AskIndicine: Live Now

Q. Don’t producers have to pay tax for the earning from their films? If yes, then how can someone inflate collections upto 40-50 crore?

A. Every figure that’s released online is estimated earnings of the film and the Roshans haven’t even mentioned if the figures that they’ve announced is ‘nett’ or ‘gross’ (including taxes etc). Not everyone can do this though, publicly listed banners like Eros do not inflate numbers, but the numbers released are still not accountable as its just an estimate.

Q. What is the final verdict for Raees and Kaabil? And how much does Raees need to collect to become a super hit or blockbuster?

A. Both have no chance to be super-hits or blockbusters. Best case, both would just about recover costs. The right of Kaabil were sold, so the producers made a profit before the release of the film, the distributors might just about recover costs. Raees will be profitable too due to the film performing very well overseas. The worldwide distributors share will be around 85 crore, about 40 crore more would be recovered from satellite, music etc.

Q. When will advance booking of Jolly LLB 2 start?

A. Has opened in select centres already, like Kohinoor in Jaipur. Begins all over mid-way through the week. You can book your tickets on Wednesday.

Q. Hrithik said we could manage our calendar in better way like Hollywood, where 2 big films don’t release together (despite more screens). Your take on it?

A. Clashes need to be avoided in the future. The industry is losing business, because a film like Kaabil would’ve easily collected upwards of 100 crore (actuals), while Raees would’ve probably gone on to do business in the range of 175 crore net. To add to it, there is increased negativity within the industry, between stalwarts, between good friends. The games that PR’s play, along with the numerous success parties and media interactions to claim victory and to create perception that your film is more successful than the other. All this and more could be avoided with solo releases and the content of the film itself can get more attention.

Q. How much Dangal would have earned if there was no demonetization and if Christmas and New Year did not fall on Sunday?

A. Dangal wasn’t affected by demonetisation, the situation had almost fully recovered and the film was running at a very high level right from the first day. If Christmas / New Year had fallen on weekday, the film would’ve crossed the 400 crore mark.

Q. Why are fans & media so obsessed with BO collections these days, even more so than content, was there same trend in last decade & before?

A. The obsession for numbers was always there, but at a much smaller level in the last decade. It was more restricted to internet forums and debates within the industry, but the advent of social media has taken the obsession to new heights.  It’s understandable too because box office numbers is the ultimate truth in the industry. It’s about people paying their hard earned money to watch a film. It shows both the rise and fall of a star. Egos get shattered, it also exposes the perception created by clever media play. The trend of films also indicates how the audience is liking the film. So even though these are just numbers, there’s a lot to it that makes it exciting for a lot of people.

Q. Why the audience is not coming to watch Raees in big number ? Raees have positive word-of-mouth, but why isn’t it helping the film why?

A. The film has collected nearly 100 crore in the first 6 days inspite of clash, which is excellent. The word-of-mouth is mixed, the family audience haven’t come out in big enough numbers to watch the film. It’s Shah Rukh Khan’s presence that has pulled it to such numbers – even though the expectations were higher after the kind of opening it got.

End of the day, for SRK, it’s the same story as his last few films. Excellent opening, but the film hasn’t found universal acceptance which explains the drop from Monday onwards. Actually, the trend Day 3 onwards wasn’t great. SRK still needs that one excellent universally accepted film. We think it’s going to be the Aanand L Rai directed film. The director’s films connect with Pan-India audience, especially families.

Q. Does Raees still have the potential for the highest grossing film of January or will that record remain with Airlift?

A. Raees will become the highest grosser of January by the end of its 2nd week.

Q. It’s unfortunate what has happened with the box office reporting of Raees and Kaabil…producer and the so called (I wonder why) ‘Trade’ has played foul play in contrasting directions…Although it is laudable that you have started the process for independent tracking, how effective can it be and why don’t the producers / exhibitors or whoever related to his appoint a standalone body for BO reporting whose reporting will be a benchmark for all BO websites?

