Box office: Single Screen vs Multiplexes

A good article by Box office India on how to determine the success of films in India. Some lesser watched films make more money, but few films despite being watched by many more people, fail to recover its investment and is written off as box office failures.

Do read our star analysis on the same below after the article.

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The success of a movie is judged by the amount of business it does and in most of the world the collections tell which film has been watched by more people and this determines the success of the film. But in India sadly the actual collections do not tell which film has been watched by more people unless you thoroughly segregate the collections. In India its the admissions rather than collections which tell a more accurate story as collection range is so different between single screens and multiplexes.

An example of this is the first day collections of My Name Is Khan in a big single screen in Uttar Pradesh and a major multiplex in Uttar Pradesh.

My Name Is Khan collected 1,18,961 nett at Heer in Kanpur and the admissions here were 4,195. At Fun in Agra the same film collected 1,32,032 nett and the admissions here were 1,543. This shows that the single screen theatre had nearly three times the attendance but still a lower collection. What must be remembered here is that Fun in Agra has low ticket costs for a multiplex and Heer in Kanpur is one of the better single screens in India. Comparing with an upmarket multiplex then we have PVR Bangalore which had a collection of 5,15,084 nett for My Name Is Khan with admissions of 2,149.

If we compare PVR Bangalore with Heer in Kanpur its more than four times the collection but just half the admissions. This is the biggest indicator that collections do not show how many people are actually watching a particular film in India. It is likely that 5 crore nett business from single screens would give the same amount of admissions as 20 crore nett business from multiplexes.

This is also why that despite much lower collections a film like Tashan is watched by more people than outright multiplex grossers like Taare Zameen Par and Jaane Tu… Ya Jaane Na and a Veer is watched by more people than Super Hit films like Love Aaj Kal or Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani. It is also likely that a Wanted with less nett collections than a Love Aaj Kal is actually been watched by twice the number of people at the theatres.

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Stars and their films

  • Aamir Khan – One of the reasons why Aamir has been so successful in the last few years is because both Ghajini and 3 Idiots have worked big time almost everywhere – metro’s, smaller cities, towns and villages. Not to mention Overseas. This Khan is truly miles ahead at the moment.
  • Shahrukh Khan – Is the undisputed King overseas and probably on par with Aamir at plexes in India. But his films don’t really do so well at single screens. Can’t blame SRK really, as none of his last few films have held much appeal towards single screen audience. Ra 1 should do well though.
  • Salman Khan – Struggles at multiplexes, but his action films – Wanted and Veer – are easily amongst the top-viewed films in India.
  • Akshay Kumar – Currently enjoys a strong fan-following all over India, especially in the North. Akki films do well overseas too.
  • Hrithik Roshan – Hrithik’s Dhoom 2 did excellent business both in India and overseas. Dhoom 2 and Krrish did well at single screens too. Could he be the future Aamir..?

What’s more important, viewership / number of tickets sold or boxoffice numbers? What’s the mystery behind Salman Khan’s poor run at multiplexes? Tell us, below in the comments section.

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29 Comments

  • SRK, Aamir and Hrithik are the Kings :D If they do action films it will work in single screens and multiplex.. both..

    I think reason why people dont go to watch Salman in multiplex is because of his flops. 1 hit in 15 films is not a great record to be honest.

    Personally the last time i watched in single screen was about 4 years back. Dhoom 2 :D

    Indicine i think you should ask people here when they last watched on single screen




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  • suniel i completely disagree with you. reason is simple srk oso was a masala entertainer but was above avg at single screens. so i doubt that even if srk do a action flick it will work well.

    hrithick cant be called aamir reason is simple dhoom 2 and krsihh do fabulous business overall and good business at single screens too but it cant be called excellent because ghajini and 3idiots do excellent business on single screens.

    salman is at the time the most struggling actor at the multiplexes its a situation like whatever film he do no body clicks at multiplex.

