India’s 2023 Box Office Hits Record $1.47B, but Admissions Lag Pre-Pandemic Levels

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India’s box office revenue for 2023 marked a record-breaking $1.47 billion, showing a 15% increase from the previous year, as reported by Mumbai-based Ormax Media. However, the growth in revenue is partially attributed to higher ticket prices, with admissions still lagging behind 2019 levels.

India witnessed a substantial increase in box office revenue, reaching an all-time high of $1.47 billion in 2023, reflecting a 15% surge compared to the previous year, according to a report by Mumbai-based Ormax Media. Despite this achievement, the rise in revenue is attributed, in part, to an increase in ticket prices, as admissions have yet to recover to the levels observed in 2019.

In contrast, the pre-pandemic year of 2019 saw India’s total box office revenue at $1.31 billion (Rs109.5 billion), now the second-highest on record. However, the number of admissions during that year stood at 1.03 billion, significantly higher than the 943 million recorded in 2023. Meanwhile, the average ticket price rose to $1.6 (Rs130) in 2023, marking a 9% increase from 2022 and a substantial 22% rise from 2019.

The market rebounded in the second half of 2023 with several major hits contributing to the recovery. Shah Rukh Khan’s “Jawan” secured the top spot at $88.28 million, while “Animal” starring Ranbir Kapoor claimed the second-highest grossing film of 2023 with $77.57 million. Other notable releases, including “Gadar 2,” “Salaar: Part 1 – Ceasefire,” and “Pathaan,” starring Shah Rukh Khan, also played crucial roles in boosting the box office.

Despite Hollywood’s lackluster performance, with a combined box office of $136.95 million (Rs11.39 billion), representing a 7% decline from 2022, Indian films, particularly in Hindi, regained their leading position in 2023. Hindi films accounted for a 44% market share, securing $646.9 million (Rs53.8 billion). Telugu and Tamil films followed with 19% and 16% market shares, respectively, while Hollywood claimed a 9% share. Kannada cinema, due to a lack of major releases, held a 3% market share, trailing behind Malayalam with 5%.

Ormax Media’s executive summary noted a resurgence in Punjabi cinema, experiencing a 60% growth in box office revenue over 2022. “Carry On Jatta 3,” a Punjabi comedy, emerged as the highest-grossing Punjabi film of all time, raking in $6.5 million (Rs540 million), with a total of six Punjabi films surpassing the Rs100 million ($1.2 million) benchmark.

Top 15 Films of 2023 in India:

  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)

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