute. Bottom line is giving the audience their money’s worth and a little more! If you do that, the audience will come in huge numbers.”
Amul also points out, “If people get more than what they spend on a ticket, they will obviously come see it on the big screen. See ticket prices increase for big film, but they increase till a certain level. If I pay Rs 300 for a normal film, I might pay Rs 500 when it is a big film. But if I get to see two actor or three actors or two actors and two actresses, it is more bang for my buck and that people need to think about.”
# Patience and vision
Bollywood’s current model of working is not helping its cause too! We are thinking short-term and just about the next film. Avengers: Endgame, as we mentioned, was a result of decades of work. The hype was generated over 20 plus films and over a decade of releases. So we need to build a string of films that can lead to an Avengers scenario. The hype has to be built and a vision must be there. Studios as well as makers need to patient too. If one film doesn’t work, doesn’t mean they should stop thinking about the goal. Patience and vision is the way forward.
Amul explains, “In the past, Marvel had films that have worked very well. In the past they’ve had films that have not worked at all. But it is the belief that at the end it will deliver and that’s what happened! We are very short sighted in our approach, in the country as well as in the industry. We are working only for the opening day collection. But we actually need to have a director, filmmaker, producer with a long-term vision and it needs to be taken care of! Bollywood needs to learn to be patient.”
# Stars putting aside their ego and coming together for films!
Avengers: Endgame has a cast that comprises of Hollywood superstars including Robert Downey Jr, Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Brie Larson, Scarlett Johansson, Bradley Cooper, Chris Pratt, Gwyneth Paltrow and so on. However, have you seen so many stars coming together for not one but a series of films in Bollywood? Never! Well, Rohit Shetty and Karan Johar had made a surprising point a couple of years ago. While trying to remake Ram Lakhan and failing to, the filmmakers had mentioned how it was difficult to cast two stars of the same generation. It was simply because they had ego issues as well as insecurities!
Well, we say cast those egos aside and come together for a mega film and make it into a series. Only then can we think of reaching the Avengers level. As Amul says, “Bollywood needs to be open to doing multi-starrers. You see the reason why Avengers: Endgame and all the earlier Avengers films have worked because each and every cast member is a superstar in their own space. They all coming together and working on a film make it a huge spectacle. This is rare in India! You can see the number of two-hero films that we are attempting in India. From that you can understand that we are not prepared for the long game yet.”
He adds, “Our industry was flourishing in the 80s and the 90s primarily because people were open to working on multi-starrers. That lawn has changed! In the next few years do we see a film with Shah Rukh, Salman and Aamir Khan together? No, right? Can you see a Ranveer Singh, Ranbir Kapoor and Varun Dhawan come together for a movie? It’s dicey, right? But it shouldn’t be! It should come organically. Stars should come together and Bollywood should give these biggies a run for their money. We are still living in a bubble, we need to burst it and be more collaborative.”
Akshaye also agrees! As he tells us exclusively, “Marginal growth will not take us to these kinds of numbers. It has to be compounded growth! And that cannot happen by stars only trying to do better than their previous one. If you look at the set up Avengers has, if you look at the ensemble that it has, can you imagine stars of that magnitude or stardom in India, coming together for a film? You can’t! To generate those kinds of numbers, we need our stars to be a lot more secure. And we need them to come together to have the combined audience and fans of those stars coming to the cinemas.”
But how much time will it take for us to reach that level? And what will trigger the change? Akshaye says, “You cannot predict how much time it will take, as it could change in a day also. Looking at the success of Avengers: Endgame our stars might think, ‘to hell with our attitude and egos and the rat race we are in. Let’s work together and make magic.’ Or it might take 10 or 20 years for the stars to realise that by themselves they won’t be able to deliver those kinds of numbers and it makes sense to be more collaborative. It is just about a change in mindset. And that can happen overnight or over a decade!”
# Big filmmakers stepping up to the level!
A director is the captain of the ship. And only he can decide the fate of the movie, right? Well, to make a mega film as well as to keep all the Bollywood stars happy and make them sign onto the film, we need the big filmmakers to step up. In fact, a huge film by Rohit Shetty, Karan Johar and Sanjay Leela Bhansali featuring superstars also draws in the audience.
As Akshaye rightfully says, “It will take filmmakers like Rohit Shetty, Karan Johar, Aditya Chopra to pull this off. For three stars like Akshay Kumar, Ajay Devgn and Ranveer Singh, to feature in a film together, it takes a captain like Rohit Shetty to sail that ship. It is not every filmmaker’s capability and feasibility. I truly hope that filmmakers like Karan Johar, Rohit Shetty, Aditya Chopra, Sanjay Leela Bhansali and Rajkumar Hirani can be the ones who can make this happen. I say this because only with the kind of credibility and popularity that these directors enjoy, will the stars be convinced to work with other stars of their own level and magnitude in the same film.”
