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Bollywood losing its charm! OTT, COVID-19 to blame says experts

These two factors aside, Bollywood films are also failing to make a mark on the big screen. The biggest Hindi language grossers at the box office are two dubbed South Indian films, KGF Chapter 2 and RRR, which accounted for 60 percent of ticket sales

Bollywood losing its charm! OTT, COVID-19 to blame says experts
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Bollywood losing its charm! OTT, COVID-19 to blame says experts

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These two factors aside, Bollywood films are also failing to make a mark on the big screen. The biggest Hindi language grossers at the box office are two dubbed South Indian films, KGF Chapter 2 and RRR, which accounted for 60 percent of ticket sales.

Hindi films, the highest contributor to Indian box office revenue in the pre-COVID period, are now struggling to sell big-screen tickets. From big-budget ventures to star-led films, Bollywood's performance has been bleak so far in 2022.

On the face of it, the share of Hindi films at the box office this year shows only a marginal dip. However, the lion's share of the contribution is actually from Hindi-dubbed South Indian films.

"The share of Hindi language between January to April this year is 38 percent, which is similar to the 39 percent share in 2019. However, 60 percent of this share has been contributed by the Hindi versions of RRR and KGF Chapter 2. Had these two films not been considered in the Hindi box office, the share would have been much lower.

Apart from the Alia Bhatt-starrer Gangubai Kathiawadi, which earned over Rs 100 crore, and the sleeper hit The Kashmir Files, which crossed Rs 200 crore in revenue, Bollywood has not fared well at the box office.

Ranveer Singh's Jayeshbhai Jordaar, a new release, has underperformed. Trade analysts expected an opening day collection of Rs 6-7 crore. However, the Bollywood venture earned Rs 3 crore on day one.

Jersey, featuring Shahid Kapoor, raked in Rs 19 crore over three weeks, Ajay Devgn's Runway 34 collected around Rs 29 crore in two weeks and Heropanti 2, starring Tiger Shroff, managed around Rs 24 crore in two weeks.

The tepid performance of these films has been linked to competition from Hollywood and offerings from down South.

OTT viewing has impacted Bollywood content the most at the box office, Johar said.

"Post the pandemic, the metro multiplex audience is now clearly segregating films into two buckets: to be watched on the big screen and to be watched on any other screen. Since most Hindi films released till date apart from a Sooryavanshi or Gangubai Kathiawadi fall under the second bucket, Hindi films have not set the box office on fire," said Ormax Media's Jain.

He added that Hindi cinema has avoided making films that would appeal to a wide spectrum of audiences. "The focus over the last five years has been to cater to the top 10-20 metros and multiplexes, completely ignoring the larger audience and their expectations."

But it is not just the OTT impact and coronavirus outbreak that led to huge losses for theatres. The steep hike in ticket prices also played a role.

Dwaipayan Bhattacharjee
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