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Small Is BIG

2012 saw a number of successful films, many of them breaching the Rs 100 crore mark. But the real success stories came wrapped in small budgets – high-concept films that surprised us all. So, whether Vicky Donor, Kahaani, Gangs Of Wasseypur or Barfi!... it was a profitable 12 months for producers, exhibitors and distributors. Before we ring in the New Year, we asked tradewallahs to name the top three films with the highest return on investment (ROI) in the domestic market.

Gaurav Verma, Director - India Theatrical Distribution, Studios, Disney UTV

Paan Singh Tomar which received critical acclaim was largely seen as a small niche film but it worked at the box office and ran for 7-8 weeks. The film is in top three collecting films of a sub Rs 5 crore cost of production of all time. The film was also the first digital release for India which means it didn’t have any physical prints. Rowdy Rathore the second biggest grosser of the year so far has beaten all expectations. A universal blockbuster where everyone associated with the film be it exhibitors, or distributors made money. Barfi! which emerged as the most loved film of the year, has set cash registers ringing for 10 weeks. The film collected 3.5 times of opening weekend which we have not seen with many films in this business.

Nandu Ahuja, Sr VP – India Theatrical, Eros International Media Ltd

The three films that gave Eros the best return on investment this year were Vicky Donor, Cocktail and English Vinglish. All of these three films were appreciated in the Indian as well as overseas markets. Vicky Donor garnered a business of
Rs 40.25 crore in India and $ 1.5 million overseas. While Cocktail did a  business of Rs 75 crore in India and $ 6.5 million in the overseas market. Sridevi’s comeback film English Vinglish collected ` 41 crore domestically and $ 4.5 million internationally.

Girish Johar, Head – Distribution & Acquisition,Balaji Motion Pictures

Vicky Donor, OMG – Oh My God! and Jab Tak Hai Jaan have the highest ROI ratios with respect to their costs and earnings from every possible source. But this year, we released Kyaa Super Kool Hain Hum. Again, this was a very profitable venture for us. It earned Rs 50 crore NBOC in the domestic market and enjoyed a decent performance in the overseas market too. The music of the film was a hit and revenue from satellite, home video and other sources made it a very comfortable and profitable winner for Balaji.

Murli Chhatwani, Business Head, DAR Films Distributors 

Quite a few films have delivered a good return on investment this year. I would not say that the big-budget films were very profitable since their selling cost was also high. In my opinion, Vicky Donor, English Vinglish and OMG – Oh My God! have delivered maximum returns. And Kahaani too. Vicky Donor has yielded 200 per cent ROI, for instance if the film was sold for Rs 2.5 crore then it has given Rs 7.5 crore to the producer and distributor. English Vinglish must have given Eros a profit of 200 per cent in India and OMG about 150 to 160 per cent. Housefull 2 and Rowdy Rathore have given distributors a lot to smile about as well.

Rajesh Thadani, Multimedia Combines, Mumbai

The three films which have yielded the best ROI pan-India are Vicky Donor, which had a new cast, OMG – Oh My God!, which worked because of its concept, and Kahaani, which featured Vidya Balan as the main protagonist. Vicky Donor ensured business amounting to Rs 38 crore, OMG Rs 82 crore and Kahaani Rs 55 crore. All three films were made on a shoestring budget but despite that, they delivered huge ROI.

Ramesh Sippy, Raksha Entertainment, Mumbai 

This year has been quite remarkable for the film industry. In my opinion, Kahaani, Rowdy Rathore and Ek Tha Tiger are the three films which have given maximum return on investment, all-India.

Balkrishna Shroff, Shringar Films, Mumbai

Ek Tha Tiger, English Vinglish and Barfi! are the three most profitable films of this year. All of them reaped excellent returns on investment.


Vinay Choksey, VIP Movies, Mumbai 

Ek Tha Tiger has fetched the maximum ROI this year, and the sole reason is Salman Khan, who has delivered one hit after another. It garnered a gross business of Rs 190 crore. The second film is Rowdy Rathore, which earned a profit of Rs 130 crore, followed by Agneepath and Son Of Sardaar. Agneepath did business worth Rs 120 crore while Son Of Sardaar hit the ` 100-crore mark. All these films delivered an ROI of almost 50 per cent.

