After a few quiet months in the first half of the year, India’s box office caught fresh fire in July, fetching Rs 915 crore. According to the India Box Office Report by Ormax Media, July was the third-biggest month of 2023 after January (Rs 1,388 crore) and June (Rs 1,079 crore). In spite of that, 2023 is still down on last year by 9 per cent in terms of cumulative collection, with a tally of Rs 5,824 crore so far.
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.
Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahani and Oppenheimer finish neck and neck
July 21 was supposed to be a historic day at the cinemas with Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer and Greta Gerwig’s Barbie clashing at the box office. While Barbie has gone on to become a phenomenon globally, its performance in India proved mediocre at best, with a business of just Rs 55 crore in July, good enough for sixth spot on the monthly list. Instead, it has been Oppenheimer, with a tour de force from Cillian Murphy, that has had quite the blast, closing out July in second spot with Rs 155 crore.
The top spot of the month, however, went to Karan Johar’s comeback film, Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahani, with Ranveer Singh and Alia Bhatt in fine fettle, ably supported by an eclectic ensemble comprising Jaya Bachchan, Shabana Azmi, Dharmendra, Tota Roy Choudhury and Churni Ganguly. Rocky Aur Rani’s combination of Bollywood masala and social message brought Rs 165 crore in July, even though it only ran for four days in the month.
Another impressive showing at the box office came from the evergreen Tom Cruise and his Mission Impossible: Dead Reckoning — Part One, which accumulated Rs 131 crore in July, clinching third place. Bro, a Telugu supernatural fantasy, earned Rs 94 crore, while Baby, a Telugu coming-of-age romantic drama, rounded off the top five for July with Rs 68 crore.
Hollywood’s share increases from 12 per cent to 16 per cent
With Rocky Aur Rani being the only Hindi film to feature in the list of highest grossers for July, Hindi’s share of the box office went down from 38 per cent to 35 per cent last month. While Telugu held its ground at 20 per cent from May and Tamil dipped by two per cent (to 16 per cent), Hollywood’s share of the pie went up from 12 per cent (between January and June) to 16 per cent (between January and July).
With such a strong showing in July, 2023 is now back on track to overtake 2022’s tally of Rs 10,637 crore. An average of Rs 963 crore for the remaining five months of the year should be enough for this year to go past the last one. With August already having big releases like Gadar 2 and OMG 2 and Shah Rukh Khan’s Jawan lined up for September, the box office should be entering its peak phase of the year.