It’s all about the money, dearies! That’s what every filmwallah down the food chain will tell you. After all, it isn’t the ultimate goal of any filmmaking venture the product’s profitability? You see, the greater the profits, the greater the investments to keep churning out celluloid dreams, right? Now the exhibition space – cinema halls – is vital to the profits a film brings in. Not surprisingly, with every big release and every successive week, more and more movie halls (singleplexes and multiplexes) are being launched. And along with that, there’s the touchy issue of ticket prices.
In today’s competitive world, every filmmaker or actor is chasing the highest day one, day two, first weekend, first week and second week, and of course, highest lifetime collections. However, considering the relatively limited number of cinemas or number of screens available and their capacity, a huge day one, first weekend, first week and lifetime business can be achieved only by raising ticket prices. Sure, content is king, and from the conception of a project till the film’s release, the filmmaker and everyone associated with the project thinks only of content. But once the print is ready and the marketing team and PR machinery are in overdrive, the ultimate goal is to make and break records – in short, outdo the numbers racked up by other movies.
There’s no arguing that an increase in ticket prices hits movie-goers below the belt. But in the last few years, we’ve observed that the movie-watching audience does not mind forking out exorbitant sums when a film is carrying an excellent report and good content is assured. So, it’s win-win for both parties. On one hand, everyone associated with the film creates records and laughs all the way to the bank and the audience waltzes out of cinema halls happy. The premise is clear – since we don’t have huge capacity, it is good business sense to make good content, hike ticket prices and create records of Highest Day 1, Highest First Weekend, Highest First Week, Highest Second Weekend, Highest Second Week, and so on, and last but not least, Highest Lifetime.
There’s one more factor our filmmakers are looking at, these days – less is more. In other words, the shorter the length of the film, the greater the chance of bigger numbers. So the premise for creating records at the ticket counter is: good content (convey it through your first trailer or look) + good marketing (if your first look or trailer has failed to entice people to wait for your film or, if it has clicked, aggressive marketing will help double the excitement) + shorter length (it helps you to have maximum shows, more shows means a larger audience and bigger collections, more footfalls) + higher ticket rates (due to limited all-India capacity, hike ticket prices and make more money) = Highest Day 1, Highest Weekend, Highest Week One and Highest Lifetime.
But it’s NOT all about the money, honey. In the race to crunch cold cash, we often fail to gauge the number of people who watch the films we make. Like every year, this year too, we – at Box Office India – have decided to look at this vital but oft-ignored factor.
So we pushed the envelope and came up with the numbers. We present the 23 multiplex chains in India and the Top 10 movies of the year (in terms of footfalls) in their first and second weeks
after their release.