Take One

A Two-Part Prayer For Our Times

As we enter into Samvat 2072 – the New Year as per the traditional Hindu calendar that Diwali heralds – let’s start with a little prayer that is relevant to the times we live in. To the divine powers-that-be, we beseech: May those from our fraternity who wish to ...
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King Of Good Times?

The stage is all set for one of the year’s most awaited films, Prem Ratan Dhan Payo, to potentially create box office history when it releases in a few days. It is easy to see why expectations are at a fever pitch with this film. For one, the film’s ...
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Title Tattle

“What’s in a name?” Shakespeare asked… perhaps because he wasn’t involved in the film trade! There is plenty indeed in a film’s title, which is why much thought goes into choosing one. And not just thought, very often, exchange of money, power games and intricate political maneuvering precede the ...
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9 Months Done, Time To Push!

With the final quarter of the calendar year well underway, now is as good a time as any to take stock of how 2015 has fared at the box office so far, and get a sense of where it might end up. The general sense prevailing in the trade ...
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Grow, Or Go

Kapil Dev, aka the Haryana Hurricane, is undoubtedly the greatest pace bowler and all-rounder that Indian cricket has ever seen, as also captain of the first Indian team to win the ODI World Cup – a victory that catapulted the sport to becoming the national obsession that it is today. ...
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Territorial Markers

As we all know, the distribution of films in our trade is carried out across various ‘territories’ – the nomenclature and geographical make-up of which betrays their colonial origins. What we also know is that not only do different territories have unequal weightage when it come to their contribution to ...
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Six Cheers!

In the weeks to come, we will revert to using this page to express our stand and comments on issues that we think are of importance to the filmmaking community, or to present and analyse data that hopefully helps you get usable insights to emerging trends. However, this week, ...
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It’s A Six!

In the run-up to the launch of this publication exactly six years back on September 19, 2009, one of the foremost cornerstones of our editorial mandate and vision was to make Box Office India an equal-opportunity platform for all the varied stakeholders that make up the film industry. Of ...
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Clash Of Civilisations

As we have had reason to point out on a number of occasions in the recent past, 2015 could well be remembered as the year when Hollywood crossed the Rubicon, from being a distant runner-up to Hindi films in the weekly scramble to capture the box office, to emerging as ...
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The State Of States

That India is an under-served nation in terms of properties and screens available for film exhibition is no breaking news, particularly to the informed readership of this trade publication. With approximately 10,000 screens serving a population of around 125 crore, the Indian average of 1,25,000 people per screen is nowhere ...
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To 3D Or Not To 3D?

The largest film industry in the world, both in terms of revenues and global reach, Hollywood in many ways sets the tone and launches the trends that are subsequently adopted by other film industries around the world, India included. Whether genres like horror or the narrative techniques like the ...
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The ‘F’ Word

Before we are saddled with censorship issues, let us quickly clarify that the ‘F’ in the heading of this note refers to the word ‘fraternity’. It is, of course, a word all of us are very familiar with, given our frequent and passionate proclamations about belonging to the ‘film ...
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A Kaleidoscope Of Our Times

Cinema, or indeed any other art form, for that matter, doesn’t exist in a sterile vacuum. On the contrary, it functions within – and caters to – the social, political, economic and cultural milieu of its age. While at any given point in time, there will always ...
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Lots In Translation

The big news in the week that went by was of Bahubali: The Beginning crossing the coveted milestone of Rs 100 crore in net domestic collections – and we are referring to its dubbed Hindi version alone! This is a truly astounding and unprecedented accomplishment and our heartiest congratulations ...
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The Twain Has Met

Time was, and not too long ago at that, when all of Hindi cinema could neatly be sorted as belonging to either one of two very distinct categories – one, and by far the predominant slice of the pie, being the so-called ‘masala’ films or commercial cinema; and two, the ...
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Hurricane Hundred!