Amul also adds, “Rohit Shetty is coming up with the cop universe. He has a vision and if we support his vision, the next Singham – Simmba – Sooryavanshi film will be a mega hit. We need people to step up and everyone should support their vision.”
# Script and production
Over the past few years, we’ve seen many films that appear very good on paper, but lack the execution they need. We feel this is because the time spent on writing and production is very less in Bollywood. We’ve seen several directors work without scripts and the film goes from here to there in its execution, for example, Jagga Jasoos. Then we have a film where the idea is fantastic, but the story, how it flows, the VFX and so on spoil it. Kalank is a prime example! So focusing more on the story, scripts and production is necessary.
The script for each and every Avenger movie was written over years. In fact, it was improved several times before being finalised. Also the pre-production was planned years before the film took off. And everything was chalked down to the minute detail, so that the filming goes smoothly. Also the script should be universal, it should appeal to everyone across the world. And that’s what we haven’t been able to do it, while Hollywood has aced it.
As Amul rightly points out, “Avengers: Endgame‘s release was announced three years ago, so there has been a massive hype created since then. So they have been working on it since five years ago. And then, they came out with a release date three years ago. We need to spend such amount of time on our films. And I must say, I’ve never seen such a hype. Baahubali 2 had a tremendous hype. But for me to see that hype being broken by another film in such a short time is marvellous.”
Akshaye also adds, “I think we need to focus on our writing. We need to try and put in a lot more effort in scripts that can really engage the audience and entertain them in a big way. All of us are doing shoddy and haphazard job by passing off fairly substandard scripts. The day you have a script like Baahubali, the Baahubali kind of numbers are bound to happen. So I just think better writing, better production value, better investment on the things that show on the screen and stars working together will help out.”
# Budget and Time
Last, but not the least is the budget and time. We see how filmmakers rush to complete schedules and pass off shoddy post-production work to make it to the announced release date. Producers sometimes force the makers to make last minute changes or play substandard content on the big screens. We feel if the makers give the directors more time, they can deliver a better final product. More time needs to be invested in pre-production as well as post-production. As we told you, Avengers: Endgame‘s pre-production took off years ago. And the post-production of a film like Avatar has been given two to three years. If sufficient time is given, Bollywood can also produce masterpieces which will be appreciated by the world over.
The budget is a major factor too! If you look at the budget of Avengers: Endgame (Rs 2,500 crore) itself, it is more than the combined budget of each and every Bollywood film made over the last two to three years. If you create a massive film franchise, you need to invest a lot in the production and post-production of it. A world-class product will also be consumed by the global audience. They will shun shoddy products. Studios need to start investing more on these biggies, which can enable them to deliver even bigger returns and be accepted by the global audience.
Akshaye says, “The budget of Avengers: Endgame is bigger than the budget of all the films being made this year. So that kind of investment will obviously get you a bigger and better product.” Amul also adds, “We have the vision for such films, we need people to back it.”
So there you have it, these are the six lessons Bollywood needs to learn from Avengers: Endgame. What do you have to say about this? Share with us your thoughts in the comments section below! Also stay tuned to CineBlitz for more such analytical and in-depth pieces on Bollywood as well as Hollywood right here!
Hrithik Roshan’s box office track record is impressive and here’s proof
Before Super 30 releases, we analyse Hrithik Roshan’s track record at the box office in the last few years
Superstar Hrithik Roshan has won many hearts over the years. And while we haven’t seen him much on the big screen in the past few years, now he is all set to return to 70 mm with a bang in Super 30. Since Krrish 3 (2013), we’ve seen him take gaps. Mohenjo Daro‘s debacle was also an all new low for him. There were a lot of questions asked about his super-stardom and where he stands at the box office. But Hrithik Roshan bounced back with Kaabil once again proving his mettle. Now, two years later, the actor is coming out with his most unconventional and intriguing film, a biopic on mathematician Anand Kumar titled Super 30. While the film releases today (July 12), it is expected to do quite well at the box office, and with this we get down to analysing his previous track record.
If you look at Hrithik Roshan’s run at the box office through his last five films, you will realise that all the flak he faced was useless. All his last five releases, except for Mohenjo Daro, have earned more than Rs 100 crore at the box office. In fact, his average per film box office collection over the last five releases is Rs 102 crore, which is huge. Some top stars also don’t promise such a return. Clearly, he does command a fan following and has done some decent films or else how would the movies work?
