In keeping with the disappointment of October, Indian cinema endured another month of misery in November. According to The India Box Office Report, prepared by Ormax Media, November was the fourth worst month of 2022, with a gross collection of just Rs 711 crore.
While different language industries use different parameters for assessing box office numbers (Gross, Nett or Share), Ormax’s report adopts Gross Box Office as the unified measurement. Under this, a film’s collection is always attributed to the month of its release, even if the film goes on to produce more or better numbers in the subsequent months. For films released in multiple languages, box office numbers reflect the contribution of such films to all the corresponding languages.
Drishyam 2: A cut above the rest
Abhishek Pathak-directed Drishyam 2, starring Ajay Devgn, Tabu, Akshaye Khanna and Shriya Saran, lived up to its box office hype by becoming the only film to cross the Rs 100-crore mark in November, ending the month on a stellar tally of Rs 280 crore. The much awaited Black Panther: Wakanda Forever caused a stir, but not enough of one, finishing the month in second place at Rs 92 crore. In somewhat of a surprise, it was a Tamil romantic comedy, Love Today, that rounded off the top three, with a total collection of Rs 76 crore.
All three big Bollywood releases of the month — Bhediya, Uunchai and Phone Booth — tanked at the box office. Varun Dhawan’s part-human, part-werewolf turn in Bhediya could only propel it to fourth place for November, with a collection of Rs 75 crore. Led by Amitabh Bachchan, Uunchai hobbled its way to Rs 35 crore and the fifth spot on the list. However, the biggest letdown of the month was reserved for Katrina Kaif-starrer Phone Bhoot, also featuring Ishaan Khattar and Siddhant Chaturvedi, which could only muster Rs 16 crore, adequate for seventh place for November.
2022 needs a spectacular December to beat 2019
November was a rarity in the Indian box office this year with a Hindi film in Drishyam 2 leading the way by a wide margin. Drishyam 2’s standout success was good enough for it to break into the top 10 highest-grossing films of the year. At the top of that list remain K.G.F. Chapter 2 and RRR (with collections of Rs 970 crore and Rs 869 crore, respectively), with Kantara currently in third at Rs 363 crore. Should Drishyam 2 keep up its momentum in December, it has a great chance at ending the year by unseating Kantara besides becoming the top Hindi film at the box office in 2022.
As for 2022’s ambition to unseat 2019 as the most successful year for the Indian box office, all eyes will now be on December and what has to be a spectacular showing in the year’s final month to make history. After November’s meek contribution, 2022’s cumulative box office collection stands at Rs 9,751 crore, with 2019 still some distance away at Rs 10,948 crore. This means that December will need to bring in at least Rs 1,197 crore for 2022 to surpass 2019, a figure that has only been crossed twice all year (in March and April, thanks to a post-pandemic surge).
Lastly, in terms of language share, Hindi has had the best month of the year so far, with 35 per cent of the box office share coming directly from Hindi films. This, however, is well short of the 44 per cent of the box office collection made up by Hindi films in 2019. Trailing Hindi on the language share pie for this year, as usual, are Telugu (at 21 per cent) and Tamil (at 17 per cent).