Theatrical Business Verdict System De-mystified.

1. Its a Exhibition based model :

Exhibition based model means that it only cares for how much the movie has made at the Boxoffice theatrically. It doesn’t take parameters like budget,expectations,hype,promotions etc into account.

2. Multiplex share vs Single Screen share : 

Approximate All India Multiplex ticket rate is 125 rs and Single Screen ticket price is around 60 rs. Due to this disparity and also the fact the Multiplex owners probably spend a lot more to exhibit a single show of a movie compared to single screen owners leads to this point.(ie they might not actually earn good profits unless a movie performs upto certain standards for them).

Multiplex Ticket Price = 125 rs (Gross)

% Ent Tax = 15-18%

Nett Price = ~ 100 rs

Average share realization from Plexes = 42-45% leads to around 42-45 rs per ticket bought.

Analogous calculation for a Single Screen would be,

Single Screen Ticket Price = 60 rs (Gross)

% Ent Tax = 40%

Nett Price = ~ 36 rs

Average share realization from Single Screens = 60-65% leads to around 22-23 rs per ticket bought.

From the above its clear that a Plex ticket has a value which is 2 times that of a Single Screen ticket(approx).

For this reason, a Murder 2 doing 2.5 lakhs share per print is more impressive than Zindagi na milegi dobara or Cocktail doing 2.5+ laksh per prints (number of prints is different topic discussed below).

Ofcourse, it may not be possible to get very clear breakdown for each movie’s plex and single screen share but usually its not hard to get a general idea of the business.

3. Market Penetration :

More prints mean that more people are running the movie in their theaters and that the movie is earning money for lots more people concerned. Thus this becomes another important factor to take into account.

Thus a Ra.One doing 2 Lakhs share per print from 3100 prints is lots more impressive than Dhobi Ghat doing 1.4 lakhs per print from 500 odd prints. (inspite of increased ticket prices or 3D costs…).

4. Not full proof but fits a certain perception based system in some ways :

Just like any other method based, this method might not be full proof but fits a certain narrative more often than not. For example if we go just by budget,hype,expectations Ghajini may not get as many points as say  perhaps Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi would. But in the theatrical model Ghajini is ahead which matches the popular perception of the said movies.

On the other hand though movies like My Name is Khan and Ra.One get decent to good points if we just look at theatrical performance without other parameters.

5. Standard Definition of a Blockbuster :

Going by the above factors, a de-facto Blockbuster would be one which

  • Has a pretty wide release pan India > 2000-2500 or more prints.
  • Has a high share per print from Plexes.
  • Has very good share from Single Screens also

If there is any one of the above factors missing, then the movie has to really outperform in the other parameters to make up.

Examples of Winners
Multiplex Winners 
Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara , 1500 Prints , 2.6 Lakhs per print
Cocktail, 1400 Prints, 2.6 Lakhs per print
 Kahaani, 1100 Prints, 2.5 Lakhs per Print
Vicky Donor, 750 prints, 2.5 Lakhs per print
Don 2, 2750 Prints, 2.0 Lakhs per print
Single Screen Winners
Murder 2, 1000 prints, 2.5 Lakhs per print
Jannat 2, 1575 Prints, 1.5 Lakhs per print
Haunted 3D, 900 Prints, 1.4 Lakhs per print
Singham, 1875 Prints, 2.6 Lakhs per print
All India Winners
Bodyguard, 2700 Prints, 2.9 Lakhs per print
Rowdy Rathore, 2700 Prints 2.7 Lakhs per print
Agneepath, 2700 Prints, 2.4 Lakhs per print
The Dirty Picture, 1775 Prints, 2.2 Lakhs per print
  1. hithere 8 years ago

    “Thus a Ra.One doing 2 Lakhs share per print from 3100 prints is lots more impressive than Dhobi Ghat doing 2 lakhs per print from 350 odd prints. (inspite of increased ticket prices or 3D costs…).”
    10 runs in 10 balls in 200 score match and win…50 runs in 50 balls in 350 score match and lose 🙂

    • sputnik 8 years ago

      If DG was released on 3100 prints it will not make 62 Cr Distributor share period.

      So I don’t think the analogy is right because the batsman that can score 7 runs is just not capable of scoring 62 runs.

      Anyways I always think the final gross/nett is what matters. This is the money the audience paid. So a Ghajini is a bigger hit than Rab Ne – plain and simple.

      Yes there are too many variables – whether the movie did well at multiplexes or high priced single screens or more people watched in balcony compared to front benchers but bottom line – the money audiences paid.

      Yes this is unfair to smaller budget movies or movies with no stars but no one is stopping anyone from releasing in more prints or more cinemas.

      Just because some Kirana store is making lot of profits it won’t be listed in Fortune 500 companies.



      Question. Even with the same number of prints or lesser number of prints a movie can have more shows or shows in bigger size theaters right?

      • hithere 8 years ago

        Then DB budget needs to be proportional (that is why different bechmark one match with 200 and other with 350).

        The point is win or lose..not the rate? There is nothing impressive about a fifty on losing side than scoring 10 run in winning effort (not suggesting DB was liked :)).

        • sputnik 8 years ago

          I don’t think it is the budget that makes people watch more or less. It is the entertainment factor or lack of it.

          DB lacked the entertainment factor for the audiences.

          Swades had a way more budget than Dhobi Ghat but it still did not do well because of the lack of entertainment factor.

    • Baba Ji 8 years ago

      I agree with your analysis hithere. 10 runs in 10 balls for a low target is a good effort.50 runs in 50 balls is over-consumption with below avg results if its a high scoring game.

  2. Baba Ji 8 years ago

    good post doga. I mostly believe in the ROI model but then films like BKB will get the clean chit and ghajini like big grosser would not look as successful.There are too many paramters in BO analysis and verdicts can be twisted depending upon what parameter one chooses 😉

  3. Doga 8 years ago

    Yes Baba and Thanks…

    Hithere, Actually i made a mistake on DG prints, its actually close to 500 prints, will fix it.

  4. sputnik 8 years ago


    Yes TZP had entertainment factor – tear jerking entertainment and appealed to the young people who think that parents/teachers are bad for forcing them to school or making them study. Something that makes the young people rant against.

    PST was entertaining too and it also had the patriotism/corruption angle – Something that makes the people rant against.

    So why do you think DG did only 14 Cr? It had Aamir who is known/famous for making even the non-entertaining movies (TZP according to you) work. Remember DG was Aamir’s next release after 3 Idiots as an actor. His production Peepli Live with no stars also did close to 30 Cr and why was that?

    • Baba Ji 8 years ago

      swades also had potential to make people rant about grads going to US and serving had patriotic ,social,poverty angles to explore and make ppl rant about it .It could not then its the films failure.

      DG,pl are like swades – half baked efforts.

      • Bored 8 years ago

        Baba – Half-baked efforts are those which are not entertaining even though the makers wanted the movie to entertain the audience at some level; although not in the level of a slapstick comedy or an OTT action movie.

        Commercial movies which have a message needs to be properly packaged with enough entertainment to make it work at box office. Aamir has a knack at doing this – be it RDB, TZP or 3I.

        But DG was not such an attempt – here he made no attempt to make it entertaining at all. He knew his audience base here was very limited. So he didnt sell it to distributors at a high price nor pre-sale satellite rights to make a fortune. He knew what he was making and used his commercial intelligence to ensure no one lost money of DB in the entire chain.

        DB was a commendable effort.

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