It is a given that hits and flops are not always necessarily about quality. The parameters of a hit have also changed. If a film costs Rs. 10 to the distributor (which includes his job of publicity and advertising), he needs to recover Rs. 20 to break even, Rs. 30 to have a hit, and Rs. 40 upwards to get a super-hit or blockbuster.
Today, the era when only theatrical business brought in money is passé. We have music rights and television rights (which became big from the 1990s), overseas and satellite rights (which followed) and now, streaming rights. In many cases, a producer is also the distributor, which changes the math. In several cases, therefore, recovery is also possible ‘on the table’, so to speak, where a filmmaker or distributor can make a profit, even if, theoretically, a film does not have any audience at all.
There are also variables: A film can be a hit all over, or only in selected territories. A movie can do well in India but flop overseas, or vice-versa. Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna is a classical case of a film that was a super-hit internationally but failed within the country. Still others perform variably within one zone: they can be flops in multiplexes but do well in single-screens—signs of a film that is totally for the masses. Others, especially in the last three years, do well only in home viewing (TV, web) but sink on the big screen. And there were always films that flopped initially but did roaring business on TV (Zameen / 2003) or in reruns (Jhuk Gaya Aasmaan / 1968). Reruns are obsolete now.
And so, the hit and flop business, though still primarily based on return on investment and theatrical income, was thus dependent on the ever-vital word-of-mouth. The parameters for judging the fate of OTT releases are still unspecified, so we will only look at nett Indian collections (moneys from movie halls minus entertainment tax that is paid to the government). For pan-Indian South releases, we will look at the business of only Hindi versions. And please remember that in a best-case scenario, the overseas income does not normally add more than 25 percent to this figure.
Here, then, is the business done by major releases in 2022.
Major Hindi hits
Brahmastra: Part One—Shiva Rs. 257.44 crore / Hit
The Kashmir Files Rs. 252.90 cr. / Blockbuster—as the production budget was a mere Rs. 15 cr.
Drishyam 2 Rs. 230.70 cr. and counting / Super-Hit
Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2 Rs. 12.90 cr. / Hit
Theatrical performance not profitable but overall business was 100 cr.-plus for
Gangubai Kathiawadi Rs 129.10 cr.
Uunchai is still running in theatres and is overall in profit from other income streams thanks to a controlled budget.
Rocketry, too, is overall in profit from other income streams thanks to a controlled budget.
The flops and disasters:
An Action Hero Rs. 10.89 / Disaster
Attack Part 1 Rs. 16.13 cr. / Disaster
Bachchan Paandey Rs. 49.98 / Disaster
Bhediya Rs. 64.64 and counting / Flop
Cirkus Rs. 30.25 and counting / Disaster
Heropanti 2 Rs. 24.45 / Disaster
Jayeshbhai Jordaar Rs. 15.59 / Disaster
Jersey Rs. 19.68 cr. / Disaster
Jug Jugg Jeeyo Rs. 85.03 / Flop
Laal Singh Chaddha Rs. 59 / Disaster—Its production budget was Rs. 180 crore!
Raksha Bandhan Rs. 44.39 / Disaster
Ram Setu Rs. 71.87 / Flop
Runway 34 Rs. 32.9 / Disaster—It did well on streaming.
Samrat Prithviraj Rs. 68.05 / Disaster
Shamshera Rs. 42.48 / Disaster
Thank God Rs. 34.89 / Disaster
Vikram Vedha Rs. 78.66 / Flop
Pan-Indian South-made movies:
KGF 2 Rs. 434.62 cr. (Highest grosser in 2022) / Super-Hit
RRR Rs. 274.31 cr. (Second-highest grosser in 2022) / Super-Hit
Kantara Rs. 79.25 cr. / Hit
The other South films’ Hindi version fates were as follows:
Kartikheya 2 Rs. 31.05 cr. / Success
PS-1 Rs. 25.12 cr. / Critically appreciated
Liger Rs. 20.05 cr. / Disaster in Hindi
Radhe Shyam Rs. 19.30 cr. / Disaster in Hindi
Major Rs. 12.71 cr. / Critically appreciated
Vikrant Rona Rs.12.49 cr. / Disaster
Sita Ramam Rs. 8.19 cr. / Critically appreciated
Vikram—Hit-List Rs. 6.64 cr. / Critically appreciated
RAW (Hindi version of Beast) / Very low figures not announced— Disaster
The Stars’ Scoreboard(Hits and Successes in CAPITALS, OTT Releases in Italics & Cameos marked with *):
Aamir Khan — Laal Singh Chaddha
Ajay Devgn — DRISHYAM 2, RRR*, GANGUBAI KATHIAWADI*, Thank God, Runway 34, Rudra—The Edge of Darkness (web series)
Akshay Kumar—Bachchhan Paandey, Ram Setu, Raksha Bandhan, Samrat Prithviraj, Cuttputlli
Abhishek Bachchan—Dasvi, Breathe—Into the Shadows (web series)
Amitabh Bachchan—BRAHMASTRA, UUNCHAI, Jhund, Goodbye
Arjun Kapoor—Ek Villain Returns
Ayushmann Khurrana—Anek, An Action Hero
Hrithik Roshan—Vikram Vedha
John Abraham—Attack Part 1, Ek Villain Returns
Kartik Aaryan—BHOOL BHULAIYAA 2, Freddy
Ranbir Kapoor—BRAHMASTRA, Shamshera, Govinda Naam Mera*, Sharmaji Namkeen*
Ranveer Singh—Jayeshbhai Jordaar, Cirkus
Shah Rukh Khan—BRAHMASTRA*, ROCKETRY*, Laal Singh Chaddha*
Sidharth Malhotra—Thank God
Varun Dhawan—Jug Jugg Jeeyo, Bhediya
Alia Bhatt—GANGUBAI KATHIAWADI, BRAHMASTRA, RRR*, Darlings
Bhumi Pednekar—Govinda Naam Mera, Raksha Bandhan, Badhaai Do
Deepika Padukone—Cirkus, Gehraiyaan
Kareena Kapoor Khan—Laal Singh Chaddha
Katrina Kaif—Phone Booth
Kiara Advani—BHOOL BHULAIYAA 2, Govinda Naam Mera, Jug Jugg Jeeyo
Kriti Sanon—Bachchhan Paandey, Bhediya, Heropanti 2*
Taapsee Pannu—Shabhash Mithu, Dobaara, Looop Lapeta, Blurr, Tadka
Yammi Gautam—Dasvi, A Thursday