AskIndicine: First QnA of 2017 Live Now

The first QnA session of 2017 will be held at 6PM Indian Standard Time today. Post your questions in the comments section below.

Here’s also wishing all our readers a very happy New Year. Thank you for visiting and supporting us for the last 10 years.

Q. What’s the next movie for Hrithik? Is it going to be Karan Johar & Malhotra one releasing in Eid 2018? Thanks

A. It’s a big film, announcement will be made soon. We can only talk after the official announcement.

Q. What could be the BO collection of Raees if the WOM is universally positive? What are the internal reports of the film Raees?

A. From what we’ve seen of Raees, it’s unlikely to hold universal appeal. It should open well at mass centres and due to SRK’s presence it should take a very good opening at city multiplexes too. But the test for a film like ‘Raees’ to gross big will be the family audience, who may or may not come depending on the content of the film.

Q. What are the total collections and verdicts of Shivaay, ADHM, Rock On 2, Tum Bin 2, Force 2, Dear Zindagi, Kahaani 2, Befikre and Wajah Tum Ho ?

A. The officially declared collections of Shivaay is 100 crore, the film is a box office flop. ADHM collected 112.5 crore, HIT. Rock On 2 collected 10 crore, Disaster. Tum Bin 2 finished with 4.5 crore, Flop. Dear Zindagi managed to collect 68.2 crore, Hit. Befikre finished at 60 crore, first flop for Aditya Chopra. Force 2 went the same way as the first film, collected 36 crore, Flop. Wajah Tum Ho collected 10 crore, Average.

Q. What is the expected screen count of both Raees and Kaabil ? In 2017 which film, Raees or The Ring could break Chennai Express record and become the highest grossing movie of SRK’s career?

A. Raees will get more screens, Kaabil will be about 5-10% lower. Screens can get finalised even just before the release of the film, so the final screen count will only be known closer to release. Expected screen count is 2700 for Raees and 2500 for Kaabil. As for an SRK film beating Chennai Express, we think the record of the 2013 film will stay this year.  ‘The Ring’ or ‘Rehnuma’ will have a better chance because it’s getting a good date and a solo release too.

Q. Is Aamir Khan the new No.1 because his films not only open well but become the highest grossers of the year as well as till date then? Why is Salman still the No.1 when Aamir’s box office supremacy is ahead of Salman’s?

A. It’s not just the collections that decides which star is the biggest. Higher ticket prices will obviously result in higher collections. What we look at is the footfalls (number of ticket sold) and also the ability of a star to bring audience to theatres all across the country. Single-screens may not contribute much to the collections of the film – 1 lakh people watching Sultan at a single-screen in Bihar, might just contribute 20 lakhs to the net collections of the film, whereas at a Gurgaon multiplex the same collections could be achieved with just 10,000 people watching the film. This is just an example, the gap isn’t that huge between Aamir and Salman. On sheer crowd pulling ability, it’s Salman who is the number one box office draw. Period.

When a Salman film releases, distributors are assured of a minimum guarantee in return. That’s not to say all of his films have worked. Jai Ho was loss-making and even Kick didn’t recover investment for quite a few distributors because it was sold for very high prices.

Q. Can Dangal cross 400 crore mark?

A. The trend is better and level of business is higher than both Bajrangi Bhaijaan and PK, but what will decide the lifetime total of Dangal is how well it collects after the Christmas – New Year period ends. If business holds around the 13-14 crore mark tomorrow, then Dangal will become the highest grosser of all-time and alsothe first film to cross 350. The drop from Week 1 to Week 2 is expected to be around 40-45%. If it manages to hold at the same level in the 3rd week or even goes down by 50%, it will cross the 400 crore mark. Bigger drops will make it difficult, so it’s still difficult to put a final number to the film.

Q. As Kaabil nd Raees are clashing on 25th Jan ( Wed ) . Don’t you think Rakesh Roshan and SRK should mutually decide and release both movie on Jan 20 (Friday) because they will get 3 weeks which can result the combined collection to be around 260-280 crore?

A. Open weeks does not necessarily mean higher collections. Only good or extraordinary word-of-mouth can help films to take advance of the 2-3 open weeks. Befikre had two open weeks, but business crashed during the weekdays itself. If both or one film is good, it will get 16 days before the release of Jolly LLB 2. Enough time to collect and become a hit.

Q. What do you think of Star Screen awards and its nominations? I feel it was a big blunder on their part to not include Dangal – the best film of 2017. Also it was a pathetic show with winners hardly showing any interest…

A. No one cares who wins or loses, even those in the industry who show as if these awards mean a lot to them, are well aware that it holds no value. It won’t give them more recognition, nor will it get them more film offers.

Most award shows are only about entertainment. The fact that Screen Awards, which was in its 22nd year, decided to organise the event before a biggie like ‘Dangal’ released – just to get the big TRP’s on New Year’s eve, says a lot about the credibility of the awards. The focus and attention wasn’t on who is going to win, but the entire campaign was about promoting the two hosts – Salman and SRK.

Q. What do you think of Dangal’s achievement?

A. Phenomenal. It’s by far the best film of the year and credit should go to Aamir Khan for having the conviction to pull-off a film like this. Most wouldn’t have even approved the script, because the climax did not even belong to the star.

