As the bustling sets of the movie business in India came to a deadly standstill owing to the COVID19 pandemic, all efforts to revive the industry especially the Hindi film industry, were in vain. Then came the South and Pan-India films that shook Bollywood with their back-to-back successes, and seemed to resonate with masses across the country. While RRR (Hindi) grossed ₹274 crores, KGF 2 surpassed all with a ₹435 crores collection in Hindi. That was until mid of 2022, when Bollywood had much reason to celebrate.
First with Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Gangubai Kathiawadi starring Alia Bhatt, that earned ₹129.10 crore in India in its theatrical run and emerged as a commercial success. While it won critical acclaim and proved that Bollywood still had a lot to offer, it didn’t really hit it out of the park in comparison to the south blockbusters. But it definitely did keep hope alive for Bollywood’s future.
Next came The Kashmir Files, a gritty drama that generated a lot of buzz on digital platforms and sparked heated conversation. The chatter worked in the film’s favour and the film, made on a humble budget of 15 crores went on to earn 10 times its COP worldwide. A true unexpected film with a lifetime collection of 252 crores in India.
Finally proving to be a savior for the Hindi film industry in 2022 was young superstar Kartik Aaryan, who had audiences running back to theatres with Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2. The horror-comedy headlined by Kartik became the biggest Bollywood opener of the year, with its lifetime collections of 266 crore cementing its position in Bollywood’s 30 highest grossers of all time. The film was a global blockbuster, appealing to audiences across geographical boundaries and trending on an OTT platform.
Commenting on the report of Bollywood’s blockbusters this far in 2022, says trade analyst Taran Adarsh, “2022 has been a breakthrough year for Bollywood with three clear superhits; The Kashmir Files, Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2 and Gangubai Kathiawadi. The year has been remarkable especially for Kartik Aaryan and Alia Bhatt for their tremendous performances in their respective films. Kartik has emerged as the people’s superstar and his film BB2 still holds the record of the highest Bollywood opener this year. Many other actors too had their films this year but the year has been difficult for majority of them.”
Adds industry expert Joginder Tuteja, “Half the year has gone by and we can see Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2 stays on to be a huge commercial Bollywood blockbuster. The guy who made it possible was Kartik. We’ve seen how he’s been consistent all this time but the movie proved he can bring in the big bucks as well, which is truly commendable. Films came after BB 2 but none have reached anywhere close to the business it has done.”
With language barriers fading away, there is a plethora of content for the audience to choose from as their choices have evolved. And at a time like this, Hindi origin films like Gangubai Kathiawadi, The Kashmir Files and Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2 doing exceptionally well is commendable and speaks volumes of the credit due to all factors that made them so loved.
ACTORS WHO DELIVERED BIGGEST OPENERS OF 2022
Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2 – 14.11 crores (Kartik Aaryan)
Bachchhan Paandey – 13.25 crores (Akshay Kumar)
Samrat Prithviraj – 10.70 crores (Akshay Kumar)
Gangubai Kathiawadi – 10.50 crores (Alia Bhatt)
Shamshera – 10.25 crores (Ranbir Kapoor)