In his International bestseller ‘Tipping Point’ , Malcolm Gladwell argued that in order for an idea, message or product to break out from being a phenomenon to a trend, a series of small changes or incidents are at play. He analysed the processes and mechanisms by which some trends achieve exponential popularity. He listed primarily 3 rules:
1. Law of the Few- Few key people champion an idea so that it becomes acceptable to one and all.
2. Stickiness Factor- This refers to a unique quality that compels the phenomenon to stick in the minds of the public.
3. The Power Of Context- If the environment or historical moment in which a trend is introduced is not right, the trend won’t achieve the tipping point.
Uri: The Surgical Strike covers the stickiness factor as it is probably the first Hindi film which depicts the Indian Army as supremely intelligent and aspirational. Indian Army’s conventional portrayal in films has been limited to being brave and patriotic. This film also gets the depiction of the army bang on. It is a very realistic portrayal. Making the film have that unique quality and of course being a superb film adds to the stickiness too.
The film shows the famous surgical strike that happened in 2016. The topic is relevant, is fresh in the memory of the public. There is a curiosity factor attached to see how the army went about executing the surgical strike. Lastly, since the BJP led Govt. assumed power in 2014, the mood of the nation towards patriotism and specially The Indian Army is highly favourable and respectful. So, it covered the power of context to the tee.
That brings us to the ‘Law of the few’. Key mavens, influencers, salesman championing the idea making it into a trend.
Lets look at the film from the business it did from the day it released. Uri: The Surgical Strike released on 11th January to good reviews and well occupied cinemas. Its business for the first week was 71.26 crores and for week 2 – 62.77 crores. A drop of only 11.89% and this is historic to say the least. Its fourth weekend has come in at an unbelievable 18.67 crores, which is only second Baahubali: The Conclusion. It is the highest fourth weekend for a hindi film ever. It gets even more interesting once we look at figures from down south.
So, its pretty clear that the film tipped in the 2nd weekend and from a phenomenon became an unstoppable trend, which added turbo boosters to this film’s box office legs. The event that made this film cross the tipping point was the inauguration of India’s first Cinema Museum on 19th January.
Narendra Modi in his speech asked the film fraternity “How’s the Josh?”. The films marketing team must have been jumping with joy. One of the biggest brands in India endorsing their film.That moment was the crystallisation of the all the small events( good content, good reviews, exceptional word of mouth, contextual subject etc etc) upto this point and the film exploded. It tipped. Since then this dialogue has caught the fancy of the nation.
Nirmala Sitaraman chanted “How’s the Josh?” when finished watching Uri… in a theatre. That video went viral. Everyone started using this punchline. So much so that even Piyush Goyal, while presenting the interim budget used this line. The curiosity in people regarding the film multiplied manifold. The film was being discussed all over. It became mandatory viewing.
The historic hold in the 2nd week and jump in collections down south are primarily because post the Prime Minister saying “How’s the Josh?”. This gesture by the Prime Minister made the film cross the tipping point. It was already being loved and appreciated but this gesture from The PM gave it the kind of reach and penetration that it could not do on its own. The film went from being a Superhit to an all time Blockbuster. Even the films lead Vicky Kaushal said that ‘ How’s the josh?’ is no longer a dialogue. It’s an emotion.
PS: This is a guest post done by our user and all the views, numbers are strictly limited to the knowledge of the author.