Here’s a break down of Hrithik Roshan’s recent box office track record:
|Sr. No||Film||Box office collection (in Rs crore)|
Talking about Hrithik Roshan’s track record, Akshaye Rathi revealed to us exclusively, “Hrithik is one of those actors who has some incredible assets in his bucket. He has got the looks, he is phenomenal with action, he is fabulous with dancing and he is terrific as an actor. He also commands a massive fan following, so that helps his track record at the box office. But a lot of his choices, in my opinion, have not done justice to his merit and popularity as a star. A lot of the films he did, could’ve been done by any star. However, there are certain films like a Bang Bang or a Krrish, which no other actor can do, like he can! He needs to use his stardom optimally.”
With Super 30 out today (July 12), we are keen to know how the film performs and how much of praise does Hrithik Roshan garner. In the meantime, stay tuned to CineBlitz for more Bollywood news, updates and gossip.
Kabir Singh, Uri, Bharat – the top 10 highest grossing Bollywood films of the first half of 2019
Which was the highest grossing Bollywood film of the first half of 2019? Find out!
Bollywood took a brilliant start to 2019 with back to back massive hits in the first three months. The first quarter was really fantastic with massive hits like Uri: The Surgical, Total Dhamaal, Kesari, Gully Boy and so on! The second quarter, on the other hand, did see some disappointments like Kalank, Student of the Year 2 and India’s Most Wanted. Things did slow down at the ticket window and the trade was worried. But Bollywood bounced back with back to back blockbusters – Bharat and Kabir Singh. And with that the Hindi film industry ended the first half of 2019 with a bang. But which is the highest grossing film of 2019 till now?
Well, with Kabir Singh continuing its box office run and with it estimated to earn a lifetime collection of Rs 250 crore, it is going to be the highest grossing film of the first half of 2019. Uri: The Surgical Strike and Bharat follow suit and complete the top 3 highest grossing films of the first half of 2019. Kesari, Total Dhamaal, Gully Boy, De De Pyaar De, Luka Chuppi, Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi and Badla follow suit and complete the top 10 list.
Check out the list of top 10 highest grossing Bollywood films of the first half of 2019 right here:
|Sr. No||Actor||Box office collection (in Rs crore)|
|2||Uri: The Surgical Strike||245|
|7||De De Pyaar De||105|
|9||Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi||90|
If you look at the collections, the top 10 itself have collected Rs 1280 crore at the box office. If we add the collection of the other 50 odd releases over the past six months, you will realise that Bollywood has collected nearly Rs 1750 crore at the box office in the first half of 2019. This is a very decent amount! With several massive films coming up in the second half, we are quite excited to see how it pans out for Bollywood in 2019. In the meantime, stay tuned to CineBlitz for more Bollywood news, updates and gossip right here.
Kiara Advani, Alia Bhatt, Katrina Kaif – the top 10 highest grossing actresses of the first half of 2019
Who is the highest grossing actress of the first half of 2019? Find out right here!
Madhuri Dixit, Alia Bhatt and Parineeti Chopra dominated the first quarter of 2019 amongst the actresses. And while the second quarter saw a few disappointments in terms of films, Bharat and Kabir Singh changed it around. With that Bollywood ended the first half of 2019 on a high! But have these three actresses been displaced from their positions? Yes, they are! So who is the highest grossing Bollywood actress of the first half of 2019? Read on to find out!
Kiara Advani’s Kabir Singh has set the box office on fire ever since it released on June 21. With the movie set to rake in Rs 250 crore in its lifetime run, Kiara Advani will be the highest grossing actress of the first half of 2019. Madhuri Dixit (Total Dhamaal, Kalank) and Alia Bhatt (Gully Boy, Kalank) complete the top 3, consolidating their position from the first quarter with the release of Kalank. Katrina Kaif (Bharat), Parineeti Chopra (Kesari), Rakul Preet Singh (De De Pyaar De), Kriti Sanon (Luka Chuppi), Taapsee Pannu (Badla, Game Over), Kangana Ranaut (Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi) and Ananya Panday (Student of the Year 2) follow suit and complete the top 10 list!
Check out the list of top 10 highest grossing actresses of the first half of 2019 right here:
|Sr. No||Actress||Box office collection (in Rs crore)|
|6||Rakul Preet Singh||110|
With Parineeti Chopra, Kangana Ranaut, Kriti Sanon, Tapsee Pannu, Rakul Preet Singh having releases in the second half of 2019, we are sure they will consolidate on their positions. We will also see a few new entrants in the list in the second half too, with Shraddha Kapoor, Sonakshi Singh, Bhumi Pednekar having a couple of releases each! In the meantime, stay tuned to CineBlitz as we get you all the news, updates and gossip from the world of Bollywood right here.
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