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Box office: Here's how Bollywood fared in first half of 2015

After witnessing a massive slump in the first quarter of 2015, the Bollywood box office has been salvaged by mid-year, thanks to a string of hits and few flops...

The first half of 2015 is drawing to a close and if the box office business over these six months is being labelled as average.

Tanu Weds Manu Returns starring Kangana Ranaut and  R Madhavan had a dream run at the BO, grossing close to Rs 150-crore at the domestic box office
Tanu Weds Manu Returns starring Kangana Ranaut and  R Madhavan had a dream run at the BO, grossing close to Rs 150-crore at the domestic box office

A short supply of star-studded releases proved to be a boon of sorts for the industry’s young guns as well as a handful of filmmakers who explored offbeat subjects with varying degrees of success.

Deepika Padukone was seen in and as Piku, which became a hit courtesy the word-of-mouth publicity. The  close-to-life content and presence of veterans like Amitabh Bachchan and Irrfan in lead roles wooed the crowds
Deepika Padukone was seen in and as Piku, which became a hit courtesy the word-of-mouth publicity. The
close-to-life content and presence of veterans like Amitabh Bachchan and Irrfan in lead roles wooed the crowds

The year started on a dull note with a host of flops flooding the box office. However, the situation improved gradually. Akshay Kumar-starrer Baby was the first film of the year which made good money at the box office and was declared the first hit of 2015 and then came offbeat movies like Badlapur, Dum Laga Ke Haisha and NH10, which met with audience and critical appreciation.

Anushka Sharma, who produced and starred in  NH10, earned applause from critics as well as the audience for making a gritty film that recovered its modest budget of R13 crore in its very first weekend
Anushka Sharma, who produced and starred in NH10, earned applause from critics as well as the audience for making a gritty film that recovered its modest budget of Rs 13 crore in its very first weekend

Trade expert Taran Adarsh says, “The first few months of this year were not good for the industry, but the scene changed May onwards. Business picked up and films like Tanu Weds Manu Returns, Piku, Baby and Gabbar Is Back did remarkably well at the box office. Now ABCD 2 has taken the biggest opening of the year so far. It’s not that the earlier films didn’t do well; there were small films like Dum Laga Ke Haisha which performed well at the box office. So overall, it has been a good mid-year for the industry.”

Two of Akshay Kumar’s films — Baby and Gabbar Is Back — did brisk business at the box office; the latter had a nearly R40-crore opening
Two of Akshay Kumar’s films — Baby and Gabbar Is Back — did brisk business at the box office; the latter had a nearly Rs 40-crore opening

The industry’s big names, however, failed to set off fireworks at the box office. Ranbir Kapoor and Anushka Sharma-starrer Bombay Velvet proved to be the biggest debacle — of the decade, like some would say — as it was made on a humongous budget of over Rs 130 crore and could not recover even one-fifth of it (Rs 25 crore approximately). Many young and veteran actors like Arjun Kapoor (Tevar), Emraan Hashmi (Mr X) and Amitabh Bachchan (Shamitabh) failed to weave their magic on the audience.

Varun Dhawan and Yami Gautam in Badlapur, which was critically applauded and also received a thumbs up from cinegoers
Varun Dhawan and Yami Gautam in Badlapur, which was critically applauded and also received a thumbs up from cinegoers

On the other hand, actresses ruled the box office. Deepika Padukone (Piku), Kangana Ranaut (Tanu Weds Manu Returns) and Anushka Sharma (NH10) delivered big time and raised the bar for themselves.

Ranbir Kapoor in Bombay Velvet, which could not recover even one-fifth of its R130-crore budget
Ranbir Kapoor in Bombay Velvet, which could not recover even one-fifth of its Rs 130-crore budget

“The industry was struggling during the beginning of the year with just two or three out of 30-odd films working at the box office. But the last two months have provided a much needed push to business,” adds a trade source.

For most production houses, the mid-year returns have been more or less decent, except Fox Star Studios which incurred losses for Bombay Velvet. “So far, 2015 has been a great year for us. It’s been a year of concept driven cinema,” says Amrita Pandey, vice president and head of Marketing and Distribution, Studios, Disney India.

The performers
Rs 149.09crore
Tanu Weds Manu Returns

Rs 95.50crore
Baby

Rs 86crore
Gabbar Is Back

Rs 79crore
Piku

Rs 76crore
Dil Dhadakne Do

Rs 51.40crore
Badlapur

The winners
>> Deepika Padukone
>> Anushka Sharma
>> Kangana Ranaut
>> Varun Dhawan
>> Akshay Kumar

Comparision
Rs 921.18cr
earnings of 28 major films in first half of 2015

Rs 1149.36cr
earnings of 42 major films in first half of 2014

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