Why Ek Tha Tiger is a Trending Flop

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.

  1. akshay 12 years ago

    ETT All time blockbuster
    Bodyguar All time blockbuster
    RaOne Average

  2. Aamir 12 years ago

    Who the hell man write like this ett is all time blockbuster ra1 was flop because its promotion but ett is not rejected by audience that,s why collection,s of ett up after down and it shows ett is accepted and it is collected 195cr not 186cr.i think you are srk fan.

  3. sputnik 12 years ago


    Disagree with your write up and verdicts. I think you are taking the WOM of people that you know and generalizing it to be a universal verdict.

    Now you and the circle around you may not have liked Ra.One, BG and EK Tha Tiger but that does not mean no one did. These movies should have crashed completely after the extended weekend and made close to nothing after the extended weekend.

    It does not even matter whether the movie is good to a majority of audience. Majority of Indian audience look from the point of view whether a movie is time pass, one time watch. If a movie does not make them pull their hair or walk out cursing then its good enough for them.

    You are bringing in movies like Lagaan and Gadar from a different era when movies used to run for weeks.

    Take Kahaani or Vicky Donor – these movies did not release on festive weekends but these were extremely liked according to you. If so these movies should have continuously grown with more screens added and grossed more than 100 Cr. Why did they not?

    A certain section of audience liked Kahaani and Vicky Donor but not everyone will like it or not everyone will prefer to pay to watch these movies.

    Ok tell me the movies which opened on a extended weekend and did more than 8 times of the first day? Don’t say 3 Idiots.

    • Baba Ji 12 years ago

      spuntik – thing is there is no head or tail to this theory. no science why the final gross should be 8 times first day or why 2.4 is the right figure for normal weekends. If Kahaani,vicky donor,even 3i are extremely liked films,then lets apply the principle of yesteryear films to them.3i should have done golden jubilee atleast.How come kahaani didnt even run for one month if it was liked by public? same for other so-called liked films. and what happens after 5 years from now? “8” and “2.4” would be scaled down further? this is utter nonsense.

      • fearlesssoul 12 years ago

        Completely agree with you babaji…

        Even to be called as a theory it should qualify as a theory… She gives numbers but fail to explain with theoretical facts (if not practical) how she ended up with numbers such as 8 or 2.4 or 350cr…

        lot has already been said and no use even to point out the mistakes she has in her theory…

  4. Reddemon 12 years ago

    Shalu ji accept that ETT is a monstrous hit otherwise ‘I will have to make an offer which you cant reject’

  5. stewie griffin 12 years ago

    shalu toh ek din avengers or tdk ko bhi flop karwadegi..is theory ke jariye 😀

  6. cr7 12 years ago

    if i agree with your verdict we both will be wrong 🙂

  7. Author
    Shalu 12 years ago

    BOI said today that any big film can make 200 cr easily today with even decent WOM. That is what I’m saying too.

    Nobody is believing me now but that is all right. The day a big film does 250+ cr, everybody will have no option but to agree with my theory. Till then I will wait 🙂

  8. stewie griffin 12 years ago

    @shalu-this is the same boi that showed two sides of coin on a day(tuesday) wen ett did 16 crore business and failed to update anything the next two days…jhatka laga inko uss din..tabse sab nautanki commentary from them…

    shalu theories banate ho aur unpar utthai gai sawalon ka jawab nahin dete..

  9. Dhamaka 12 years ago

    The day a big film does 250+ cr, everybody will have no option but to agree with my theory. Till then I will wait …………

    250 cr …….according to your theory ett needed 256 cr just to get average tag ………

    so what if any movie does 250 cr after one year it will remain an average as per your theory 😀 and still i am not considering the market expansion 🙂

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