Growth of multiplexes has proved to be the main catalyst in the expanding movie revenues, say experts. According to Komal Nahta, Editor, Film Information, “Today, there are at least one or two multiplexes opening in big and small cities every fortnight. This phenomenon, coupled with rising rates of movie tickets, especially on weekends, has made the movie business increasingly lucrative.”
He further said that in the early nineties, when the movie ‘Bombay’ reached Rs 1 crore in collections, it was called a landmark feat. “But last year, ‘Dhoom 3’ made close to Rs 300 crore,” he said, adding, “Cost of production has undoubtedly increased, but so have the profits.”
On a similar vein, Ramesh Taurani, Producer, Tips Industries said, “Growing number of multiplexes, good film content, increased spends on film marketing and digitisation are the factors to be considered.” At the same time, he added, “But even Rs 100 crore is not enough. We have ROI to consider.”
Speaking on the ROI factor, Mukesh Bhatt, Producer, Vishesh Films said, “Big budget movies have such high production costs and such less ROI that it doesn’t make sense businesswise. It makes more sense to do a good story organically. It is more expensive to buy a star than to make one. ‘Aashiqui 2’ was made on a paltry budget and yet managed to cross Rs 100 crore.”
Bhatt lamented, “We don’t have enough screens. We have 30,000 screens as compared to China’s 45,000. Indians consume movies like they would their daily meals.”
Expressing his anguish against film piracy, Bhatt said, “The agony is that I feel like I’m working so hard for the pirates. Eighty per cent of my profits are lost to piracy. We need a wake-up call and implement stringent anti-piracy laws.”
Meanwhile, on fudging of numbers to show higher profitability, Nahta said, “Some stars do it to show their box-office pull over their rivals. They declare Rs 10 crore or Rs 20 crore more than the actual collections. There is less transparency. As far as promotions for a movie are concerned, the more you yell, the better you sell. Producers often think only in terms of collections that a movie will make in its opening weeks.” Bhatt agreed by saying that a film is like a parachute, “if it doesn’t open, you’re dead”.
The speakers were part of a panel discussion on ‘Breaking the Rs 300-crore mark, business booms in Indian cinema’ at IMC’s Fusion 2014, held in Mumbai on February 15, 2014. The theme of the conference was ‘Tomorrow’s trends for today’s youth’ and covered entertainment, sports and media. The panel discussion was moderated by Kabir Bedi and Bharathi Pradhan.