Trade Tutor: The Kashmir Files emerges a sleeper blockbuster; Decoding journey from 3.5 to 20 crore daily
Trade Tutor Vishek Chauhan decodes the reasons for the blockbuster success of The Kashmir Files
It’s Thursday 10th March. My phone rings, a senior colleague informs me that the advance booking of The Kashmir Files is terrific in Patna. I quickly check and to my surprise, Patna is nearly sold out. I go to my cinema’s social media page and there are multiple inquiries for the film. I quickly call the distributor and schedule a show for Friday. As I write this piece, I am playing 4 shows daily to mind-blowing occupancies and requests for tickets keep on increasing by the minute. In my entire career, I haven’t seen any film break out like this on a scale so huge nationally.
A sleeper Hit typically means a film that isn’t expected to do good business before release. It has a small campaign and a limited release. Post release due to word of mouth it catches on and has long legs. People’s recommendations play a very big role and it ensures a very healthy run for the film. Leading to great profits for all associated.
The Kashmir Files is not a Sleeper Hit but a Sleeper Blockbuster. Let me try and explain its sheer impact and the scale of it.
Box office- The Kashmir Files made Rs 3.5 crore on its first day and on its fifth day it made Rs 18 crore. Its opening day to first week ratio will be the lowest ever as big films open tremendously and slow down over the weak. This on the other hand has made 5 times of its opening day on its fifth day. Experts are now predicting 150-200cr lifetime for this film and some say it may go even higher.
Screen Count- It has gone from 600 screens to 2200 screens within a few days.
Demand- Cinemas across India are being added every day and the best part being the audience keeps swelling every day. Screens are typically added after a week’s play. Not with this film, everyday screens are being added. The urgency in exhibitors to play this film is very high.
Genre- There is a belief in the trade and specially after Covid that big effects driven films will drive theatrical business. The verdict on dramas, specially the ones dealing with real issues that they are best suited for OTT platforms. The Kashmir Files, turns this argument on its head and makes box office experts like us eat humble pie.
Branded Entertainment- Another belief is that only branded products find enough takers to make a blockbuster film. A franchise or a star are perfect examples and deliver consistently for the makers. The Kashmir Files has none of and it still manages to put up numbers that are out of the world.
Virality- The word of mouth for this film is pure electric. I have never seen such virality for any film. The way the message has spread among its target group is simply never seen before phenomenon. People can say that it is politically motivated or is backed by an ideology but to get normal folks to buy tickets and fill up auditoriums is no easy feat. Political films have come in the past either leaning right or left but this kind of potency has never been seen before.
The Kashmir Files is on its way to become a Blockbuster if not already and this is the beauty of the boxoffice. It has this habit of completely stunning you and surprising you in ways that you never imagined. Even the makers wouldn’t have imagined this kind of success that the film is garnering. What we are witnessing is a rarest of rare phenomenon and as a Box office analyst let me savor the moment.