Q. What’s the impact of clash between Akshay and Shahrukh business wise. Will it be a healthy clash for both stars?
A. No clash can be healthy, because at the end of the day it’s business and corporates are involved. The stars may not get involved and it won’t be a ADHM vs Shivaay like scenario, but a lot of money will be at stake – especially for a big-budget film like SRK-Imtiaz’s next which has already been sold for a high price. Recovery was pretty much guaranteed with a solo release and a extended long weekend, but now with a clash the risk is higher and there will be uncertainty.
Since ‘Toilet Ek Prem Katha’ is a medium-budget film, recovery will not be difficult. If it gets tax free status in a couple of major states, then recovery becomes even more easier. Purely from a business point of view, it’s a good decision from the makers of ‘Toilet:EPK’. But so many major clashes, isn’t good for the industry. We are cutting into each others business.
Q. What is the Imran Khan’s upcoming movies ? Any idea about him where is he?
A. He hasn’t signed any film. There are reports that he may turn director, but nothing official just yet.
Q. It is true, in 2.0 Akshay Kumar has 12 different looks and Rajnikanth also 5 different looks ?
A. The director of the film has denied those reports. It’s not true.
Q. What is your expectations about Half Girlfriend ?
A. Expectations are high for several reasons; one, apart from ‘Baahubali 2’ there’s no major Hindi film between Badrinath Ki Dulhania and Half Girlfriend. The names associated with Half Girlfriend are big too. Chetan Bhagat and his novels are popular with the youth and it’s the ‘2 States’ brand which helped the film open. Mohit Suri has a following too and the star cast is good. Music album is fantastic, which does help love films. So yes, it’ll be a disappointment if it falls below 70 crore lifetime.
Q. With the additional benefit of GST, can Rehnuma open close to 25 crore and TEPK close to 15 crore making a combined total of 40 cr on day 1?
A. Too early to talk about this without watching the trailer of both films. Also, there’s no clarity on GST yet. We don’t even know which slab entertainment tax will come under. So once that’s clear the whole scenario could change. We could begin reporting numbers in ‘gross’ like other countries do – and not ‘net’. This will make comparison with older films a little difficult because the real-value has to be taken. More on this as soon as the government releases more info.
Q. TEPK might create a lot of buzz due to the clash and the promotion strategies also look good. So can it get tax-free status before release.
A. It’s a content driven film and it wasn’t expected to crazy any real buzz before release. But with the clash against a big film like ‘The Ring’ (working title), it’s certain to get plenty of publicity. Last Independence Day had a similar clash, between a big-budget film like Mohenjo Daro and Rustom which had lesser money riding on it. Mohenjo Daro had a very poor trailer and the music didn’t work either. The untitled SRK film is expected to be different – with good music and colourful promos. The trailer of both films will be important, especially for the SRK-Imtiaz film.
Q. Best Female directors according to you?
A. Farah Khan is by far the most successful. Then there is Zoya Akhtar and Gauri Shinde. Best is debatable, because only Farah Khan films have found universal acceptance. Zoya and Gauri is more high-end multiplex audience and critics.
Q. Any idea which film is targeting Republic Day 2018? Golmaal 4, Padmavati (if postponed), Padman Dutt Biopic or is Hrithik Roshan going to announce a new film on that day? Which film would you @indicine release on that day if you had the power to decide?
A. Of the films that you mentioned, Padmavati is the biggest but it needs a big festival release because the costs are very high. Golmaal Again is big too, with lower costs. January is actually a good month for film business, it would be interesting to see if a film can cross 200 in January. Kaabil and Raees combined crossed 200. We’d pick Golmaal Again. It could be a risk to release Padmavati just a month after Tiger Zinda Hai.
Q. Secret superstar 4aug and then 2 big movies on 11aug… Do you really think, Indian producers are too emotional towards big weekends.. I mean if secret super star finds appreciation and retains 300-400multiplex screen in second weekend…Then it’s going to effect a lot on 11aug release.
A. We think Aamir will push Secret Superstar to a different date. He is one of the best minds in film business and he’ll probably know it’s a small word-of-mouth film. It needs two open weeks to grow and perform at the box office. If it comes a week before the two major films, it may not find too many takers in Week 2 unless it turns out to be an exceptional film. Even assuming it’s an outstanding film, it’ll still lose out on business.
Q. Why do Rajinikanth films fail to do well in North? Baahubali was nothing in North before it’s release, whereas North people despite being aware of Kabali showed up in less numbers compared to the former. Even Robot despite having Aishwarya Rai and getting a solo release on Gandhi Jayanti weekend failed to do well unlike Bahubali that crossed 100 cr despite a film like Bajrangi Bhaijaan releasing in the second week. Both Prabhas and Rana combined together aren’t as popular as Rajini in North. Then why did this happen? Also talk about Robot 2 here.
A. It’s like asking why a Bollywood film featuring a Hindi superstar does not perform as well as Hollywood film in their markets. Rajnikanth’s audience is completely different. The other way to look at it is, how much do Salman-Aamir films collect in Tamilnadu as compared to Rajnikanth films in the state? There’s a big difference. Baahubali was different. Karan Johar lent his name to it, they ensured the film is well-dubbed and promoted it very well too. Exceptional content and the fact that it was a incredible big-screen experience, meant that the film grew on word-of-mouth. Put Prabhas and Rana combined in any other film except Baahubali and their film wouldn’t work in the core Hindi markets either. Robot 2 has Akshay Kumar, a well-established Hindi superstar. It’s a good combination. Rajni will ensure outstanding collections in the South markets, Akshay’s presence will ensure audience come out in the north and other parts of India. Plus there’s Shankar’s who is known to make universal films.
