With a strong lineup of big-budget films in the next few months, analysts believe the Hindi box office revenues could finally get back to pre-Covid levels. Starting with Ajay Devgn starrer Bholaa on Thursday, a slew of Hindi movies backed by big stars are slated to be released in the June quarter. This includes Salman Khan starrer Kisi ka Bhai Kisi ki Jaan, Prabhas’ Adipurush, Shah Rukh Khan’s Jawan, Karthik Aryan’s Satya Ki Prem Katha, and Devgn’s Maidaan.
In fact, some movies are getting released in June. Referring to the June lineup of films, trade analyst Taran Adarsh tweeted, “SRK-Prabhas-Ajay Devgn-Kartik Aaryan: June 2023 is packed with biggies (sic).”
Rajender Singh Jyala, Chief Programming Officer, PVR said, “We anticipate the June quarter to be one of the best quarters for the exhibition industry. The quarter is looking very strong, looking at the number of big Hindi films that will get released. So, it will definitely be just like pre-Covid times and much bigger in terms of box office revenues compared to the same period last fiscal.”
In a report, Karan Taurani, Senior Vice-President, Elara Capital said, “In our view, Q1 and Q2 performances are crucial for the exhibition industry to inch closer to pre-Covid levels. We expect Hindi box office revenue to recover to 90 per cent of pre-Covid levels in FY24 compared to 75 per cent of pre-Covid levels in FY23.”
Though the March quarter witnessed the stupendous success of SRK’s Pathaan and Ranbir Kapoor’s Tu Jhoothi Main Makkar reported healthy box office collections, other films did not do as well as expected.
Taurani believes Bholaa could kick-start the quarter for the Hindi movie industry on a high. “We expect Hindi box office revenue growth of 18 per cent in Q1 FY24 vs pre-Covid levels and 4 per cent YoY led by a slate of large budget films,” he stated in the report.
Analysts believe this strong content pipeline will help cinemas attract strong footfalls and take the share of Hindi box office for multiplexes closer to pre-Covid levels. Currently, Hindi movies’ share in the box office is pegged at about 30 per cent compared to about 50 per cent in pre-Covid.