    but after VEER its almost crystal clear that he is the undisputed king of single screens. reason is the most simple one nearly 75% of collection of veer and wanted comes from single screens and even after getting the most negative reviews of the decade the film opening was biggest in the history of cinema at single screens which can be easily calculated will come about 5-5.3cr as out of 7.01cr nearly 70-75% comes from single screens leaving the single screen biggies like wanted and ghajini way behind.

    akshaye kumar is a good actor but its a rough patch for him now almost all the films get good opening but mainly due to multiplexes he has losen some control on single screens audeince




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  • Box Office: MNIK debacle: Down to 7% bookings in Calcutta multiplexes 2nd Friday; Tabu follows Vidya Balan with Toh Baat Pakki
    Friday, February 19, 2010

    Calcutta was being billed as one of the metros where the multiplexes are said to be still doing well for My Name is Khan. Unfortunately the reality is quite different at ground level. While the opening sat/sun were good in multiplexes in Calcutta, the film has been a freefall there also through the course of the week 1.

    Regardless of assorted publicity releases predicting a 70-80% 2nd weekend after the weekday crash, 2nd weekend Friday bookings stand at a dismal 5% right now at the Fame Hiland Park multiplex according to latest reports (verifiable via ph: 033 40105555, or a direct visit at the multiplex). Once again this is the multiplex in Calcutta not a single screen. This can pick up a bit over the weekend but not by much. Situation is similar in the multiplex at Southcity mall and said to be only slightly better at the Inox theaters and RDB at Salt Lake. On the other hand, in Durg’s Tarun cinema one would be lucky to find 5 people in the stalls for the afternoon or even evening shows. The 600 capacity single screen is essentially screening My Name is Khan to empty halls and near zero percent occupancies. They may might as well be shutting it down and saving on the air conditioning and electricty costs at this point.

    Nationwide the pattern is not a whole lot different though there may be fluctuation here and there. Things are a bit better in Mumbai but not nearly enough. Fact of the matter is though huge number of screenings are being held again for the Shahrukh Khan starrer, the collections are very underwhelming and occupancies very low. In large number of these theaters, flops like Jhoom Barabar Jhoom and Mere Baap Pahle Aap have recorded better 2nd fridays than the Shahrukh Khan starrer opened its weekend 2 at. And they were not 100 crore movies.

    Though early independent estimates based on figures and reports coming in for week 1 are conflicting indicating a week 1 net between 35-45 crores, the wide range due to bipolarity in collections, the film’s worldwide collection from 9 countries in its opening weekend according to its distributor Fox International was $14.5 million (67 crores). If that were alone to be taken at face value, that is a gross figure worldwide. Typically a distributor share is only about 30-35% of gross in India and around 40-50% overseas. Given the 100 crore acquisition cost for Fox and the additional cost of marketing, procuring prints and theaters and releasing the film in these countries, the film needs to do around 250 crores gross ($55 million) reveneus for distributors to hope to come out of the red. But given the way the collections are dropping, overseas won’t be sufficient, and the film could finish out with 55-60 crore net in the end in India just weeks after 3 Idiots netted almost 200 crores net in India alone, and after perhaps the biggest media frenzy and India’s government resources mobilization for the sake of a movie in the history of Indian cinema ever. No film that has been billed at such a high intensity, has seen occupancies and turnouts drop down so low so quickly.

    The film is not a Dulha Mil Gaya but in the end, My Name Is Khan has been rejected across the vast preponderance of India and is a major commercial loser; arguably Shahrukh Khan’s biggest flop. In immediate box office terms the comparision points to last year’s flop Qurbaan but in historical box office and symbolic terms it may be comparable to Anil Kapoor’s Roop Ki Rani Choron Ka Raja, the box office debacle of 1993, which essentially ended his claim as a box office superstar after an excellent 1980s and early/mid 90s.

