We start AskIndicine Question and Answer session at 6PM today. Since we cannot answer all the questions that come in every week, we will close the comments section once we receive 80-100 questions.
Post your questions below:
Q. Is Sooraj Pancholi next film and Neeraj Pandey’s next film clashing with SRK’s Rehnuma?
A. No, it’s a solo release for the Imtiaz Ali film – which, by the way, doesn’t have a confirmed titled yet. Some small films might release (not the ones you mentioned), but it’s also good as a solo release for the SRK-Anushka starrer.
Q. I want to understand what is expected by a TV channel giving a mega contract to some superstars like some years back Salman Khan and Ajay Devgn were given a mega 400 crore rupees contract. Is it that they are expected to do movies that will rake in the invested money? Please elaborate am still confused on it.
A. It’s basically the satellite rights of a film. On an average, considering the level at which Salman films are performing on television and the repeat-value that his films carry, the satellite rights of his films is probably worth nearly 100 crore. Bajrangi Bhaijaan and Sultan are smash-hits on television, while PRDP got record-breaking ratings for its premiere. Contracts will vary and most of them also have box office clauses – that a film has to collect / cross a certain amount. TV channels recover their investment from advertisements. Commercial family entertainers carry a much higher satellite price tag as compared to adult / dark / thrillers which have little or no satellite value.
Q. To what extent will the debacle of Rangoon affect kangna? This is because it is perceived that she delivers big hits but if we see carefully, after TWMR she gave big flops like katti batti and ILNY. Will producers be now willing to shelling out the exhobirant fee that she demands?
A. She’s been talking a lot in the last one year or so, knowing very well that there’ll be a section of the media that will back her, irrespective of what she says, in the name of feminism. As far as commercial success or the love from the audience is concerned, she has very little to show. Queen worked only at 5-10 major cities, Tanu Weds Manu Returns was a major hit. That’s about it. Rest have been major disaster, some of them didn’t even manage face-saving opening at the box office. Most people do not even know those films released. How many such films do Deepika Padukone or Anushka Sharma have? Even their under-performers have done reasonably well. Deepika has done hugely commercial films as well as critically acclaimed classics like Piku. Someone like a Vidya Balan is way more talented and doesn’t ask for half the fee that Kangana does.
Q. Do you think that Varun Dhawan is best among youngsterss? He is making right choices and doing movies which appeal to wider section of audience. Do you think he can enter top 5 in the next 2 years if he continue doing movies which appeals to the wider section?
A. Varun’s audience-base is growing with each new film. He is one of those few younger generation stars who is catering to the audience in smaller towns, who do not yet have any young hero to look up to. There’s Tiger Shroff, but he is way too massy and is yet to show any variety. Ranveer Singh doesn’t command a following in the core Hindi belt and hasn’t given a big success with Bhansali. Ranbir has been inconsistent, but he is still well above the guys who debuted after 2010. Arjun is another actor who knows what the audience wants and has films like Half Girlfriend and Mubaraka lined up for release. Sidharth is returning to action, but he hasn’t yet established himself. So it’s probably safe to say, after Hrithik and Ranbir (to a certain extent), Varun is the one who has taken big strides in a very short period of time. Make no mistake, Badrinath Ki Dulhania has taken a excellent opening at the box office during a dull period. It will also be the highest ever grosser of March. All this before a big film like Judwaa 2 which has a excellent release period. While comparing a young star like Varun to more established stars is silly, we think he is right up there in the Top 6 when it comes to opening of films. Very dependable and always performs above trade expectations.
Q. According to you the biggest comedy franchise in Bollywood industry? House full or Golmaal series?
A. Golmaal, without doubt. It’s a growing and popular comedy franchise. For a franchise to grow, it has to collect atleast 5% more per year – depending on the gap between two films. For example, Housefull 3 released 4 years after Housefull 2. So the expectations were the film would collect around 20% more i.e around 130-140 crore. It ended up collecting lesser than the previous films. So on current value, even Welcome is a bigger franchise than Housefull. It has wider acceptance, even on television which plays a huge role in recall value. 5% per year is probably the acceptable level, unless the previous film over achieved by a huge margin like Dabangg. For a Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania, it has to probably collect around 95 or more for it to create a perception that the second film has been liked as much as the first.
