Over the past 5-6 years or so, the discussions around the Bollywood Box Office have increased multiple times. What used to interest only trade, industry insiders and geeky fans earlier has become a trend now. Before a film even releases, the discussions around it w.r.t expected numbers starts all over.
The interest in Box Office numbers has also increased because the films have started doing much more business than they used to do in the previous decade. While prior to 2010, a 100 crores or 200 crores figure was astronomic, it’s not that huge now. In the past few years, there have been several films which have crossed the mark. Also, there have been a few films which crossed 300 crores mark. Dangal reached close to 400 crores mark and pan-India film Baahubali 2 surpassed 500 crores mark just with Hindi version.
While there have been loads of discussions around numbers lately and whole media loves to talk about it, not many have proper knowledge about how things work and how verdicts are decided. A lot of times on social media we see people discussing how big stars like Salman Khan, Shah Rukh Khan & Aamir Khan’s films are declared underperformers despite doing a business of 100 crores. At the same time when smaller stars’ films do similar business, those are called Super-Hits or even Blockbusters at the box office. While most of the discussions end up calling it the hypocrisy of media, it’s more complex and complicated. In this story, I am going to discuss the real reason behind this.
If we talk about big grossers yet underperformers in the past few years films like Race 3 (169 crores), Thugs Of Hindostan (145.29 crores), Jai Ho (111 crores), Zero (97.50 crores), Dabangg 2 (158.50 crores) come to our mind. A lot of people have raised doubts about the verdicts of these films. The only reason why these films are called disappointments because the budgets were huge. When discussing ‘hits and flops’ of a superstar, fans can debate that their favourite’s film did huge business and still was called a Flop while other stars’ films are called Blockbusters at the same business but the budgets of these films should be remembered.
Let’s take the example of Race 3. The film was made on a budget of 185 crores approx and hence a box office business of 169 crores is not something you expect from it. Also when a film of such a huge budget is made it’s sold to distributors for premium prices which cannot be recovered unless the turnover is also extraordinary. Same is the case with films like Jai Ho, Thugs Of Hindostan, Zero, Dabangg 2 and more.
Similarly, if we talk about films Tanu Weds Manu Returns, Toilet: Ek Prem Katha, Total Dhamaal, Dabangg and others, it’s the budget which made them huge hits. Take an example of Dabangg. It was same Salman Khan who played a lead role in the 2010 film. However the Abhinav Kashyap directorial was set on a budget of around 40 crores. So when a 40 crores film does the business of 139 crores you know why they call it a mega success.
To sum it all up, verdicts are not decided considering the name of the star but totally because of the budget of the film. The name of the star can increase budgets of the film but a film is always a box office flop because of poor planning of budgets not because of names.