Despite a yo-yo monthly trajectory, 2023 has already accumulated Rs 4,868 crore at the box office in its first six months, as per the India Box Office report by Ormax Media. At Rs 1,388 crore, January remains the most successful month of 2023, even though June pushed it close with a collection of Rs 1,035 crore. February has, by far, been the most disappointing month of the year with just Rs 396 crore coming into the coffers, while March, April and May averaged Rs 683 crore between them. As compared to 2022 at the same stage, this year’s box office performance is down by 15 per cent.
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.
Pathaan still unmatched; Adipurush soars into second spot
With a mind-boggling collection of Rs 646 crore, Pathaan, helmed by Shah Rukh Khan, Deepika Padukone and John Abraham, remains the undisputed leader at the top of the 2023 charts, with the next highest-grossing film making almost half the money at Rs 333 crore. That film is Adipurush, starring Prabhas, Saif Ali Khan and Kriti Sanon, which, notwithstanding its many criticisms, powered its way through June to leapfrog The Kerala Story (Rs 263 crore) and Varisu (Rs 212 crore) into second place. Rounding off the top five of the first half of 2023 is Ponniyin Selvan-II (PS-II), which managed to rope in Rs 206 crore.
Vin Diesel and Jason Momoa’s Fast X is the only Hollywood film to make it into the top 10 for this year, with its total of Rs 135 crore good enough for eighth place. Bollywood makes its presence felt in the lower half of the list with Shraddha Kapoor and Ranbir Kapoor’s Tu Jhoothi Main Makkaar in seventh (Rs 154 crore) and Salman Khan’s Kisi Ka Bhai Kisi Ki Jaan in 10th (Rs 123 crore). Telugu and Tamil enjoy more representation on the list with Waltair Veerayya finishing sixth (Rs 190 crore) and Thunivu (Rs 134 crore) securing the ninth spot.
2023 on course to overtake 2022
Even though 2022 has a healthy lead over 2023 at the halfway point of the year, a power-packed lineup for the rest of 2023 means that it can still replicate or overtake last year’s box office numbers. Shah Rukh Khan’s Jawan, Prabhas’s Salaar and Salman Khan-Katrina Kaif’s Tiger 3 are all set to hit screens in what remains of the year. Given that 2022 came to an end with a gross revenue of Rs 10,637 crore, the remaining six months of this year have to average at least Rs 962 crore to match 2022. At its current rate, however, 2023 is projected to reach Rs 9,736 crore before the new year rolls around. Even if 2023 manages to surpass 2022, beating the all-time record of 2019, which stands at Rs 10,948 crore, might be a bridge too far.
In terms of language share between January and June, Hindi has moved up to 37 per cent (from 33 per cent in 2022), with Telugu at 20 per cent and Tamil at 17 per cent. As compared to 2022, when the share of the four South Indian languages aggregated to 50 per cent, this year’s figure has reduced to 44 per cent, largely because of Kannada’s steep fall from eight per cent last year to just two per cent so far in 2023.