Q. BKD seemed like a common Masala entertainer with emotional connect. In times where only content driven films are working, is it a refreshing change to see a film like BKD working and people willing to spend their hard earned money into a Masala movie after a long time? (Considering Raees wasn’t a typical Masala movie).
A. Masala films can be risky too. It needs a good director, as well as star power. Without face value or if the audience do not like the lead stars, very few people will come to watch commercial entertainers like Badrinath Ki Dulhania.
Q. What would be the collection of Badrinath Ki Dulhania be if it was released in a favourable month like June or July ? What will be the verdict for the same at 105cr?
A. Exam period has hurt the collections of the film at multiplexes. A post-IPL release period would’ve probably given the film a start of around 14 crore.
Q. What is your last prediction about Logan ? It can be collect 60 Cr in India ?
A. We don’t predict Hollywood films.
Q. Distributors would be having much better idea about the movie’s maximum box-office potential.Why are they are willing to pay high prices to buy them?
A. Fate of films cannot be predicted because release. Maximum potential cannot be estimated. Who would’ve imagined Dangal would do nearly 400? That Tanu Weds Manu Returns would do 150? Or Jungle Book would do 190? When Dilwale clashed with Bajirao Mastani, the entire trade was confident that the SRK starrer would sweep aside Bhansali’s film. It had a massive star cast, blockbuster director, actor-director returning after Chennai Express, hit music, previous clash results between Bhansali and SRK. Everything was majorly in favour, except the end result. These things can happen. Even Kick was sold for a very high price, it barely managed to recover for some. The worst case for Rangoon was thought to be 40, but it did 20. Box office cannot be predicted, good films can fail / under perform, bad films can over form. Plus there are clashes and other factors can come into play at the last moment – like glorious run of previous week’s film.
Q. What you think ‘Naam Shabana’ will be hit flop or super hit by the presence of Akshay Kumar and great director Neeraj Pandey ?
A. It’s not an Akshay Kumar film, the audience knows it. It isn’t directed by Neeraj Pandey either. Word-of-mouth dependent.
Q. I have asked this question a lot of times but haven’t received answered which movie was a bigger success Hum Aapke Hain Kaun or Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge, although both real big grossers but which one was bigger?
A. We have answered this question quite a few times before. Hum Aapke Hain Kaun was a bigger grosser and it was also watched by a larger section of the audience. In fact, old trade magazines, published during that time, have written about HAHK getting two times more footfalls than DDLJ. The reason the collections aren’t double is because DDLJ was a bigger hit at bigger cities where the ticket prices was generally much higher. Both were all-time-blockbusters, but HAHK was a much bigger success in every way.
The freshness of DDLJ has probably lasted a lot longer. It could also be due to the urban media, which plays a huge role in creating perceptions. Because of these two reasons, there’s this general belief that DDLJ and HAHK are equal or the former was bigger in terms of collections.
Q. Do you think Bollywood is losing public interest and respect after 80’s and it continues presently?
A. That’s not true. The audience is still interested in Bollywood. It’s just that we have way more entertainment options than we did in 70s, 80s and even the 90s. Piracy has affected film business too. You can watch a movie on your mobile phone, you could watch it on television.. There are short films, there are a variety of serials and reality shows. In olden days, many more people used to visit the cinema hall. Ticket prices were cheaper, even after adjusting for inflation it wasn’t at today’s insanely high rates.
It’s also true that a large section of the audience haven’t had films that appeal to them. Like it or not, 95% or more of the Hindi audience is least interested in films like Rangoon or Haider or Bombay Velvet or Trapped. So it’s a combination of a lot of factors that has resulted in a decline footfalls. The interest and respect for the Hindi film industry is still there, because people are watching films on television. Even downloading a pirated copy is a sign of interest. It’s just that the industry has to now find ways to get those audience into theatres.
Q. Salman Khan suffered a marginal downfall in 2000s decade with only 3 or 4 hits with the rest being flops or disasters. My question to you is, inspire of having such phase in career how did he still managed to keep his fan following intact because any other actor who had been through such phase have gone to oblivion. How Salman Khan survived it?
