Box office Business Talk | 2021: Thodi khushi, zyada gham! If we do not smell coffee now, the success of the Hindi film will disappear in no time

There are so many thoughts running through my head as I start writing this piece down. How do you describe 2021? Was it an eventful year? Or much like 2020? Come to think of it, those associated with the film industry – and all people across the globe – have lost several precious months in these two years due to the pandemic. It’s not over yet. The fear of the new variant is left to haunt us.

2021: Thodi khushi, zyada gham!  If we do not smell coffee now, the success of the Hindi film will disappear in no time

The Hindi film industry has been on the rise all this time. The big ticket entertainers as well as medium- and low-cost films are still unresolved in relation to the way forward. JERSEY and RRR have been postponed, while several prominent titles are expected to revise and rearrange the release dates. The release calendar has stalled by early 2022.

Think about the growing interest in finished films – that’s another worrying factor. The production, distribution and exhibition sectors – all correlated – gradually limped back to normalcy, but again the restrictions in several states and the closure of cinemas give us sleepless nights. It is clear that the economy of the film industry is at stake.


How do you look back on 2021? Let me put it very simply: Thodi khushi, zyada gham. The only time we smiled was when cinemas reopened in early 2021 and later when the long-awaited SOORYAVANSHI hit the jackpot. The super success with SPIDER-MAN and PUSHPA [Hindi version] gave us reasons to smile. But three solid hits in a year is not enough to save us, is it?


The Hindi film industry is fighting a war on many fronts. The digital release window for several Hindi movies has shrunk from 8 weeks to 4 weeks. Part of the industry thinks why would cinemagoers dig into their wallets to see movies in theaters? Let’s wait for the digital release, will see it then, what’s busy, they sound. This is definitely an alarming situation.

The lure of getting a hefty amount – if a producer / studio reduces the window – definitely hurts the theater business.


This brings me to another relevant issue: [exorbitant] ticket prices on multiple screens. Does it kill the company? A debatable question, with no solution in sight. In fact, the industry is clearly divided into this. In my individual capacity, I have talked to several key players to make the movie experience affordable for the common man. It’s time to bring cinema-goers back in hordes to * all * movies, not just big-ticket entertainers.

Prices must change for everyone, including actors. There is a big difference between pre- and post-covid times. We are still in the midst of the pandemic and it would be foolhardy to expect that Hindi films will hit 300 INR, 400 INR and 500 INR. [domestic market] in the time of today. The actors’ remuneration must be corrected, otherwise it will be reflected in the film’s balance when it comes out.


BAAHUBALIs supersucces [first and second parts], KGF [first part] and PUSHPA [first part] has urged the South Indian film industry to look for PAN-India audiences. There are several prominent titles ready for release, starting with RRR, RADHE SHYAM, MAJOR, VIKRANT RONA, KGF2, LIGER and many more. Feel my words, this is just the beginning. There will be lots of announcements in the coming months.

A few days ago, I made a valid observation about what gives the Southern film industry an advantage over Hindi films. Let me put it bluntly: “Bollywood is busy focusing on metro-centric films … [Hindi film industry] lost in rural areas far back … Now we are gradually losing in Tier-2, Tier-3 cities … Conversely, dubbed South Indian films are aimed at metros + non-metro … #Baahubali, #KGF, #PushpaHindi won them over … Wait for #RRR. “

Should we fear the influx of South Indian films into the Hindi domain? I look at it this way: There’s a huge talent everywhere [South included] and cinemagoers across India will always embrace film as well as talent with open arms if they can match their [audience] expectations.

Unfortunately, the hindi film industry fails to deliver wholesome entertainers. Aside from a few names here, most filmmakers are targeting the subways – or should I say, Nariman Point to Bandra audiences – to tell stories in their films. We have already lost a significant portion of the business and if we do not smell coffee now, the success relationship for Hindi films will disappear in no time.

Let’s hope things take a turn for the better in 2022. The new year has just begun and we can only remain optimistic, right?

More pages: Vikrant Rona Box Office Collection


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