GD Mehta, Bobby Arts International, Delhi-UP

This year has been quite eventful in terms of the success ratio of films. The three films which delivered maximum ROI were those with big actors. Among these are Ek Tha Tiger featuring Salman Khan and Katrina Kaif, Rowdy Rathore with Akshay Kumar and Sonakshi Sinha and Jab Tak Hai Jaan with Shah Rukh Khan, Katrina Kaif and Anushka Sharma. They were, no doubt, high-budget movies but the numbers they clocked are remarkable.

Surendra Saluja, Lakshya Movies, East Punjab 

Vicky Donor, Ek Tha Tiger and Son Of Sardaar have given the best return on investment this year. Vicky Donor did a lifetime business of Rs 38 crore, Ek Tha Tiger crossed Rs 100 crore and Son Of Sardaar earned Rs 90 crore, all-India.


Jaspal Dhingra, Nanaskar Enterprises, East Punjab

Vicky Donor, Kahaani, Barfi! and Raaz 3 delivered the best ROI this year. Vicky Donor is a prime case of best return on investment. It minted money even though it did not feature known names. Kahaani yielded Rs 30 crore as distributors’ share, all-India, while Raaz 3 delivered a distributors’ share of Rs 37 core. Barfi! too did exceptional business, and it is fabulous that films like Barfi!, which had the main protagonist play a mute and dumb person, was appreciated by the audience. I guess the audience today wants good concept films.

Sunit Singh, Aum Moviez, West Bengal 

Vidya Balan-starrer Kahaani, Ranbir Kapoor and Priyanka Chopra’s Barfi! and Agneepath featuring Hrithik Roshan gave the best return on investment across the country. Though Barfi! was sold on a commission basis, all these films garnered a business of more than 50 per cent of their investment.

Sarang Chandak, Shri Rang Films, CP

The success rate of films this year has been very high and many films crossed the Rs 100-crore mark. Umesh Shukla’s OMG, Prabhudheva’s Rowdy Rathore and Sujoy Ghosh’s Kahaani are the three films which delivered the best return on investment. In fact, the profit each one earned was double the cost of each film.

Vasudev Chachan, Sunny Films, Rajasthan 

Rowdy Rathore, Bol Bachchan and Son Of Sardaar have yielded the best ROIs pan-India. In Rajasthan, Rowdy Rathore and Bol Bachchan earned ` 7 crore each while Son Of Sardaar did business worth ` 5.5 crore. Rajasthan accounts for 5 to 6 per cent of the all-India numbers so one can calculate the returns these films garnered on an all-India basis.

Gaurav Gaur, O’Real Imaginations, Rajasthan

Kahaani, OMG and Rowdy Rathore are the three films that generated the best ROIs. Kahaani made business worth Rs 59 crore, OMG Rs 85 crore and Rowdy Rathore ` 132 crore, pan-India. This year has churned out a lot of business for the film industry.

Ravi Machhar, Sahyog Films, Nizam 

In my opinion, small-budget films yielded the biggest profits this year and the success ratio of some of these films came as a complete surprise. According to me, Kahaani, Raaz 3, 1920: Evil Returns and Ek Tha Tiger delivered the best ROI. This year has seen small-budget and good concept films work very well at the box office.

Jeetu Khandelwal, Movie Pioneers, Orissa

Rowdy Rathore, 1920: Evil Returns, Ek Tha Tiger and Barfi! delivered the maximum return on investment. This year, surprisingly, small-budget films have been very successful. In fact, films like 1920: Evil Returns and Barfi! did unexpected business.


BH Basha, Bahar Enterprises, Mysore

Salman Khan’s Ek Tha Tiger, Shah Rukh Khan’s Jab Tak Hai Jaan and Aamir Khan’s Talaash yielded the maximum ROI. Ek Tha Tiger garnered a pan-India business of close to Rs 200 crore, Jab Tak Hai Jaan Rs 110 crore and Talaash Rs 80-90 crore. This year has been very interesting and profitable for the industry.

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