Latest Updates

Hrithik to replace Salman in No Entry Mein Entry
Déjà vu for SSR as he gears up for two movies
Saif Ali Khan to play awarrior in a period film
This mega movie is back on the cards, to roll in October

Money For Nothing… Dire Straits?

Last month, on the evening of November 8, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi made the startling announcement that `500 and `1,000 notes would cease to be legal tender in a few hours’ time, we, like much of the country, had thought that the resultant cash scarcity would be a temporary phenomenon.

At that point in time, we had expected that while there would undoubtedly be an adverse impact on the films releasing on the Friday immediately falling in a couple of days, normalcy in terms of availability of cash-in-hand and therefore, resumption of business-as-usual, would soon be restored. Unfortunately, almost six weeks into demonetisation, we continue to face a substantial illiquidity crunch and it is now clear that it will be months before we see the restoration of the status quo that prevailed pre-November 8 in terms of currency availability.

We will leave it to the economists and the television pundits to indulge in a cost-benefit analysis of this radical exercise and debate its long-term implications for the economy at large. However, from the specific perspective of the film trade, there is no denying the possibility – indeed, the probability – of a downtick in the flow of outside investors’ money into our business. What we also do know is that a bunch of film shoots has been disrupted or postponed, given the cash-intensive nature of film production.

This is still an ongoing development and we have to wait and watch before we can start assessing the long-term impact of this noteworthy (pun fully intended!) step to our business. For now, let us take stock of how the note-ban has played out at the box office in the immediate term. Take a look at the table below that compares collections accruing in the month of November over the last few years:  

 

November Reign – Earns N’ Losses 

chart

The way to read this table is: 8 Hindi films released during the month of November in the year 2009, collectively amassing slightly less than `157 crore net at the domestic box office, or an average of almost `20 crore per film. So on and so forth for each row in the table.

Admittedly, this is not a perfect study as films are not uniform products and their collections can vary widely depending on how the audience reacts to them. However, that disclaimer aside, what the numbers clearly tell us is that both in terms of the cumulative collections of all films, as also the average collections per film, last month registered the lowest numbers for any of the Novembers tracked during this publication’s existence.

What is also important to note is that we had a pretty impressive roster of releases last month in terms of pedigree and face value, with a host of hitherto successful franchise properties and a wide spectrum of genres – many featuring A-league stars – hitting the marquee. Ergo, it would not be unreasonable to attribute November 2016’s unimpressive figures at least partially to the effects of demonetisation.

As to how long the scarcity of cash will continue to act as a box office dampener, and what the ultimate cost of this entire exercise on the film trade will be, well, your guess is as good as ours. Or to put it differently – and from the heading of this note as well as the data table you may have guessed that we are in an iconic rock music frame of mind this week – we may as well turn to the words of the most iconic rocker of them all, Bob Dylan, who last week became the first musician in history to win the Nobel Prize for literature: The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind. The answer is blowin’ in the wind…

 

 

Nitin Tej Ahuja
Collection Chart
As on May 20th, 2017
FilmsWeekWeeklyTotal
Sarkar 31
7.82Cr
7.82Cr
Meri Pyaari Bindu
1
7.67Cr
7.67Cr
Chakallaspur1
10K
10K
Alien: Covenant**
1
3.00Cr
3.00Cr
Mantostaan295k7.34L
Mafia Bigg Boss210K30K
More

Featured Video

Most Viewed Articles

Today

Last 7 Days

Last 30 Days

Twitter

Box Office India's Twitter avatar
Box Office India
@boxofficeindia

Watch the trailer of #TheFakirOfVenice starring @FarOutAkhtar and #AnnuKapoort.co/pEQbpfNm7a

Box Office India's Twitter avatar
Box Office India
@boxofficeindia

Check out the exclusive first look of @irrfank In Qareeb Qareeb Single @ZeeStudios_t.co/NHpaEeldbh

Facebook

Instagram

This Week’s Issue

TRADE GUP

  • Now, Anil Kapoor in Hollywood web series
  • Fanney Khanon track, new studio on board
  • Biopic on shooter Abhinav Bindra on target
  • PeeCee in female-oriented film from Bhansali

IN CONVERSATION

  • Siblings Huma Qureshi and Saqib Saleem get candid about Dobaara
  • The making of biographical docu-drama Sachin: A Billion Dreams

STRAIGHT NEWS

  • BFI acquires Mukti Bhawan for UK
  • Two wins for Cinestaan International Sales at NYIFF