Why the success of Avengers Endgame is a wake-up call for Indian film industry

There was expectation that Dharma Production’s new big-ticket release Student of the Year 2 will slow down the strong run of Avengers: Endgame at the Indian box office. More so because Student of the Year 2 played in over 3,000 screens, cutting into the network of Endgame. 

The Marvel release had anyways seen a limited release in India at 2,845 screens, much lower than the over 3,500 screens that big-budget Bollywood movies are used to. 

But that was not the case.

While Avengers: Endgame during its fourth weekend managed as much as Rs 6.5 crore running on limited screens, the multi-starrer Student of the Year 2 added similar numbers at Rs 6.6 crore, but in its second weekend. This is a significant drop from its opening weekend number of Rs 38.8 crore.

The superhero flick’s overall India total has reached Rs 365.50 crore and it is still raking in the moolah on 3D and Imax screens.

Avengers: Endgame success is a wake-up call for every home-grown production for better business at the box office, especially when it comes down to cutting down screen count and running behind wider releases.

Limited release

Films with big budgets are usually released in the range of 3,000 and 4,000 screens while trade experts say Hindi films make majority of their money from top 500 screens.

But is a limited release a viable option for Indian films? Ask Siddharth Anand Kumar, VP Films and Television Saregama India and Producer at Yoodlee Films, and he says “wide release doesn’t guarantee footfalls and high revenues. A release of a film should be geared towards who the target audiences are . It’s judicious to have a controlled release which will ensure higher occupancy. At the end of the day, if your content is good, demand will be there — whether you release in 3,000 screens or 300.”

The franchise formula

While franchises are aplenty in Indian cinema — Baahubali series, Munnabhai series, Dhoom series , Krrish, comedy franchises of Housefull and Golmaal, a cinematic universe is something to be looked at, according to Kumar.

“What would be interesting is to develop a shared universe centred around different heroes or characters who inhabit and appear in each other’s films. Something that Rohit Shetty is attempting with his cop universe.”

Director Rohit Shetty is working towards creating a cop universe with his films Singham, Simmba and yet-to-release Sooryavanshi. Not only did two cops from the franchise come together in the Ranveer Singh-starrer but it also saw the introduction of the third cop in the universe. Both Singham’s Ajay Devgn and Sooryavanshi’s Akshay Kumar made a cameo in Simmba. Movie-goers have commonly seen this in Marvel films.

Non-holiday success

While there have been many success stories of non-holiday releases, yet holiday periods are the most sought-after for Bollywood offerings. From Baahubali 2: The Conclusion to Avengers: Endgame, more and more films are proving that holidays don’t guarantee a hit.

“If I go by the revenue numbers of two of the highest grossers in Indian cinema, then a holiday weekend release is not important at all. It really boils down to the content. Inferior content will not get you any footfall, no matter if you have a series of holidays lined up with your release,” Kumar told Moneycontrol. 

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Images are for reference only.Images gathered automatic from google.All rights on the images and the contents are with their original owners.

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