As was widely expected within the trade, last week’s release, Bajrangi Bhaijaan, has set the box office on fire with domestic collections of almost Rs 185 crore in the first week. And the good news is that there is plenty of steam left in this juggernaut, which looks all set ...
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Lowering The ‘Bar’

Unlike movie-goers in the rest of the country, patrons in Maharashtra who make their way to cinema halls this week will not have the choice of watching the Pakistani film, Bin Roye. It is a moot point how many would want to do so in the first place given ...
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Of Centuries And Celebratory Occasions

The good news in the week that went by was that of ABCD 2 literally dancing its way into the so-called Rs 100-crore club. Congratulations are in order to all associated with the film, in particular: Disney India, Remo D’Souza, Varun Dhawan and Shraddha Kapoor – the production house/studio, director ...
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New Rasam In Old Bottle?

The very first film we reviewed in our inaugural issue on 19 September 2009 was Wanted, which released a day earlier. And thus began an important chapter in Hindi film history… and I‘m not referring only to the birth of your favourite film trade magazine! Wanted’s success at the ...
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A Fragile Recovery

This week brings the curtain down on the second quarter of calendar year 2015 and it is ending on a high note, with ABCD 2’s stellar first week collections bringing cheer to the trade. Undoubtedly, the market sentiment as we leave Q2 behind us is much better than it ...
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Length Matters 2 – The Content-ers!

In our edit note last week (Length Matters, issue dated June 13, 2015), we had collated the runtime of the Top 5 grossers in each of the last 6 years to test the frequently advised hypothesis that, in today’s day and age, a film’s duration should be restricted to around ...
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Length Matters

In a vocation as uncertain as ours, with no set formula/process that guarantees box office success, it is only natural that various pet theories abound on what makes a film click, or not. So you have folks who tell you that films with English titles will alienate the masses and ...
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Drought Relief At The BO?

The abnormally severe summer has not yet been alleviated by delayed monsoon showers and the meteorological department has issued the worrying forecast that we are in for deficient rainfall this year, leading to a drought. At the Hindi film box office, however, it seems that the tide maybe turning, and ...
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Wanted: CIA For The Film Industry?

If you do a Google search for, say, airline tickets to a certain destination, chances are high that the next time you open your Gmail inbox, the advertising box above your mails will display a commercial message from a ticketing website peddling discounted airfares to the exact same destination. And ...
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The Outsider…

A small-town, aspiring actor or actress struggles on many levels in Bollywood. So even if it makes the taste of success sweeter, it is a trial by fire. One, you take years to figure out things as opposed to when you have the backing of a filmy family. Two, your ...
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American Sniper Turns Terminator?

“How did you go bankrupt?” Bill asked. “Two ways,” Mike said. “Gradually and then suddenly.” This memorable exchange takes place in the novel, The Sun Also Rises, widely considered to be the greatest work of the Nobel Prize winning American author, Ernest Hemmingway. Gradually and then suddenly… this ...
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Repeat Business

Nothing succeeds like success, and nowhere is that truer than in our film business, where every Friday sees reputations being built and demolished. So if at first you do succeed, why not try, try and try again? Hollywood has for long been practicing that dictum and ...
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Young At Heart… Of The Slump

At CinemaCon 2015, the annual convention of North American theatre owners which yours truly had the opportunity to attend recently, the main topic of concern and discussion was the decline in movie going among young audiences. Hollywood managed to have a stellar 2014, despite a six per cent fall ...
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Back To Basics

Enough moping around! For quite some time now, the trade, and the editorial notes on this page, have had only depressing news to share with the rather underwhelming box office performance of our films during the last few months. Having acknowledged and accepted the fact that we are in a ...
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Letting Demand Dictate V/s Dictating Demand

The Maharashtra government set the cat amongst the pigeons when it recently announced its intention to make it mandatory for multiplexes in the state to screen Marathi films during the so-called ‘prime-time slot’ between 6 pm and 9 pm. Much debate and heat ensued – both in favour and against ...
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