Movies do score during the IPL window

AJ Vinayak Mangaluru | Updated on October 16, 2020

No match Baahubali-2: The Conclusion , released during the 2017 IPL, grossed over ₹500 crore at the box office   -  V Sreenivasa Murthy

T20 or not, India loves to watch its stars on the big screen

IPL has been having a great run this year, breaking all viewership records. But would things have been different if there was cinema to compete with cricket? Or vice- versa?

As theatres open up in the country after a prolonged shutdown due to the Covid pandemic, it’s instructive to look at data from previous years. Interestingly, when IPL debuted, over a decade ago, it looked as though the movie industry would face a bouncer from the tournament. Not really.

During the first edition of IPL in 2008, movies such as Jannat, Bhoothnath and Tashan clashed directly with cricket. While the first two fared decently, Tashan flopped.

Analysing the trends of 2010, a FICCI-KPMG report on the media and entertainment industry noted that competition from IPL had created an eight-week black window for multiplexes.

Over 650 single-screen theatres, in fact, chose to screen IPL that year.

Khiladi's big play

However, in 2012, the khiladi of Bollywood, Akshay Kumar, broke the IPL jinx when Houseful-2 smashed into the ₹100-crore club in box-office earnings. In 2013, Ashiqui 2 scored big during the IPL window. A year later, 2 States, a movie based on Chetan Bhagat’s novel, earned over ₹100 crore. In 2015, Tanu Weds Manu Returns, starring Kangana Ranaut and R Madhavan, released during the IPL, became a blockbuster.

The Jungle Book, which was released a day before the IPL opening match in 2016, made over ₹180-crore in India. But it was Baahubali-2: The Conclusion, released during the 2017 IPL, that put the IPL vs movies perception to rest by grossing over ₹500 crore at the box office.


While the Aalia Bhatt-starrer Raazi earned more than ₹100 crore during the IPL of 2018, Akshay Kumar’s Kesari that was released two days before the start of next year’s IPL, also grossed over ₹150 crore.

Even a niche film like The Tashkent Files did well at the box office during the 2019 IPL window. Says the film’s director, Vivek Agnihotri, “It’s a myth that films don’t work during IPL. I had done my research and found no correlation between the two.”

Published on October 15, 2020

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