In a little over two days, more than 2.3 crore movie tickets were sold, and box office collections swelled to nearly ₹400 crore during the busiest single weekend for cinema halls and multiplexes since Covid.
From Rajnikanth starrer Jailer to Sunny Deol and Ameesha Patel's Gadar 2 to Akshay Kumar's OMG 2 to Chiranjeevi and Tamannah Bhatia’s Bholaa Shankar, the movies set the box office bells ringing from the evening of August 11 to 13.
The "combined gross box office (was) ₹390+ crore over the Weekend across All India Theatres," the Multiplex Association of India (MAI) and Producers Guild of India (PGI) said in a joint statement on Monday, in a reflection of good times at theatres.
This is a "new all-time theatrical gross box office record" in its 100 years of history, it added.
"The weekend drew over 2.10 crore moviegoers to theatres across the county, which is the highest combined admissions record in the last 10 years of history," it said.
- Also read: Gadar 2, Jailer unlock new box-office record
The weekend of August 11 to 13 was the busiest single weekend post-re-opening of the cinema industry after the Covid pandemic.
"The turnout at theatres has infused a new energy in our industry, audiences are responding in numbers. We have not seen for a very long time, even the early morning shows are getting sold out," said PGI President Shibasish Sarkar.
"This weekend has been a wonderful experience for people who love the mainstream cinemas," he added.
MAI President Kamal Gianchandani said this was a "historic weekend" for the cinema exhibition industry, and it proves once again that India loves to go to movie halls to watch good movies.
"This weekend is also an undeniable demonstration of cinemas being the ultimate place to be part of shared experience," he said.
Gianchandani said he expects this momentum to continue for the rest of 2023.
Leading multiplex operator PVR INOX also reported the highest-ever daily and weekend admissions and box office collection.
"We welcomed 33.6 lakh guests at our cinemas and earned Gross box office revenue of ₹100 crore during the weekend," it said.
Besides solid box office performances from movies - Gadar 2, Jailer and OMG2, released last week, content released in earlier weeks -- including Rocky aur Rani ki Prem Kahani and Oppenheimer (English) -- continued their steady performance, the statement said.
"This record-setting result validates that consumer enthusiasm for experiencing films in an immersive, larger-than-life, cinematic environment is as strong as ever," said PVR INOX, the leading multiplex operator with 1,708 screens in 115 cities.
MAI represents more than 11 cinema chains, operating over 500 multiplexes and 2,500 screens in India, which is around 75 per cent of the multiplex industry of India.
PGI is a premier association of film, television and digital content producers in India.
The cinema exhibition industry underwent financial distress during the Covid. The operation was suspended for over a year during the pandemic due to safety precautions. It was severely hit by restrictions.
Later in early 2021, it was allowed to run at half capacity only with several riders, which financially impacted the industry further.
The industry had to face those restrictions after the successive waves of the pandemic in some regions also.
Moreover, in the absence of theatrical premiers, several producers had also started to move towards OTT platforms.