The 3 Khans are at a place right now where every film of theirs will open bigger than the last one, and the 100 cr figure is a foregone conclusion no matter how bad the film turns out to be (unless it is an ultra-offbeat one like Dhobi Ghat). In case of 5-day weekends like Ra.One, Bodyguard and Ek Tha Tiger, the 100 cr number is a joke. Here are some of the reasons why –
– A 5-day weekend means the film will release on a national holiday and then the weekend will follow. So in a way a film gets two weekends back to back and then the first weekday starts.
– Since these are festival releases starring the biggest stars of the country, they become ‘event films’ that more than 80% of the cinema going audience is interested in watching. Since the market in India is open to 350+ cr today for a big film, the potential of these films is huge.
– Festival releases get the benefit of not only holidays but also more spending capacity of the audience in the form of Diwali/Eid bonuses.
The points above are to illustrate why even an outrightly rejected film like Ra.One managed to earn Rs. 115 odd crore. This is a time when a big film is sure to earn big, irrespective of whether it has been liked or not. In these days of extreme marketing hype and a clear line between big and small films, even the most disliked films like Ra.One & Tees Maar Khan will earn more and get more audience than extremely liked films like Kahaani and Vicky Donor. However, one just needs to look at their trending and it becomes clear which film was truly liked by the audience and which one was rejected despite earning more.
This is why it is very important to look at the trending of a film to understand whether a film has been genuinely liked by the audience who spent money to watch it, or has the film just made a lot of money by exploiting the big star + 5-day holiday weekend combo. In cases of a normal 3-day weekend, I divide the lifetime net of the film from its opening weekend figure and any film that manages to earn at least 2.4 times its opening weekend can be called an ‘accepted’ film. The more this figure grows, the more the acceptance of the film.
The above methodology does not work with a 5-day weekend – the reasons being the three points I wrote above. That is why in cases of 5-day or 6-day weekend, I take the first day as base and see how much the film grows from there. A film has to grow at least 8 times from its opening day to be called an ‘accepted’ film. Let me clarify that a film earning 8 times its opening day (only in cases of 5-day weekends) does not mean it is a hit – only that it has received a small amount of acceptance.
Now let us see how the three big films that opened with 5-day festival weekends in the last one year have fared on the trending scale (I’m taking the second day collections of Ra.One as base since the first day collections were washed away due to Diwali Puja and it will be unfair to compare a half-day collection to full day ones) :-
– Ra.One collected 114.8 cr from a base of 22.8 cr i.e. Ra.One grew 5.03 times from its second day. This is DISASTER trending.
– Bodyguard collected 141 cr from a base of 21.25 cr i.e. Bodyguard grew 6.63 times from its opening day. This is BELOW AVERAGE trending. However, since the opening was huge I take the next level verdict for Bodyguard and call it AVERAGE.
– Ek Tha Tiger collected 186 cr from a base of 31.25 cr i.e. ETT grew 5.96 times from its opening day. This is FLOP trending. No chance of next level verdict due to huge opening since the next level for this trending is also FLOP.
The above shows clearly that all three films have had bad trending which means they had bad word of mouth among the audience. Yet the trade experts have called them Hits and Blockbusters – only because they earned good money on the strength of star power, holiday weekends and raised ticket prices.
A common argument is that the bigger the opening, the more difficult it is for a film to trend well. This is utter nonsense. Neither a big opening nor competition makes much difference to a film that has been truly liked – both Bollywood and Hollywood are full of examples of this. In fact, two big films can release together and both can still trend really well if truly liked. Lagaan and Gadar are the perfect examples – Gadar went on to become the best trended film of the last decade despite having competition from a superhit like Lagaan. And Lagaan too did extremely well despite having giant competition from Gadar.
Many people believe that a film that earned Rs. 186 cr lifetime can’t be a flop. I agree that ETT’s return on investment is huge and it is indeed a blockbuster for the people who have been involved in ‘selling’ the film. However, for the end consumer who ‘bought’ the tickets of the film it was a disappointment. The trending of the film clearly shows that.
PS. Those who are claiming that ETT came close to 3 Idiots’ collections must understand that 3 Idiots would have earned around Rs. 280 cr with ETT’s ticket prices (and I’m not even taking inflation into account here). Like I said before, the market only in India is open up to Rs. 350+ cr today for a big film.Tags: Boxoffice Dhobi Ghat Ek Tha Tiger Ra.One Salman Khan