    Meanwhile, the only success this year so far has been a female led Ishkiya starring Vidya Balan. To see if she can be matched by another star-actress, will be part of the curiosity this weekend, as Tabu, last seen in the moderate hit Cheeni Kum, returns to the screens with Toh Baat Pakki. The opening Friday however has not been good in 5% range, but the caveat is Ishqiya too had poor opening till it picked up by word of mouth and emerged a reasonable success.

    Next after that, Amitabh Bachchan’ Teen Patti and Farhan Akhtar-Deepika Padukone will release on the 26th. Amitabh Bachchan is the biggest star ever, but at almost 70, there’s a 40-50 year age gap between the average cinegoer and Bachchan. And his movies are once again being released poorly timed one after the other with just 4-5 week gaps each. Teen Patti will have an uphill climb but the film will probably outperform Rann which was limited mostly by its topic and grim visuals.

    Nonetheless, after the controversies, the year’s first big hit may very well end up being Athithi Tum Kab Jaoge starring Ajay Devgan and Paresh Rawal, whose promos have released to a good response and the film is likely going to get a big opening in the single screens and possibly even the multipelxes. Last Diwali, it will be recalled, Ajay Devgan’s All the Best released opposite biggies like Blue and Salman Khan starrer Mr. aur Mrs. Khanna and emerged the diwali winner.




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  • in which world suniel you are living.

    even if aamir does a full out action flick it will be very very difficult to touch the day one figure of VEER at single screens which is close to 5.3cr

    cant you read 5cr nett from single screens mean 20cr nett from multiplex. though ghajini is the biggest single screen hit in history but the first day nett collection of ghajini was close to 4cr from single screens as ghajini opened to fabulous response at multiplexes. infact the single screen collection of ghajini was even less than 4cr . so you cant say that if aamir do a action flick it will do big business than salman movie at single screen. and dont say that srk and hrithick can do hige business at single screeens. lets take a challenge hrtihicks kites have good amount of action and salman dabanng is again an action flick just wait and see the collection of salman movie from single screens will be more than twice of hrk kites. yes without any doubt salman movie will be a flop on multiplexes and kites will take huge opening on plex but sustaining depends on WOM




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  • BASIC REVIEW – “Click” is a melange of intended terror, unintended humour
    Mumbai: If you can accept Shreyas Talpade as a womanizing glamorous photographer who clicks with the ladies, so to speak, and Sneha Ullal, then the underlining theme of love-on-the-prowl in afterlife is chilling in spurts.

    Director Sangeeth Sivan, who had earlier carved a comic slant for himself with “Kyaa Kool Hain Hum”, displays a penchant for projecting a mood of ominous foreboding into the finely lit frames.

    The camera (T Ramji) is impeccably mood-oriented. The idyllic Goa outdoors and the neat spacious artistically designed interiors are used intelligently to create a sense of horrific disorder under the commodious elegant surfaces.

    Sandeep Chowta`s reined-in background score is another asset to the mood of underlying foreboding, though the songs, done as annoying set pieces with autopilot choreography, are like molar surgery in the middle of a trying day.

    The sound design mercifully precludes startling noises and creaking doors. Like Ram Gopal Varma`s “Bhoot”, “Click” focuses on finding the centre of the terror in ordinary circumstances.

    If only portions of the plot was not so hard to digest. Moving on an age-old premise for horror cinema where the protagonist`s past trespasses catch up with him in chilling infinity, “Click” creates a melange of intended terror and unintended humour.

    Talpade (somewhat miscast) is the not-so-fashionable fashion photographer whose camera begins to capture spirits.

    The feeling of something-out-there is well-developed. But the gruesome pre-denouement gang rape and murder are not just out of place but done with unpardonable half-heartedness.

    Some of the hero`s trysts with the spook, such as the sequence where he climbs down a fire escape with the spirit in hot pursuit, are spine-chilling. The dying moments where Avi`s past guilt literally rides on his shoulder and apparently for the rest of his life, are a terrifying representation of guilt, though the rest of the film is too flighty to carry the existential burden.

