Bollywood counts its losses in first quarter

April 29, 2010

bollywood film 200x140Mumbai, Students and parents aren’t the only ones waiting for results. Bollywood’s quarterly report card is out, revealing the industry hasn’t had even one big hit to justify all the money it splurged.

“The first three months have been very bad. Bollywood has lost anywhere between Rs.300 and 400 crore and there is not one hit to show for it,” Vikas Mohan, who runs the trade publication Super Cinema, told IANS.

“Producers will give the excuse of IPL (Indian Premier League) and many such factors. But the honest truth is we are not making good films.”

He may have hit bull’s eye. Consider this: despite the notion of stars attracting audiences and therefore commanding high prices, the audience seems to have rejected them in 2010.

According to Ibos Network, Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan worked wonders with cards in “Teen Patti”, but the film flopped with just Rs.8.5 crore despite the added attraction of Ben Kingsley. His “Rann” fared only a little better with Rs.14 crore.

Salman Khan’s “Veer” made Rs.42 crore, but with distributors shelling out a rumoured Rs.70 crore for it, the film was a flop. At Rs.25 crore, director-actor Farhan Akhtar-Deepika Padukone-starrer “Karthik Calling Karthik” could not call on profits.

Neither could Vishal Bharadwaj’s critically acclaimed production venture “Ishqiya” with Rs.31.5 crore. The Shahid Kapoor-starrer “Chance Pe Dance” could make only Rs.15 crore.

“The best month this year was January and that too because of ’3 Idiots’ and ‘Well Done Abba’, both of which released in December last year. Among the 2010 releases we had good business with ‘My Name is Khan’ and ‘Atithi Tum Kab Jaoge’,” said Vishal Kapur, COO, Fun Cinemas.

According to a trade pundit, the biggest grosser this year so far has been Shah Rukh Khan’s “My Name Is Khan”. Yet by complex box office estimates, it is not a hit. That is because the distributor, Fox Star Studios, is supposed to have paid Rs.100 crore for the film, which grossed worldwide only about Rs.86.5 crore.

Ajay Devgn-Konkona Sen Sharma- starrer “Atithi Tum Kab Jaoge”, is on its way to becoming a moderate hit as, despite only 30-40 percent opening in multiplexes in the first week, it has netted Rs.28 crore.

National Award winning director Dibakar Banerjee’s “Love Sex Aur Dhokha” (LSD) grossed Rs.8.5 crore and made profits for its producer Ekta Kapoor.

This plus the rave reviews, however, has not had Bollywood jump with joy because the reason for the profit has been a low budget of Rs.1 crore and very little advertising spend.

LSD made profits for its producers, but to be called a hit, a film needs to make enough money at the box office with sufficient ticket sales. In that aspect this ‘urban hit’ is not exactly a Bollywood hit, an analyst pointed out.

However, Bollywood should take heart from the fact that the first quarter of the year seldom generates any big hits.

The biggest hits usually release late summer and between the Diwali to December period. And Bollywood might still recover its losses with upcoming big budget releases like “Housefull”, “Kites”, “Raajneeti”, “Raavan” and “Action Replay” riding on some big names like Akshay Kumar, Hrithik Roshan, Ajay Devgn, Abhishek Bachchan, and Aishwarya Rai.



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