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How Hollywood Stole The Show From Bollywood In The First Half Of 2023

Barbie, Oppenheimer and Mission Impossible: Dead Reckoning-Part One together resulted in one of the biggest non-holiday weekends in India post-pandemic. 

Aanchal Sharma

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Cillian Murphy in and as Oppenheimer
Cillian Murphy in and as Oppenheimer (Image: Twitter)

BOLLYWOOD is not having the best of days at the domestic box office. In recent years, the market of Hollywood and regional cinemas has seen an exponential rise in the Hindi-speaking belt. 

Top Bollywood biggies including Prabhas, Salman Khan, Akshay Kumar, Ranbir Kapoor and Kartik Aaryan each having a release in the first half of 2023, Hindi films failed to create any magic at the box office. 

With the exception of Shah Rukh Khan’s Pathaan, which created havoc at the box office and went on to collect over Rs 500 crore in India, rest of the films failed to bring in big numbers. Even Prabhas’ Adipurush, which was touted to be one of the biggest films to be ever made in India, bombed at the domestic box office within the first 3 days owing to the negative word of mouth. 

While Bollywood films continued to struggle yet another year at the box office, it was the Hollywood craze that took over the Indian audiences. The recent releases including Tom Cruise’s Mission Impossible: Dead Reckoning – Part One, Margot Robbie’s Barbie and Cillian Murphy’s Oppenheimer created more buzz than Ranbir Kapoor’s Tu Jhoothi Main Makaar and Salman Khan’s Eid release Kisi Ka Bhai Kisi Ki Jaan. 

Kartik Aaryan’s Satya Prem Ki Katha, which released on June 29, 2023, has so far earned Rs 80 crore in India, whereas Tom Cruise’s action phenomenon released about two weeks later and is inching closer to the Rs 100 crore mark. 

Last weekend, the Barbie and Oppenheimer films took over not just the box office, but social media platforms as well. The craze was massive in India as well, with even Dangal fame Nitesh Tiwari struggling to attract the  audiences to watch his movie Bawaal, which was available for free streaming on OTT and featured Varun Dhawan and Janhvi Kapoor. 

While the audiences gave Bawaal a cold shoulder, the crowd went ga-ga over the Barbienheimer phenomenon. Fans flocked to theaters in big numbers to watch Christopher Nolan’s latest masterpiece, Oppenheimer. Result? The film collected roughly around Rs 50 crore in its opening weekend. 

Oppenheimer is expected to surpass the lifetime collections of Nolan’s The Dark Knight at the Indian box office. The film collected Rs 56 crore upon its release in 2008. 

As for Greta Gerwig’s Barbie, the film was overshadowed by Tom Cruise and Cillian Murphy movies, but managed to put up a decent total. The film has so far collected over Rs 18 crore in India, and is expected to reach around Rs 40 crore in its lifetime. 

Overall, the three Hollywood releases managed to collect over Rs 78 crore at the Indian box office over the last weekend. The collections resulted in one of the biggest non-holiday weekends in India post-pandemic. 

Without power-packed regional films including RRR and KGF, the Indian box office was overshadowed by Hollywood films. Out of the top 10 films of the first half, 4 were regional films (Varisu, Thunivu, Waltair Veerayya and Ponniyin Selvan II), 1 Hollywood (Fast X), 1 Pan-India (Adipurush). The 4 Bollywood films that managed to rank in the top 10 films of the year were Pathaan, The Kerala Story, Tu Jhoothi Main Makaar and Kisi Ka Bhai Kisi Ki Jaan. 

With the Khans ready to make a bang with Jawan, Tiger 3 and Dunki in the pipeline for a theatrical release in the second half of 2023, the Indian box office eyes for a big boost by Bollywood. 

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