    While Shreyas is effective in the traumatized moments, his two co-stars are listless. Blessedly this shiver giver seems original.

    And we can`t fault the film for cracking the horror genre with a basic amount of finesse.

    Rating : 2 star




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  • Salman Khan – Struggles at multiplexes, but his action films – Wanted and Veer – are easily amongst the top-viewed films in India.

    indicine team for your this point 10 on 10 no one can ever beat salman khan single screen records….whether its of previous decade or this decade ….

    he is true veer yodhaa of essence of bollywood single screen cinema …where full entertainer audience come to watch …woh bole toh ” paisaa wasoool sirf single screen mein dhamaal masti citi bajaakein hotaa hai ”

    sallu bhai and single screen cinema rocks – the true essence of india and bollywood gr888




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  • there is no doubt zahirul that aamir is miles ahead of salman srk and any other actor in terms of collections but one more truth is that in that same manner salman is the ace of single screens nomatter what he does(action) his film take a record opening if anyone can beat salman VEER opening record at single screens it will be salman next action flick dabanng arbaaz has confirmed that the film contains many raw action scenes not like those of RACE OR KITES.




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  • zahirul my comments are not just in desperation as indicine can verifiy it too.

    ghajini first day collection was 9cr and nearly 60-70% comes from multiplexes it can be easily searched on net . that ghajini got a 100% collection at most of the multiplexes in the first weekend so even after that if ghajini rakes 9cr means a small amount must have come from single screens which is obvious due to the huge difference in the price of tickets but zahirul salman veer and wanted do most of the business from single screens. wanted was watched by two times more people than love aaj kal and LAK neetts 65cr so zahirul you can say that aamir is the only hero whose film collects more than 100cr at box office but the no of people watching aamir movies and salman movies will be almost same atleast for first day in case of veer because yes the film was not upto the mark




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  • What happened to London Dreams and Main Aur Mrs Khanna? Action films of any star will work like Veer and Wanted.. For example Dhoom 2 and Ghajini :D




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  • thats what i am saying suniel that both ghajini and dhoom 2 are action films but no one get the kind of opening that salman VEER got at single screens man i have wriiten 100times that salman veer opening at single screens was a record even BOI give some kanpur single screen figures and salman VEER was more than ghajini at all the single screens . and suniel dont talk about dhoom2 whose 80% revenues come from multiplexes just read wat indicine has written well not excellent.

    salman VEER falls because of poor reviews and poor WOM but even in that case the opening was highest in the history of cinema at single screens




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  • @nitesh u r absolutely right…bt wtevr facts u show…suniel wont consider it..coz he does nt wants to…bt things r crystal clear whether we accept it or nt ….nd about multiplex business just wait for partner 2 or mr.india…things r definitely going to change..i think salman khan is really becoming choosy about his movies…we hope movies like mamk wont come again…




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  • Heres how i see it

    Aamir Khan- King of India, his films are made for everyone in India, single screen and multiples alike. He caters for everyone: old, young, rich, poor, north indian, south indian. And has truly cracked the formula that only 2 men: Big B and Dilip Kumar, have done before. Apart from 3 Idiots and Lagaan, his films usually dont get big receptions overseas. Ghajini,Fanaa and the rest where all flops there.

    Shahrukh Khan- King of Overseas definitely, an appearance on Joanthon Ross is evidene of this, the dude has fans in places as obscure as Germany and Poland, where Indian films rarely get releases. Poland has never had an Indian film release. Ra 1, from what i have heard about it looks like it could be his first all round winner, but who knows?
    His films are always mutiplex winners, and he is defnitely on par with Aamir in them, but Aamirs films have a repeat value and cater to everyone, hence they do much better.
    Single screen sucess has eluded him, My Name is Khan had intial sucess in them, but this was due to the hype and not the content, one the hype subsided, single screen collections also dropped sharply. There is a stark contrast between the SRK and Aamir, SRK looks at the people he is working with and only works with those he is comfortable with (go to his twitter account for verification on this), hence he repeatedly works with certain directors. Aamir on the other hand, looks at film and the merits of its content. On the box office results alone, looking at the film rather than its director has got to be deemed the better route.