Q. While his co-superstars have managed to improve their script sense (Aamir and Salman) why SRK is always repeating the same mistakes? Since Om Shanti Om, SRK has done always the same mistake (barring My Name Is Khan) all of his films were not up to the mark. Even now he is doing The Ring (directed by Imtiaz Ali, a niche film; because we know Imtiaz can’t anymore make universally appealing films like Jab We Met) and the only film that gives me some hope is the one with Aanand L. Rai. Nowadays only films with social message work (see TWMR, Bajrangi Bhaijaan, PK, Dangal). And as a fan it is really frustrating to see the downfall of my hero-god. I know it is a little weird question but please answer me (here in Europe it’s morning, and I woke up early just for the Askindicine session)

A. Thank you for your interest. It seems to be a case of SRK picking directors who are best capable of giving him that one big grosser or one universally accepted film that he needs. But like you rightly said, it’s universally appealing subjects that are going on to become big grossers at the box office. Salman is making the right script choices, Aamir is beyond brilliant when it comes to ensuring that every aspect of filmmaking falls into place for his films. Even Akshay Kumar has realised this, his choice of films is excellent for 2017. Each film seems to be different from the other and has something new to offer.

Another trend that we’ve seen in recent times is that the audience is rejecting silly films. All of SRK’s last few films Happy New Year, Dilwale and FAN have had silly story lines, due to which the core fan-base came to watch his films, but the neutral audience didn’t.

Films need to look interesting on paper and then the trailer has to generate curiosity. Unless this happens, the neutral audience will wait for reactions before they decide to pay. Unfortunately, the reactions or word-of-mouth post-release of SRK films hasn’t been upto the mark in the last few years.

Q. In an industry where 100+ Hindi films (besides Hollywood films too) are battling for 52 weeks, January and February have only 5 films slated for release till now (Raees, Kaabil, OK Jaanu, Jolly LLB 2, Rangoon). Isn’t that lack of planning in industry? Your take?

A. Not really, because Dangal would still be running strong in the first two weeks of January. Then we have Ok Jaanu, followed by two big films which are expected to run for 2 weeks. Then Akshay’s Jolly LLB 2 which is carrying good buzz now and should manage a opening closer to 15 crore. We’ve got to remember that it’s the exam season, the two months aren’t huge for the industry anyway. We haven’t had too many big grossers in those two months, so the biggest of films don’t target those dates.

Q. What is Hrithik Roshan’s next movie after Kaabil? Any thing before Krrish 4?

A. There is a big film that’ll be announced soon. He will have one release after Kaabil, but it may not release in 2017.

Q. 2016 belongs to which superstar: Aamir Khan or Salman Khan or Akshay kumar? Please give me the detailed explanation.

A. The year belongs to all three. However, Aamir leads by a distance as his one film ‘could’ collect more than all three Akshay Kumar films combined. Salman comes second for 2016. Akshay has taken big strides too and the perception about his has changed for good, the multiplex audience is coming out for his films and given his terrific line-up, 2017 could be his best ever year. He ‘could’ challenge the third position too this year, if his films outperform. Anything can happen at the box office, if one film exceeds expectations and carries excellent word-of-mouth.

Q. Seeing the trailer and if songs also click, can Jolly LLB 2 cross the 100 crore mark?

A. It’s not about songs, the movie should click. The reports are good and the film is carrying very good buzz now.

Q. If I could watch only one of these movies of SRK which one should I watch ? K3G, Veer Zaara, Kal Ho Na Hoo, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai ? Which one would you prefer ?

A. Chak De India would always be our pick. The other films you mentioned, watch all of them to know what SRK was all about. It’s those film that made him the biggest romantic hero of all time.

Q. Your prediction for Dangal was 270 crores. Is it 340 crores plus now ? Kaabil also releasing on 25th from morning shows or from 6 pm ?

A. Our final prediction was Dangal was 315 crore, it was published in this article. We are clarifying this for the final time. IndicineLBO final predictions are made on the Sunday after the release of the film. Read the article. Kaabil is releasing in the morning on 25th.

Q. Who is leading at this very moment? Raees or kaabil? N who’s buzz is increasing more rapidly?

A. Raees is leading and it should take the bigger opening. However, Kaabil’s buzz has increased as the second trailer has been liked.

Q. Does this decade so far belong to Salman or Amir? Don’t say both. Pick only one.

A. Aamir has done just 4 films this decade, three blockbusters or better. One average grosser. Salman Khan has done 10 films, out of those 8 were blockbusters. Salman has nearly 3 times the number of blockbusters, so the decade, so far, belongs to him.

Q. Who is a better director Sanjay Leela Bhansali or Ashutosh Gowarikar. According to their career graph, Ashutosh has directed 8 movies till date out of which 5 are flops or disasters. Though his Lagaan was nominated for Oscars the biggest mistake in it was that the story was of Gujarat but all were speaking bhojpuri language in the film. Even a film like Swades was a remake of a Kannada movie. So we cant give the whole credit to Gowarikar. On the other hand SLB has only 2 flops in his career out of 8 and directed films like Black, Guzarish, Devdas, Bajirao Mastani.

A. Both are acclaimed directors, but it’s Bhansali who has managed to mount films on a bigger scale and achieved more with the budget that he had. Ashutosh, after Jodha Akbar, has failed, Mohenjo Daro simply failed in almost every department, especially the scale and visual effects. But Bhansali has been in terrific form after the failure of Saawariya and Guzaarish (which was very well received by the critics). Currently, there is no comparison, Bhansali is way ahead.

Q. Which is the more important – Domestic box office collection or the overseas box office collection and why? Please answer in detail as i am asking it for the fifth time.

A. There is much to answer in detail here. Domestic business is far more important than overseas. A massive failure in the domestic market, but a huge hit overseas.. is still considered to be a failure. Whereas if a film grosses big in India and fails overseas, it’s still a hit / super-hit / blockbuster. Overseas adds value, but it’s domestic business that decides whether a film is a success or failure.

Too many questions still remaining, but we have to end the QnA for today. We’ll answer a few other questions mid-week. Thank you for joining us.

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