Q. Does SRK need to win the clash on Independence Day to save the Dwarf film from clash?
A. Certainly. It’s a big weekend and the Aanand L Rai film will be made on a very big budget. So it needs a solo release. To get a solo release, his film with Imtiaz Ali needs to work big.
Q. Is Sons of Sardaar still on cards?
A. Unlikely. There’s another big film coming which is based on the Battle of Saragarhi.
Q. Can SRK-Imtiaz next move to Diwale because Diwali can afford two big movies where one is regional movie?
A. May not be the best of ideas. Toilet isn’t a commercial entertainer, while Robot 2.0 is a far bigger film also featuring Akshay Kumar. Plus the Rajnikanth factor will seriously affect film business in Tamilnadu, Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. It’s better to stick to Independence Day. Diwali advantage is there for a couple of days, but Independence Day weekend this year has plenty of holidays.
Q. How dis Telugu films like Khaidi No. 150, Sardaar Gabbar Singh and Katamarayudu manage to gross more than 40/30 cr on Day 1? Even the ticket prices in North states like Mumbai, Delhi higher than those in Andhra and Telangana. Then how they achieve this feat?
A. That’s because the entertainment tax for regional films is very less or they are completely tax free. Plus, actors like Chiranjeevi and Pawan Kaylan are major – Rajnikanth-like superstars – in their home states. So they bring in bigger audience.
Q. How much Naam Shabanaa needs to collect to emerge a semi hit atleast?? Asking a question after a long time :)
A. 35-40 crore for break even.
Q. Why do you call Salman Khan a megastar even though his only non-holiday release Jai Ho opened to only 18 crores?
A. Jai Ho had a massive first weekend at the box office. High ticket sales, cheap ticket prices, 26 crore on Sunday. All this for almost a B-grade looking film, with hardly anything in it except Salman’s presence. Plus, he has 8 blockbusters or better out of his last 10 films. All of them 100 crore grossers. Four consecutive 200 crore plus films. 800 crore plus domestic business over a period of 1 year (Bajrangi Bhaijaan to Sultan). Bumper opening for almost all films. This sort of a run has never been seen before. We aren’t even talking about television or his growing fan base overseas. Megastar is actually an understatement.
Q. Varun Dhawan has not seen any failure yet. 8 successful movies in a row. Is there any other actor has seen anything like Varun in his early stage of his career.
A. We can’t think of any other actor who had a run as successful as this – right from the beginning of a career.
Q. When will a film take better advantage of a holiday, when the holiday falls on Friday, Saturday or Monday? Arrange them.
A. It depends on the content. For a film that finds acceptance, Monday holiday would be good. For average entertainers with big buzz, Friday / Opening day holiday is the best.
Q. Why industry in not learning from the negative impact of Big star’s movie clashes?
A. Now, the problem here is, the entire industry has to unite to avoid such clashes. Because somewhere the industry and its investors are losing money on such clashes. But who is to be blamed here? Kaabil was announced for Republic Day, Raees decided to come on the same date. Now, when the Imtiaz film is announced for Independence Day weekend, Toilet Ek Prem Katha has taken the same date. Now, SRK isn’t really in a position to ask the other banner to avoid the clash just because he announced his film first. Chennai Express had taken Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai’s date. Dilwale took Bajirao Mastani’s date. Son Of Sardaar took Jab Tak Hai Jaan’s date and Ajay was at the receiving end when ADHM took on his ambitious Shivaay. In short, everyone is looking at his own interests, which is fair enough when it comes to business. Unless the industry unites and acts more a family, such clashes will be inevitable because there are very few big dates or holidays and everyone wants them.
Q. Can Judwaa 2 cross 150 crore?? And what will be the ideal date for Varun’s next with Shoojit Sircar a movie which is a heart-breaking love story?
A. Judwaa 2 definitely has a chance to do 150 crore plus if it’s a good entertaining film. If David Dhawan is anywhere close to his 90s best, the film will be unstoppable. Not much is known about the Shoojit Sircar film with Varun Dhawan.
Q. Is there any chance to win the clash by Akshay Kumar?
A. Winning will be difficult, but it doesn’t even need to beat the SRK-Imtiaz film. Nothing can be said with certainty when it comes to any films performance at the box office. Anything can happen, but Toilet is a much smaller film.
Q. Why hasn’t Hollywood made a movie on the Mahabharata?
A. How can we answer this? Back home, Aamir Khan is planning.
Q. Do you think Padmavathi will release in this year itself considering the delays?
A. After our QnA last week where we said the film might get postponed and Dutt biopic might release on that date, the makers have released a clarification that Padmavati will release as previously planned. The schedule is messed up though and it’ll be a battle against time to complete Padmavati and release it in November. More on this soon.
It’s nearly 3 hours since we started the QnA and although we couldn’t answer as many questions as we wanted to today, We’ll have to end the QnA today. Thank you for joining us. The rest of the questions that have already been posted, will be answered soon.