We often read about Hollywood Films collecting 1000’s of crores from several markets across the globe and pushing the envelope as far as the commercial success of a film is concerned. But if we look at the box office collections of the films from the West, the traditional markets haven’t really shown a big growth.
Back in 1997, James Cameron’s Titanic raked in $600 Million domestically and over $1 Billion from the global markets. Upon its release, the film became the highest grossing Hollywood film of all time. Taking into account all the re-releases, the lifetime total (worldwide) of Titanic stands at $2.18 Billion, thereby being the second highest grossing Hollywood film of all time as of today after Avatar.
It took 12 years and 1000’s of Hollywood releases to break the record set by Titanic in 1997. And coincidentally, it was James Cameron who again set a record. The 2009 release, Avatar raked in approximately $760 Million in the domestic market and emerged the highest grossing film of all time. In terms of worldwide collections, the movie raked in $2.78 Billion and is till date the highest grossing Hollywood film of all time. Even a magnum opus like Avengers: Infinity War, which saw the coming together of several super-heroes failed to break the record. Avengers: Infinity War was Hollywood’s best bet to emerge an all time grosser, however it ended its run at collections in the range of $2.04 Billion. And this is despite the hike in ticket price over the years. Talking about the domestic market, the record set by Avatar i.e. $760 Million, was surpassed by Star Wars: Force Awakens in 2015 as the film raked in $936 Million domestically. This record stands unchallenged as of now. The collections in the domestic market grew by merely 42% in nearly 21 years i.e. 1997 to 2018. This marginal growth in collections over the years also proves that the footfalls for the films reduced and the collections grew merely because of inflation and rise in ticket rates.
Now comparing this to Bollywood, the growth in collections over the years has been just phenomenal. The highest grossing film of all time for Bollywood in 1997 was Hum Aapke Hai Kaun, that raked in approximately 72 crores in India. The record was broken by Gadar in 2002, followed by Dhoom 2 in 2006. While the growth from 1994 to 2006 wasn’t much in terms of Box-Office collections, since 2008, Aamir Khan has been playing a single-handed battle when it comes to setting the all-time records. The actor, who is known to have a phenomenal script sense has not taken one wrong step since 2008 and consistently delivered films that set new benchmarks. Be it opening the 100 crore club with Ghajini or 200 crore club with 3 Idiots or 300 crore club with PK, Aamir Khan is one man who is responsible for the phenomenal growth in the business of Hindi film. In-fact, it won’t be wrong to say that two people who have consistently utilised the real potential of the market for Hindi films this decade are Aamir Khan and Salman Khan. While Salman hasn’t delivered an all time grosser this decade, he has consistently delivered the big blockbusters every single year. Well, coming to the point, the collections grew from Rs 68 crore in 1997 to Rs 510 crore in 2018.
While Dangal collected approximately 385 crores in 2016 thereby emerging the highest grossing Hindi film of all time, Baahubali: The Conclusion shattered all existing records and became the first ever film to collect over 500 crores from the Hindi market. The business from 1997 to 2018 grew by over 710%, which proves the ever-growing potential of our market. And mind you, there is a lot more to be explored. With a population of more than 1.5 Billion, merely 3 to 4 crore people watch films in India in today’s time. Lack of theatres, lack of universally appealing Hindi film and poverty in the interiors are the factors that is keeping the people of India away from venturing the cinema hall and get entertained. The collections of Hindi Films are quite good given the fact that there are merely 5500 screens in India as compared to almost 50,000 screens in China. With proper infrastructure, affordable prices and universal content, there can be an increase in number of cinema going audience in our country. As compared to 3 to 4 crore people watching films in today’s time, the number can rise as high as 10 to 11 crore with proper government support, which would be a phenomenal achievement. That day isn’t far when films will start earning Rs 1000 crore from the Indian market alone, and we get the band-width to make the humongous budget films without seeking external health. The growth over the years as well as the potential further makes me say that “Picture Abhi Baaki Hai Mere Dost”