A. It wasn’t a marginal downfall, it was almost complete decimation from where he was in the 90s. There were times when the morning shows of some of his films weren’t even getting 5% occupancy. Very few actors have made comebacks from such lows, that too for such a prolonged period of time. Hrithik had a low phase, but his films barring one or two were still getting initials. But the films that Salman did back in those 90s, especially Hum Aapke Hain Kaun.. followed by others like Karan Arjun etc.. meant that he always had a place in the hearts of people. He was always a much-loved actor. Just that he wasn’t doing the kind of films that his audience like to see him in. That changed with Dabangg. The important thing is consistency in choosing universal films too. If Aamir had done three continuous off-beat films like Talaash.. he wouldn’t be where he is today. Same way, Salman has been making a conscious effort to make commercially entertaining films. The audience know, even in the worst case Salman’s presence will end up entertaining them. He has also played it very well – he has stamped his authority on Eid. It has reached such a stage now that it’s become a habit for the audience to watch Salman films during Eid and they have money ready for his Eid films.
Pure stardom can’t give any actor the kind of run that Salman is going through at the moment. There’s a lot of thought and hard work behind-the-scenes too. Salman has been putting as much effort as Aamir in the last few years, just that he doesn’t publicise them – maybe because he doesn’t even have the time, if he has to do 2 films a year, like this year.
Q. Rate Sarkar 3 trailer out of 10.
A. 7 on 10.
Q. Your expectations from Sachin movie.
A. It isn’t a commercial feature film, more of a documentary. It’s not going to open anywhere close to the level at which ‘MS Dhoni: The Untold Story’. We were probably the first site to say, Dhoni would open at more than 16 crore. Sachin, we doubt it would even get half the opening.
Q. Please answer. If Salman can bag another top grosser and biggest hit of the Year, this year, where does that put him in the all time rankings in terms of Bollywood actors in history.
A. He’s already one of the top superstars of all time. Comparisons between him and Amitabh Bachchan or anyone else from a different era should not be made. Even a comparison between him and SRK in terms of all-time standing isn’t right. We can all talk about current standing, but all-time standing is not merely about hits and blockbusters, but also about longevity, love from the audience, filmography etc. Both of them are right up there at the very top.
Q. CBFC has recently banned a movie called “Lipstick Under My Burkha” what’s your view on this? Because everything is available on Internet uncensored. So what’s the point banning a film or deleting important scenes?
A. It isn’t right to comment on ‘Lipstick Under My Burkha’ without watching the film. A lot of people in the industry who haven’t even watched the film are protesting (only on Twitter) for reasons best known to them. Censor Board of Film Certification works under a set of rules. Just because everything is available on the internet, does not necessarily mean everything can be passed. Even Youtube does censoring doesn’t it? If you upload a video that hurts religious sentiments or is found to be offensive, Youtube removes the video if a certain number of viewers ‘flag’ it. That too is equivalent to censoring or banning a film. Also, if you happen to watch a video on the internet and you find it offensive, you can report and close the video immediately. If the censor board passes a film that is extremely offensive or if the trailer was completely misleading, who is to be blamed? Will the money of the person who paid for the ticket be refunded?
There is one other point. If the CBFC rejects a film, producers can always go to the Tribunal. After that there’s the court too. There’s a process in place, not every film can be passed nor is it right to comment on a decision without watching the film. We don’t even know the guidelines that the CBFC works under.
Q. We often hear ‘x’ films Worldwide Rights was sold to someone… Tell us in detail how’s film distribution is done (Domestic & Overseas)
A. Varies from film to film. Only the theatrical rights of Baahubali Hindi was sold to Karan Johar and was distributed by Anil Thadani (AA Films). If the worldwide rights are sold, the owner could then sell just the overseas rights to someone else. Films are also sold on commission basis, wherein the distributor won’t outright buy the film, but distribute it on commissions. Every film is not the same.
Q. Why Bollywood big stars and big directors don’t making superheroes or sci-fi movies?
A. It isn’t the easiest genre to crack, especially in Bollywood where the budgets are limited. Immediately after the trailer, comparisons are made. Even if the film is good for the Indian audience, some of our Hollywood obsessed critics are the first to ridicule the films. We do not have the actors and directors either. Many have tried, but only Hrithik and Rakesh Roshan have been successful so far. Even SRK inspite of massive hype, failed because of a weak director.
That’s it for today, thank you for reading and posting your questions.