    Salman Khan- Is king of single screens currently, has a large fan following in India. Multiplex success has eluded him, only a few films like Partner have done well there.

    Akshay Kumar- A former king of India , but sadly poor content of his films recently has put him in a rough patch, wait for the promos of Housefull. Sajid Khans Hey Babyy was good and hopefully he wont dissappoint this time either.

    Hritik Roshan- IMO, the man who can take that crown Of King of India from Aamir, he like Aamir seems to pick films on merit alone, no films for the past 2 years is evidence of this. I would also say that he is second to SRK overseas. Is the man to look out for in the coming year (apart from Akshay in Housefull and SRK and Ra1). His new films Kites does not look like the sort of film that will cater to everyone, seems to much like a hollywood film to me. Guzaarish should be immense.

    IMO, box office takings and not the amount of people who see the film should be used to judge a films sucess, after all all box office analysts report “money made”, NOT “tickets sold”. Its how it has worked since ages ago.




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  • Dude Sami… I LOVEE your comments… your one of the more unbiased commentors here…

    But i dont totally agree with you said.

    1. Aamir is not king of India, he is the king of Bollywood. Add overseas and india and compare, his films make more money. Period. Maybe his films werent making much overseas in the past, but after 3 idiots they should.

    2. SRK on Joanthon Ross is because of Fox International. 98% of his audience is Indian, maybe non resisdent but indian.

    3. I refuse to accept that Salman is king of single screens. If Hrithik, Aamir or SRK make a hardcore action movie, they will make more money from single screens but will not count for much as their films make much more from multiplexes. Because Salman films are poor at multiplexes the single screens are getting all the attention. Ghajini and D2 if released today would have pawned Veer or Wanted by a distance.

    4. Akshays case is very tragic. And even the failures of his third class comedies isnt stopping him from signing more such films. I dont see him anywhere in the Top 5 in 2 or 3 years.

    5. You add all these 4 above up in a mixer and you get Hrithik Roshan :D Aamir’s quality, SRKs popularity, Salmans body and Akshays personality. He has got it ALL. What he lacks is PR skills and two according to few comic timing. I thought he was fabulous in Lakshya so given a good comic role he should do very well.

    What say :D :D




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  • @ Suniel

    You do know that Jonathon Ross invites people onto his shows? He isnt dicated to by any film studio, thats why he has a ridiculous £6.7 million salary, if it was fox international, then where was Anil Kapoor for Slumdog or danny boyle? As for overseas, sorry, but Aamir doesnt rule there, SRK has pretty much every film of his that has been either superhit or blockbuster overseas, even paheli was a flop in India but a success in overseas, usually India performance dictates how the film does overseas, not with SRK. Aamir is definitely the king of bollywood, when I said he is king of india that is what i meant (bollywood=INDIAN film industry). At the end of the day, Indian films are made for India, so Aamir is definitely king as his films have broken all records IN India.

    But SRK has the thrown overseas, datuk from malaysia, wax tatue in UK AND USA, Jonathon ross appearance, sorry but SRK is definintely the undisputed king overseas. Just because Aamir had a big hit in 3 idiots overseas, does not mean the rest will be hits, he had lagaan which was a hit overseas but his next, dil chata hai, flopped. SRK has delivered hit after hit after hit overseas, so for me he is King there, as does Indicine believe so. You might also like to know that many of his fans overseas are NOT Indian, check his facebook profile as well as berlinale premier of his film MNIK (easily found on youtube) to see that many of his fans arent Indian, majority in Germany are in fact the large turkish population there, while some are even caucasian.

