It was a good month for Bollywood as the medium budgeted films did well while other films saw some success at the box office in spite of facing clashes with each other.
While 2018 ended with a success as Ranveer Singh starrer Simmba set the box office on fire (crossed Rs 240 crores milestone), 2019 started with a solid response from two political drama – 2016 Indian Army’s surgical strike war drama, URI-The Surgical Strike, and the controversial drama on the former Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, The Accidental Prime Minister. As I write this article, URI The Surgical Strike would have already crossed Rs 190 crores and will be the first “All-Time Blockbuster” of 2019 with a budget of just Rs 45 crores. Need I say more ?
The other film, The Accidental Prime Minister, also minted some good money at the ticket window, thanks to the controversy before the film released. The political drama film went onto earn Rs 25+ crores against a budget of Rs 35 crores, which itself will be an achievement considering it did not have any face value.
Next week, Bollywood witnessed the yet another clash between Emraan Hashmi starrer Why Cheat India, Arshad Warsi starrer Fraud Saiyaan and Govinda starrer Rangeela Raja. Highly expected, Why Cheat India turned out to be a disaster for Emraan Hashmi starrer as the film could not even touch a double-digit mark against a budget of Rs 27 crores. The lesser I talk about Fraud Saiyaan and Rangeela Raja, the better for me.
The following week was a special one as we saw the big clash on the Republic weekend between Kangana Ranaut starrer Manikarnika-The Queen Of Jhansi and Nawazuddin Siddiqui starrer Thackeray. Manikarnika opened to a decent start across India but the collections grew by more than 100% on the Republic Day and sustained well on Sunday. There was a big drop on the first Monday but has maintained the pace on the weekdays until its second weekend where the war drama did very well, collecting a good Rs 76.65 crores (50 crores in 5 days and 75 crores in 10 crores). The only issue with Manikarnika The Queen Of Jhansi is the huge budget of Rs 125 crores which might be difficult to touch. The good news is that new release – Sonam Kapoor, Anil Kapoor, Juhi Chawla and Rajkummar Rao starrer Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga has under-performed in its first weekend and there is a yet another one week before the big release – Ranveer Singh and Alia Bhatt starrer Gully Boy, hits the theater on 14th February.
Following the life of the founder of the Indian political party Shiv Sena, Bal Thackeray, the trailer of Nawazuddin Siddiqui starrer Thackeray did very well from the economics point of view as the political bio-pic collected Rs 32 crores. The earnings were enough to cross the budget of Thackeray which is Rs 20 crores.