Question: In a recent press conference producer Vidhu Vinod Chopra said he has tied up with ‘Rentrak’ to monitor the box office collections of PK. Since this is something new for viewers, could you explain the functioning of Rentrak and why it is more accurate? – Gaurav
Answer: Rentrak is a reputed source that tracks box office collections from different countries around the world. They have just entered India and will be starting off by announcing the figures of ‘PK’. While it’s easy to track collections in countries like US, UK, New Zealand, Australia etc, where everything is computerised, a country like India, with thousands of single-screens and fixed rentals where tickets are still sold on printed papers, it would be impossibly difficult to track for Rentrak.
The producers of the film don’t really need an outside company to track their figures, they would get exact collections of their films even otherwise. We think, the tie-up is a win-win situation for both Rentrak and the makers of PK, but wouldn’t do much to improve the overall situation as far as the confusion around box office numbers is concerned. Rentrak will give credibility to the box office figures of PK and they would get huge publicity in India.
But will they really be able to be give out 100% accurate figures, that too on a daily basis? We don’t think so!
Until recently, we had a tie-up with Rentrak for overseas collections. Before subscribing to their service, we had a quick discussion with them about how they track figures. Below is an excerpt from their email
To give a quick overview of the kind of data we provide ,we have 2 sources of data. Flash & SRG.
Flash data is the one collected from Theatres individually on a daily basis. From that Flash data, we create all types of reports, aggregated (Top level. i.e- Ranking by movies) and not aggregated ( Theatre level.i.e- Ranking by theaters)
SRG ( Studio Reported Grosses) is the official data reported by the distributors. This data is collected once a week. It has Weekend, Week and Cumulative data, but you can not break it down by days.
So, to summarize, Flash has Theatre level and Top level, and SRG only has Top level. Top level Flash and SRG can by subscribed by any client.
At this time , we are tracking Box-office revenues from 36 territories. These include 4 in Latin America, 11 in Central America, 9 in Europe and 10 in Asia Pacific, besides North America and Canada. Few more territories are in the pipeline. We are setting up operations in India at this time and should be able to provide Indian data too in the near future.
Assuming that they apply the same strategy for tracking collections in India, Rentrak would collect sample figures from theatres and also official data from distributors / producers. However, the figures are collected once a week, and the Indian market demands figures released on a daily basis.