A. It’s about every producer coming on board to report to the independent source, for example Rentrak. But even then, without verification and re-verification of numbers from multiple sources, there could still be chances of figures getting inflated (or deflated) somewhere down the chain. More so when it comes to business from single-screens. We’ve got to remember here that careers and reputation of some of the top stars in the industry is at stake. Cover-ups can happen now, a 9 / 19 crore total can be pushed over 10 / 20 crore to make it look bigger. When the source is independent, reliable and honest.. the chances of star power getting exposed becomes higher. Since most of the top stars produce films themselves, it’s going to be difficult to get them on board. A quick look at the names who report to Rentrak reveals that they are also the top stars in the industry, they are the ones who can get those big numbers and have nothing to fear.

Q. How will Jolly LLB 2 perform at single screens? Will it appeal to the masses?

A. From the promos it does look like it’s going to hold appeal at smaller centres. That’s what the makers believe too, because Jolly LLB 2 is getting a fairly good single screen release. But holding appeal and actually performing are two different things. The content needs to be there for the film to work, else release at fixed rentals can actually lead to losses.

Q. Why the figures are inflated.. after all producers are not getting what they are showing so whats the benefit?

A. It’s about the star. Hrithik needs 100 plus, SRK needs 150 plus. Both targets will be achieved and exceeded by a long distance.

Q. Do you think that RAEES makers have made a big mistake by inflating the figures as it has dented their credibility and reputation in the trade? Moreover the image of SRK can really be damaged as he is the producer? May be the fans who love all the three KHANS may start disrespecting SRK? I am one of those fans. Your views on this?

A. Not really, because Raees was at reasonable levels throughout the first weekend. After the weekend when it became clear that the Kaabil makers wouldn’t stop, Raees makers started inflating too. Actually, it all began with over confidence when they declared on Sunday that their film would cross the 100 crore mark and organised a grand success party. But the crash on Monday did come, the film fell below the 100 crore mark and that’s when they started panicking and began to inflate. Once you take your film to a certain number, you have to show normal weekday drops. Also, the mainstream media reports producer figures, so they did not want to go below Kaabil from Monday.

But that’s no reason to inflate. They should’ve stuck to actuals and used their PR machinery to expose Kaabil inflation in the media. Instead, they took the wrong route and the collections of both films have become a joke within the industry.

Q. Does the incident which happened on the sets of Padmavati act as a negative publicity for the film and can it decrease its collections.

A. There is nothing like negative publicity. Every kind of publicity helps. It has given the film a lot of free publicity, across the country.

Q. Valentine’s Day is not a holiday. What kind of advantage will it give to a movie?

A. A small boost to business, a little more for love films.. but may not make much of a difference to a film like Jolly LLB 2.

Q. You have strongly spoken against award shows. So, how do we judge performance/movie of the year etc? There are certain actors/makers who put more efforts than others. Audience can’t be unbiased as they will pick who they like.

A. The voting process has to be improved and it has to be made transparent too. People no longer watch award shows to see who wins, they watch it for entertainment. So it’s probably the best time for a Filmfare to improve their system. Get more people from the industry to vote, have a independent body to ensure that the votes aren’t rigged and the suspense over who wins should be there. Right now, when an Amitabh Bachchan arrives 20 minutes before the Best Actor award is about to be announced, it’s almost a certainty that he’s going to win and has been informed about it well in advance.

As for how to judge the best performance or movie, it’s always going to be debatable because everyone has a different opinion. We thought SRK in FAN was the best lead performance of 2016, but Aamir got the award. With all due respect to him, his role did not have enough scope to really perform, like a PK which was arguably the best performance of the decade and a role for which he should have won last year – but didn’t. The effort that goes behind the scenes or preparation prior to shoot, cannot be the criteria to judge a perform. What’s visible on screen has to be judged, not the effort that he put in to gain or lose weight.

Q. You said you’ll be updating the box office collections of all movies till now. Were specifically talking about films like Happy New Year, Krrish 3 and Bang Bang or even films with smallest variation like Baby and Drishyam?

A. Every film and every verdict will be looked into and corrected if needed. The source is going to be old trade magazines and our own database from the last  4 years.

