How Hollywood and regional movies ate into Hindi film business in 2016

Hollywood and regional films have made life difficult for Hindi cinema in the first half of the year. This could be a cue for the industry to up the quality and entertainment quotient of its content 

Keyur Seta

As Hindi is the most widely spoken language in India, Hindi films enjoy a pan India release. Although Hollywood films fascinate the Indian audience, English doesn’t enjoy such stronghold in India even today. Similarly, even regional films are no match to Hindi in terms of the number of screens. Therefore, Hindi films have more or less been a threat to Hollywood and regional due to its reach and popularity. An example of this was seen this week when Udta Punjab earned much more than Hollywood’s Finding Dory.

But going by the entire first half of 2016, the scene has completely turned on its head. It is Hollywood that made life very difficult for Hindi cinema at the box-office. In a couple of cases, even Marathi films turned out to be stronger than Hindi films could handle. 

Well-known trade analyst Amod Mehra believes the reason for this is that people just wish to get entertained. “It’s very simple. Public wants entertainment irrespective of the language. Even Gujarati films have been doing well. Recently, Thai Jashe earned Rs 3 crore. This trend started with Baahubali. Although it was a dubbed film, it did so well here. Plus, the number of Hollywood films released over here is also increasing. Despite Udta Punjab releasing last week, The Conjuring is still doing well.”

He also believes Hindi film industry will be worried due to this. “They will surely be worried by this. If someone knocks at your door and straightaway captures your home then you will surely not like it. But what to do? The only solution is to make better films,” Mehra added. 

Let’s take a detailed look at how Hollywood and regional films gained edge over Bollywood when released together or near each other in the first half of 2016. 

Natsamrat vs Wazir:

The year started with a bang for Marathi cinema with Mahesh Manjrekar’s Natsamrat, starring Nana Patekar, releasing on 1 January. The film not only became a runaway success but continued to earn well for around couple of months. Wazir, starring Amitabh Bachchan and Farhan Akhtar, released a week later but was still affected by Natsamrat. Not-so-positive word of mouth also didn’t help Wazir’s cause. 

The Jungle Book vs Fan:

The Jungle Book released worldwide on 15 April. But since Shah Rukh Khan’s hugely awaited, Fan was supposed to release on that day, the makers of the Hollywood flick decided to release their film a week ahead on April 8. However, the unthinkable happened since it was Fan that turned out to be minuscule in front of the children’s film. The failure of the Maneesh Sharma directed film produced shockwaves as The Jungle Book soared high. In fact, the Mowgli adventure film is still running. 

Sairat vs Baaghi:

Tiger Shroff’s second outing in Bollywood, Baaghi, turned out to be fruitful. However, despite the film turning out to be a decent hit, it was no match against a regional film like Sairat. The Nagraj Popatrao Manjule flick made history at the ticket window by being a crazy hit. Starring Rinku Rajguru and Akash Thosar, the film has earned around Rs 85-90 crore, which is unthinkable for a Marathi film. 

Captain America: Civil War vs Traffic, One Night Stand and 1920 London:

May 6 saw a completely one-sided battle. Hollywood’s Captain America: Civil War literally ate up the three Hindi releases – Traffic, One Night Stand and 1920 London. It earned more than twice of what the three Hindi films earned together on the first day. Captain America continued its winning streak by earning Rs 17 crore in the first weekend, which is very good for a Hollywood film in India. 

The Conjuring 2 vs Te3n and Do Lafzo Ki Kahani

Once again, a Hollywood film managed to earn more than two Hindi films combined on June 10. The Conjuring 2, sequel to the famous Hollywood horror film The Conjuring, raked in Rs 4.25 crore while Te3n and Do Lafzo Ki Kahani managed to earn Rs 2.75 crore and Rs 1 crore on the first day respectively. The debacle of Te3n came as a surprise since the film had some big names like Amitabh Bachchan, Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Vidya Balan. 

Independence Day Resugrence, Ekk Albela and Sardaarji 2 vs Raman Raghav 2.0

The last week of the first half of 2016 also went in favour of Hollywood and regional cinema. Independence Day: Resurgence earned Rs 14.50 crore on day one, which is more than the total earnings of Hindi films released on that day – Raman Raghav 2.0, 7 Hours To Go, Rough Book, A Scandall, Junooniyat and Dil Toh Deewana Hai. But that’s not all. Marathi movie Ekk Albela ( Rs 2.5 crore) and Punjabi film Sardaarji 2 (Rs 8 crore), which also released on the same day, also fared well at the ticket-window. 

Here's a head to head comparison between Hollywood and regional movies with the Hindi films that suffered.