2014 Bollywood Movies Business

March 9, 2022
With Aamir Khan s PK about to

And how, just how, did the elusive 100-crore mark become commonplace over the last few years? Though only a handful of Bollywood movies belong to this excusive and highly aspirational club, the buzz preceding the release of every other big-budget film has its mention. The term has become rather ubiquitous and everyone from the commoner lining the street leading to Film City to the spotboy on the set is talking about it. Let’s trace the journey of the 100-crore Bollywood film and figure out what happened and how.

Aamir Khan was the founder-member of the club in 2008, when his Ghajini became the first Bollywood film to gross 100 crore at the box office, taking only 18 days (less than three weeks) to do so. He followed it up in 2009 with 3 Idiots which took half the time (nine days) to reach the magical figure. Incidentally, 3 Idiots remains the highest-grossing Bollywood film of all time with worldwide collections of Rs 339 crore (domestic + overseas).

If 2008 and 2009 had one 100-crore film each, 2010 saw that number double, with Salman Khan (Dabangg) and Ajay Devgn (Golmaal 3) entering the club. While the latter took 17 days to breach the mark, the former did it in 10 days.

In 2011, that figure rose to five films (Ready, Singham, Bodyguard, Ra.One and Don 2) with Bodyguard garnering 100 crore in a record-time of 7 days. Suddenly, every top Bollywood actor (including the Khans most definitely) was in a race to make it to the exclusive club. Salman Khan had breached the mark thrice in succession, while Shah Rukh was the last of the ruling Khans to get an entry into the coveted club.

Ek Tha Tiger: Fastest to reach 100 croreIn 2012, so far, eight films (Agneepath, Housefull 2, Rowdy Rathore, Bol Bachchan, Ek Tha Tiger, Barfi!, Son of Sardaar and Jab Tak Hai Jaan) have grossed 100 crore. Salman Khan, who’s become his own competition when it comes to box-office collections, bettered his previous record set by Bodyguard as his Ek Tha Tiger broke into the 100-crore club in five days flat. (The film is the highest grosser of the year with worldwide collections of Rs 246 crore.)

With about a week to go for year-end, Dabangg 2 could be 2012’s ninth film in the 100-crore club, and Salman’s fifth straight – a “historic record” as trade analyst Taran Adarsh puts it. Meanwhile, Aamir’s Talaash, which is still running in the theatres, has netted Rs 93.4 crore so far (by the end of the third week).

From one to two to five to eight [films], and from the Khans and Ajay Devgn to Hrithik Roshan to Akshay Kumar to Ranbir Kapoor – Bollywood’s 100-crore club has only grown manifold. While the number of films making it to the figure has increased, the time taken to achieve the feat has gradually come down. At this rate, 2013 should have many more films and many more actors inhabiting this club which is fast losing its exclusivity.

Ghajini: First film to gross 100 croreHere are some factors at work:

Inflated Ticket Prices: The average ticket size at a multiplex today is Rs 140-150, compared to Rs 60-65 in single-screen theatres, according to BoxofficeIndia.com, a film trade portal. Prices at premium chains like Inox and PVR can be as high as Rs 300-350 on weekends (Friday-Sunday), which fetch almost 80% of theatrical revenues earned by a film. (The rest of the business happens during the “lean” Monday-Thursday period.) On festive weekends, multiplex operators undertake a 10-15% hike in ticket prices. For 3D films, the rate is even higher. In big cities, single screen theatres, too, have increased ticket prices. For instance, the average ticket price across single screens in south Bombay is Rs 90-100.

Growth of Multiplexes: Multiplexes have grown phenomenally in the last five years and completely changed the dynamics of the film business. There are close to 1, 400 multiplex screens [India has a total of 12, 900 screens] which constitute nearly 70-75% of a film’s box-office revenues. By 2015, the number of multiplex screens is estimated to rise to 1, 925, according to the FICCI-KPMG Report on the Indian Media and Entertainment industry. Despite high ticket prices, multiplexes have become a preferred choice for cine-goers; the variety of films on offer, a better viewing experience, food and beverage counters and gaming zones etc ensure that audiences keep coming back.

Digital Prints and Wider Releases: Both are correlated. With the adoption of digital technology, more and more screens in India are becoming digitised from analog. This is allowing producers to have a much wider release of their films with a massive number of prints. (Digital prints save costs and can be attained fast.) For instance, in 1995, Hum Aapke Hai Kaun released with 500 prints which was a landmark then; in 2009, 3 Idiots released with 1, 000 prints which was considered a huge number; in 2011, Eros released Ra.One in 3, 100 plus screens and in 2012, Yashraj released Ek Tha Tiger with 3, 400 prints in India and 500-600 prints overseas. This number will only grow and with releases getting wider by the day, sky-high theatrical revenues are becoming a routine of sorts.

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