A session ‘Planning and making a Rs. 1,000 crore blockbuster’ was held on the second day of FICCI Frames 2013, that witnessed panelists like Greg Foster, Chairman & President, IMAX Entertainment; Vijay Singh, CEO, Fox Star, India; Siddharth Roy Kapur, MD, studios, Disney UTV; Ajay Bijli, MD, PVR; and Vikram Malhotra, chief operating officer, Viacom.
Everyone pointed out various problems that need to be tackled to fulfill the Rs.1,000 Crore dreams.
The Rs.1,000 crore mark for a blockbuster may seem like a distant dream right now, however it is not impossible, said filmmaker Karan Johar. But he also admitted that there is no fixed formula to achieve it. Said Karan Johar, “The figure of Rs.1,000 crore is aspirational at the moment. It looks like a dream, but we are not far from achieving it. I feel that we are limiting ourselves with Rs.1,000 crore mark. ‘3 Idiots’ did so well…it had a subject based on education. It was a feel good movie. ‘Sholay’ was a masala film and ‘Hum Aapke Hain Koun!’ was a family film. So you can’t pick a specific theme. You need to make a good film, which is universal. There is no science to pick a theme.”
Siddharth Roy Kapur, MD, studios, Disney UTV, pointed out that there are not sufficient screens in the country. “The maximum width is 3000-3500 screens. Places like Uttar Pradesh (most populated state in the country) has just 150 screens and Bihar has 300 screens. We are an under screened market. Also, there is a cap on ticket prices in South. The entertainment tax is also huge. If we make a universal blockbuster like it was made in the 1980s and 1990s, then this (Rs.1,000 crore dream) might be possible,” said Kapur.
Ajay Bijli, MD, PVR, agreed to this and said multiplexes needs to perforate in untapped areas to help achieve the goal. “Multiplexes need to perforate into other areas and enhance cinema experience. Movies need to be made with a higher appeal and if cinemas continue to grow like this, then tweaking the ticket prices, change in the entertainment tax and reducing piracy can help achieve this goal (Rs.1,000 crore),” he said.
Vijay Singh, CEO, Fox Star, India, said that the number of screens needs to go up by a multiple of three. Moreover, directors are not investing enough time spent in the making of a film. “Ang Lee took four years for his film ‘Life of Pi’. We need to have an approach to filmmaking that ensures that a lot is being invested in a film. Directors want to make a film every four-six months, then how can you deliver a blockbuster?” Singh said.