There comes a time when a strong stand has to be taken against the inflation of box office collections – which has crossed all possible limits with the release of Raees and Kaabil. The theatres are empty but the collections, both films combined, are at record levels for weekdays.
Before we begin, credit should go to Red Chillies and Excel for keeping the collections at reasonable levels throughout the weekend. They probably had no choice but to inflate Monday onwards because the other film would’ve otherwise overtaken them and that would mean negative reports in the mainstream media – which follows official figures. But that’s no excuse for inflation to levels of insanity when the film isn’t even collecting half of what they have quoted.
There’s been plenty of action behind-the-scenes too. A leaked audio clip had a PR instructing her people that the film has to cross a particular number on Monday. The producer of one of the two films had a spat with a leading trade analyst because he did not quote the official figures on his television show. Success has been celebrated multiple times through parties, numerous media interactions claiming victory – even though the final box office numbers of both films wouldn’t do justice to the stardom of both stars.
What’s been most embarrassing for the industry and the trade is the sheer desperation from both sides to spread the word through the media that the two films are bigger successes than they actually are.
From our site’s point of view, exposing the lies and revealing the truth has quite a few negative effects too. We could lose out on visitors, our traffic could drop, because the craze for box office numbers has reached such a stage where people only want to believe the source that quotes the higher number.
But with the producer numbers crossing all limits of sanity, our credibility, which we’ve built over a period of more than 10 years, is at stake. It’s disappointing because we haven’t been able to do what we love to do. We love analysing the trends, predicting the lifetime collections, giving our readers comparisons between different films – unfortunately, inflation of collections has killed our own interest and has also stopped us from posting our daily box office reports.
Some other random thoughts:
- The Indian box office is immensely difficult to track, especially the single screens / fixed rentals. On a daily basis, almost impossible. Most figures that are put out are estimates based on collections from multiplexes, links to live theatre samples, circuit figures etc.
- But inflation even happens at the exhibitor (theatre) level and more so at circuit level – depending on which star or film they are siding with. Very few are neutral and even fewer are honest when it comes to these big films. For example, we receive Rajasthan circuit figures from two different people, and both are quoting different figures for each day.
- The ‘trade source’ which most people quote, has been at it too over the first few days. Not including collections from the dubbed versions is wrong and completely writing off one film on the first day of release itself is unethical, especially in a clash when the reports aren’t as bad a Mohenjo Daro. Also, 5% inflation of one film and 5% deflation (reduction) of the other, can make a massive difference to the final outcome. Which is why we think, if Rakesh Roshan had kept the figures to actual levels, his film would’ve still been at a fairly good total going in to the second weekend.
- Also, who takes into account the ticket sold in the first weekend through brand promoters? Without taking any name, a huge amount of tickets were sold in bulk at discounted prices to corporates and brand promoters in the first weekend, which helped boost the collections. As per information from industry insiders, this itself is about 10% of the first extended weekend collections.
And finally, we are putting our own estimates for the two films. Believing it or not is your choice, but we’ve put in immense amount of work in the last few days gathering data from multiple sources – verifying and reverifying – before putting it out. We are going to stick to these numbers from now onwards and the lifetime total won’t be the official figures released by the producers.
A lot of questions are now going to come up with regards to the data already existing on our website. Like collections of a Krrish 3 or a Happy New Year, but be rest assured that the next couple of months will be spent in changing the data on the website. Both the collections and verdicts will be changed. Stay tuned for more.
Our estimate, day-wise, for both films below. Do note, we haven’t yet verified collections for 2nd Friday, which has been marked with * symbol.
|India Total||126.7 crore||87.5 crore|