    Salmans 2 films have broken all records for single screens, Wanted was huge as was Veer. Im not his biggest fan either but you cannot deny what is in front of you. SRKs last action film ,Don, did not light up the single screens, although this was due to the fact that his performance was not taken to as good as Big B in Don. Hritiks Dhoom 2 was nowhere near the success of Veer/Wanted in single screen. Aamirs Ghajini also. Salmans fan base is big in India, more than anything due to his humanitarian work, he may a bit of an idiot as far was the way he conducts himself in the media, but he has a heart of gold. Does more for charity then anyone else.

    Akshay Kumar is part of a select five (Aamir, Shahrukh, Salman and Hritik make up the rest) to which a few flops here and there dont matter, there power is so immense that even after a line of flops they can manufacture a Blockbuster. Akshay will come back with Housefull, which is guarenteed a huge opening, but again it all depends on good content which his films in the past have lacked. Akshay seems to think that ridiculous humour and glitz n glamour can get him big success, his only attempt at a serious film, Tasveer, was to put it subtely, one of the worst films ive ever seen. Somehow he needs to do what he is good at, comedy/action and make it appeal to everyone.

    Hritik is the dark horse, he could overun Aamir-SRK-Salman in there Khan struggles and Akshay as he looks to rekindle his career, by the end of this year. Kites and Guzaarish arent comic roles, Kites is a “Hollywood action hero” role, while Guzaarish has him playing a disabled man who wants to be killed. Alhtough it would be fun to see him in a comedy.




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  • @ Sami well said.

    I as a Salman fan appreciate the other 4. i feel no matter wat i or others say you will not change your opinion on Salman.

    Two things you said i really found funny. Dhoom 2 was a multi-starrer with a big banner. Still VEER and WANTED was bigger in single screens. That really tells me something.

    Also, you said;
    Aamir’s quality, SRKs popularity, Salmans body and Akshays personality. He has got it ALL. (i like Hrithik, thought he was excellent in JA). Am sorry but that comment is way off the mark. Hrithik has his own style, persona.

    Anywayz ive always focused on Salman and his films. Yes VEER could have been better. But his upcoming projects look very promosing and he is really experimenting. I just hope he refrains from films like MAMK, HELLO etc. In my opinon he has tarnished his career with stupid and pointless special appearncesif, helping out friends and family. No other ‘BIG’ actor has done that consistently. To be honest as long as he makes films like LD no matter how they do at da box office i am happy.

    btw @ Sami wen you said;
    ‘he may a bit of an idiot as far was the way he conducts himself in the media’
    i agree to some extent. However, the allegations which have been put agianst him (whether rightly or wrongly) no other actor could have possibly survived. Believe me he has a ‘LOYAL’ fan following.




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  • man this kind of persons(suniel) just dont accept any reality.

    suniel i am a sallu fan but i never say that VEER breaks the lifetime record of ghajini at single screen.
    what i am saying is that the opening salman VEER has taken thats 7.01cr and all the trade experts has accepted that nearly 75%collection comes from single screens now everyone here has the knowledge of basic maths here and therefore the collection from single screen will be in the range of 5-5.3cr and thats the highest ever in the history of single screens. for your information wanted business from single screens was twice of dhoom 2 which was released in 2007 or 2006 . and ghajini man everyone in this segment knows that the first day of ghajini was 9cr and we alll know what kind of opening aamir ghajini takes at multiplex anyone can search the net and they are saying 100%collection at multiplex and single screens but definetly collection will be higher from single screens . so man out of that 9cr even if you consider 5cr for multiplex which is highly unlikely by considering the opening at multiplex still the collection from single screens will be 4cr but in reality it will be even lower than 4cr so suniel i dont think that there is any star biiger than salman at single screens yes the only one who can compete with him at single screens is the true ace of bollywood aamir khan and undoubtedly he is the king of the bollywood now




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  • suniel ghajini released at the end of 2008 and dhoom 2 was released in 2007 so you cant say that they will be much bigger consider this the collection of wanted was more than twice of dhoom2




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