Q. When will SRK start shooting for Aanand L Rai dwarf film?

A. It goes on floors in March. About 6-7 months of shoot and 9-10 months of post-production is what we’ve heard.

Q. No movie has crossed 100 crores in February and March. Can Jolly LLB 2, Badrinath Ki Dulhania and Rangoon break that jinx?

A. Jolly LLB 2 and Badrinath Ki Dulhania have a chance, both look like entertainers. Rangoon it’s borderline impossible, it would be a major surprise if the film get anywhere close to 100. Even at 75 range the makers would be happy, given the response to the trailer and limited appeal that such films have. Dark films do not really have the audience to cross 100.

Q. Indicine, first and foremost hats off to ur team for the last article about inflation of box office figures, u all deserved a ROADIES SALUTE, ur trustworthiness increases. My question is don’t u think our young generation stars should do more movies which tells d story of nation’s heartland, as it will help them increasing their Fan Base slowly, I find metro audience are more abt stories they watch onscreen rather fanatic, like it happened with SRK, then came HRITHIK, then came RANBIR and it continues.

A. Thank you. The right mixture of movies that appeals to the heartland of India, as well as films that give actors credibility with the thinking section of the audience is probably the right way to go about it. Varun Dhawan is making the right choices. He did Badlapur which won over the critics and did well at multiplexes and now he’s doing films like Badrinath Ki Dulhania which is targeted at the core Hindi belt. Arjun Kapoor has a strong line up too. What worked for Shah Rukh or Salman in the 90s were those family films which could be watched by every section of the audience. Unfortunately these days, there is a market for those films, but it isn’t being attempted. Of course, you need actors of their calibre and charisma, the industry doesn’t have that special talent just yet but one of the many young actors could grow into a major superstar of the future.

Q. Your article yesterday was a landmark article. But how it will affect the industry. Can you get opinions of Bollywood bigwigs on this matter?

A. We’ve got a lot of feedback for yesterday’s article. Most positive and supportive. Can’t reveal the names obviously.

Q. What do u think about republic day clash and last year Diwali clash? Combined collection of Kaabil & Raees is ahead of ADHM & Shivaay even not combined only individually Raees is ahead of ADHM and Kaabil is ahead of Shivaay so shall we consider that Diwali festival is no more bigger festival for box office?

A. The only difference is, Raees and Kaabil has much bigger stars. The two films would’ve performed much better had they released during Diwali.

Q. In your LBO prediction have you taken GST into account ?Are you sure that with mixed -to- good WoM Tubelight will cross BB?

A. GST hasn’t been taken into consideration. There is no clarity yet. We’ll wait till it comes into effect (most probably from June 1st)  and then decide how much we need to adjust LBO figures.

Q. What is your view on Jagga Jasoos trailer? Also since it is being said that it is a movie made especially for children, do you think it will be accepted by our audience ?

A. It could work with children, but we’ll have to wait and see how entertaining the film actually is. The trailer has received a fairly decent response, but they released the trailer way too early.

Q. Have Raees and Kaabil underperformed?

A. It’s difficult to say whether they have under performed or not, because they have exceeded the potential of Republic Day weekend by a big distance. The previous highest grosser was Airlift and Agneepath with 120-130 crore. But here, the two films combined will do nearly 220 crore+ which is excellent. More so since both films came right after a massive blockbuster like Dangal.

Q. How Shahid Kapoor get films after doing so many flop movies. He is now a profitable actor or not?

A. He has a poor track record, very poor success ratio. But he has acting talent, which gets him films.

Q. Ever since Golmaal 4 was postponed I have read a lot of articles from various sources claiming that some other film might eventually release alongside Robot 2.0 and the dubbed Hindi version might not be the only film to release in core Hindi belts but so far no film has been announced for a clash on Diwali. Do u think Judwaa 2 should postpone by 3 weeks and release on diwali? David dhawan has an impeccable record when it comes to family entertainers and Varun dhawan also needs a solid release date for his universally appealing film to penetrate in the core Hindi belts. What’s your say on this?

A. Not at all. the release date of Judwaa 2 is excellent. Plenty of holidays and it could be the best non-festive period to release a film this year. No point clashing and taking on a big film like Robot 2 when they can get a solo release during a better period.

That’s it for today, thank you for joining us.

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