Recent B-Town releases sputter as 3 Hollywood films muscle into BO Top 10

Three Hollywood releases are among the Top 10 domestic box-office grossers this year, with the Benedict Cumberbatch-starrer ‘Dr Strange in the Multiverse of Madness’ raking in Rs 130 core and ranking No. 5. Net BO collection figures are those that are given after excluding GST and/or other taxes and levies.

The list, as expected, is topped by the Hindi-dubbed versions of Prasanth Neel’s ‘KGF: Chapter 2’, starring Kannada star Yash, which has made Rs 434.70 crore, and S.S. Rajamouli’s ‘RRR’ with Ram Charan and Jr NTR, its earnings pegged at Rs 274.31 crore. These figures are being reported by websites that cover the film trade.

The global earnings, across languages, of ‘KGF: Chapter 2’ add up to Rs 1,235.2 crore and those of ‘RRR’ follow with Rs 1,135.8 crore, according to the authoritative IMDb.com, which shares gross collection figures (these include GST and, if applicable, other taxes or levies).

Among Hindi films, the surprise topper has been Vivek Agnihotri’s ‘The Kashmir Files’ with Anupam Kher, Mithun Chakraborty and Pallavi Joshi (Rs 291.2 crore; globally, Rs 337.2 crore). The sleeper hit is followed by Aneez Bazmee’s laugh riot ‘Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2’ with Kartik Aryan, Tabu and Kiara Advani (Rs 213 crore; Rs 262.5 crore globally) and Alia Bhatt’s ‘Gangubai Kathiawadi’, which made Rs 129.10 crore (globally, Rs 194.9 crore), a rare feat for a female-centric social drama. These IMDb.com figures are for gross collections.

None of the recent Bollywood releases have come close to these figures. Srijit Mukherji’s Taapsee Pannu-starrer ‘Shabaash Mithu’ has become the third sports drama — after the Ranveer Singh-led ’83’ and Shahid Kapur’s ‘Jersey’ — with box-office failure written all over. Over the past weekend, this Mithali Raj biopic has made only Rs 40 lakh.

The Rajkummar Rao-starrer ‘HIT – The First Case’ has fared marginally better, earning Rs 1.35 crore in its opening weekend, an amount ‘KGF: Chapter 2’ must have made from its first show.

Vidyut Jammwal’s much-hyped ‘Khuda Haafiz: Chapter ll – Agni Pariksha’ has made a mere Rs 10.91 crore. Cinema-goers, clearly, seem to prefer action Marvel-style, for in the same period that ‘Khuda Haafiz: Chapter II’ has been around, Chris Hemsworth-starrer ‘Thor: Love and Thunder’ has grossed Rs 79.55 crore.

The face-savers for Bollywood among the recent releases has been ‘Jugjugg Jeeyo’, starring Varun Dhawan, Kiara Advani (who has been having a great run), Anil Kapoor and Neetu Kapoor (Rs 83.17 crore, and counting). That’s substantially more than Akshay Kumar’s super-hyped and politically blessed ‘Samrat Prithviraj’ (Rs 68.05 crore), which, incidentally, is behind yet another successful Hollywood release, ‘Jurassic World Dominion’ (Rs 68.56 crore).

And, as if this wasn’t enough, ‘The Batman’ (Rs 48.10 crore) and Tom Cruise’s ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ (Rs 34.50 crore) are ahead of the Amitabh Bachchan, Ajay Devgn-starrer ‘Runway 34’ (Rs 32.96 crore) and Tiger Shroff’s Heropanti 2 (Rs 24.45 crore).

It’s time for Bollywood to do serious introspection, figure out how to cut its losses and survive in the post-Covid entertainment landscape.

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