The Number Game in Bollywood: Will 100 crore be the new 250 crore club in Covid times?

Updated on Apr 15, 2021 09:40 AM IST  |  372.7K
   
The Number Game in Bollywood: Will 100 crore be the new 250 crore club in covid times?
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The value of the 100-crore club was slowly diminishing in the pre-pandemic era, as the rising ticket rates had diluted the impact of the coveted three-digit figure. In the last few years of the previous decade, the Hindi film industry saw multiple films going past the 100-crore mark, but still ending up being a colossal disappointment vis-à-vis the budget. For example, Salman Khan, who is the only star in Bollywood, whose 100 crore grossers are termed underperformers, but today, it might not be the case. The Covid-19 pandemic has put a full stop on all existing box-office trend and has certainly made us press the reset button, starting from zero again.

Let’s admit it, there is a striking difference between the concept of stardom in Bollywood as compared to the South Indian industry. Let’s also finally accept that Covid-19 virus is here to stay for another year, which means, our lives will continue being uncertain with the virus having control over our happiness. And in such uncertain times, box-office collections too will be unpredictable. The norms of business in Hindi cinema are bound to change in such an environment, particularly with respect to the revenue model with the digital platforms, as there will be short window between theatrical release and digital premiere.

The fear of covid-19 will keep hanging around the head of the viewers, and it well might curtail a lot of them from visiting the cinema hall in the same manner as they did before the pandemic. The people who visited the halls thrice a month, might just visit once a month for a film that they can’t afford to miss. The people who visited the cinema hall for leisure might now wait to see if the film is worth their time and money, as the pandemic has caused a severe strain on the financials. To add onto the loss of audience visiting the cinema hall due to above mentioned factors, there is also a set of audience who will avoid visiting the cinema hall out of sheer fear, whereas there is also a minor chunk of people, whose habit of consuming cinema has transformed and would now rather wait for 4-weeks to watch it at their comfort on digital world, than planning a visit to auditorium.

Let’s admit it, there is a striking difference between the concept of stardom in Bollywood as compared to the South Indian industry. Let’s also finally accept that Covid-19 virus is here to stay for another year, which means, our lives will continue being uncertain
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Basically, the industry needs to take small baby steps with every passing film to reach a scenario that’s closest to what existed in the pre-pandemic era. Reaching normalcy might take 8 months, 12 months or even more, but that depends on the flow of releases, as more the films release, more will be the footfall and that would lead us to draw an exact conclusion on the change in consumption pattern as also, the fear psychosis. But as mentioned above, it’s now about starting from zero.

The three major releases in the times to come, which have held back to support cinema halls for over one year include – Rohit Shetty’s cop drama, Sooryavanshi, fronted by Akshay Kumar, the Salman Khan starrer Radhe, directed by Prabhudheva and the Kabir Khan directorial, 83 with Ranveer Singh as Kapil Dev. The three biggies have held back for more than 12 months, bearing the risk of arriving in cinema halls even in uncertain times like this to support exhibitors and are expected to open on the big screen in the window of May to August. So, what can one expect from the theatrical business?

It’s time for us to be considerate and celebrate every benchmark, as if it’s an achievement... A comparison with pre-covid figures would put unfair burden on Sooryvanshi, Radhe and 83.
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Let’s be honest here. The lifetime biz of all the three films would be far off from what they would have earned in the pre-pandemic era. Being the first three major releases, it’s them who would be playing with fire, with no pre-set barometer to gauge or predict the biz. The first to release might earn 80 crore, the second might jump to 110 and the third taking a stride further to 150 crore. But well, are these good numbers? For the pandemic times, YES, but how could we equate them to the pre-pandemic business? While this is just a hypothetical analysis, but the situation that Bollywood is in, it wouldn’t be wrong to say that the Rs 50 crore threshold in today’s time is the new 100 crore club, whereas the 100-crore club will certainly be the new 200 crore club, so on and so forth.

The gap will be filled with every passing release, but it’s time for us to be considerate and celebrate every benchmark, as if it’s an achievement. Anything more, is always welcome, but the reporting style in pandemic times for Bollywood films will change. A comparison with pre-covid figures would put unfair burden on Sooryvanshi, Radhe and 83. Well, in simple terms, if Sooryavanshi earns 100 crores at the box-office, it would be harsh on anyone to say, that the film earned lesser than the previous cop-universe film, Simmba, as the real value would certainly be a lot higher. Likewise, despite 100 crore being a bare minimum benchmark for Salman Khan, if a Radhe earns just around the minimal figure of 100 crore at the box-office, it would be unfair to say, it has underperformed, as this in the midst of a pandemic is as good Rs 200 crore in the pre-pandemic times.

It’s Salman Khan, and Akshay Kumar in particular who are expected to bring back the audience to cinema halls with Radhe and Sooryavanshi.
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The comparison of films in the pandemic world, has to be with the pandemic releases, and certainly, it’s Salman Khan, and Akshay Kumar in particular who are expected to bring back the audience to cinema halls. Probably, the biggest rush on day one in the pandemic times for Hindi films will be for their releases – Radhe and Sooryavanshi. We as an industry are yet to even cross the 25-crore threshold in last 1 year, so the first film to breach that or the 50 crore mark will be a milestone in covid times.

We hope the scenario changes sooner and our films sky rocket into the 100, 200 and 300 crore clubs. Till then, we will have to wait and watch what's the new reading of success with Salman Khan's Radhe, Akshay Kumar’s Sooryavanshi and Ranveer Singh’s 83, which well might be the first major films to hit the big screen.
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Comments
Anonymous : Sooryavanshi bhi 50Cr toh karlegi....waise release kab ho rahi homesh
REPLY 0 5 months ago
Anonymous : Dekhna hoga ki 50 crore kaun kar pata hai ...bakhi radhe ke fans to karva hi denge
REPLY 0 5 months ago
Anonymous : Bhai aayega to corona bhag jayega.
REPLY 2 5 months ago
Anonymous : Salman ko pehle aane do...film business firse 100 Cr club chalu ho jayega
REPLY 2 5 months ago
Anonymous : Radhe bhai 75Cr se upar karaga
REPLY 2 5 months ago