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India Box Office Hits Record $1.47B In 2023 But Admissions Remain Below Pre-Pandemic Levels

EXCLUSIVE: India’s box office revenue reached a record $1.47B (Rs122.3B) in 2023, a 15% increase over the previous year, according to a report from Mumbai-based Ormax Media. But growth was partly due to rising ticket prices as admissions have still not recovered to the same level as 2019.

In comparison, India had total box office of $1.31B (Rs109.5B) in the pre-pandemic year of 2019, now the second highest year on record, but admissions in that year stood at 1.03 billion, compared to 943 million in 2023. Meanwhile, average ticket prices increased to $1.6 (Rs130) in 2023, an increase of 9% compared to 2022 and a whopping 22% increase over 2019.

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A string of big hits in the second half of the year helped the market recover after a lacklustre first half of 2023, with Jawan starring Shah Rukh Khan topping the year-end chart with $88.28M. Khan also starred in Pathaan, one of the few brights spots in the first half of 2023, which came in third overall with $76.49M, suggesting that big stars are still driving the box office in India.

Most of the other big hitters were released in the second half of the year. Animal, starring Ranbir Kapoor, was the second-highest grossing film of 2023 with $77.57M, while Gadar 2 starring Sunny Deol ($74.45M), and Salaar: Part 1 – Ceasefire with Prabhas ($61.58M), filled out the top five (see chart below).

Hollywood had an underwhelming year in India in 2023, according to Ormax figures, with combined box office of $136.95M (Rs11.39B), a 7% decline on the $147.9M (Rs12.3B) taken in 2022.

Oppenheimer was the highest grossing US studio film last year, taking $19M(Rs1.6B), followed by Fast X with $16.2M (Rs13.5B) and Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One with $16M (Rs1.3M). Barbie ranked at number six among Hollywood films, with $6.6M (Rs550M), behind Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3 and John Wick: Chapter 4.

Meanwhile, Hindi-language films recovered their market leading position last year, following a weak 2022 when Telugu and Kannada-language films such as RRR and KGF Chapter 2 ruled the box office. Hindi films took a combined $646.9M (Rs53.8B) for a 44% market share in 2023, followed by Telugu with 19%, Tamil with 16% and Hollywood with 9%. With a lack of big releases, Kannada cinema only had a 3% market share, behind Malayalam with 5%.

“While most language industries except Hindi struggled to hold on to their 2022 performance (Tamil and Telugu showed growth of 14% and 6% respectively), Punjabi cinema had a resurgence in 2023, with 60% growth in box office over 2022,” Ormax said in its executive summary.

Punjabi comedy Carry On Jatta 3 raked in $6.5M (Rs540M) to become the highest-grossing Punjabi film of all time, while a total of six Punjabi films crossed the Rs100m ($1.2M) benchmark, compared to only two in 2022.

INDIA TOP 15 FILMS 2023:

  1. Jawan (Hindi) $88.28M (Rs7.34B)

  2. Animal (Hindi) $77.57M (Rs6.45B)

  3. Pathaan (Hindi) $76.49M (Rs6.36B)

  4. Gadar 2 (Hindi) $74.45M (Rs6.19B)

  5. Salaar: Part 1 – Ceasefire (Telugu) $61.58M (Rs5.12B)

  6. Jailer (Tamil) $49.07M (Rs4.08B)

  7. Leo (Tamil) $48.83M (Rs4.06B)

  8. Adipurush (Telugu) $39.09M (Rs3.25B)

  9. Tiger 3 (Hindi) $38.37M (Rs3.19B)

  10. The Kerala Story (Hindi) $31.87M (Rs2.65B)

  11. Dunki (Hindi) $30.31M (Rs2.52B)

  12. Ponniyin Selvan – PS2 (Tamil) $25.62M (Rs2.13B)

  13. Varisu (Tamil) $25.26M (Rs2.1B)

  14. Waltair Veerayya (Telugu) $21.77M (Rs1.81B)

  15. Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani (Hindi) $21.29M (Rs1.77B)

Source: Ormax Media
Lifetime gross has been estimated for films still running in theatres
Cumulative BO of each film in all languages in which it was released

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