Box office: Situation stalemate!

Published: 01 November, 2011 08:35 IST | Hiren Kotwani |

After the opening weekend, the opinion among trade experts about RA.One's fate is divided

After the opening weekend, the opinion among trade experts about RA.One's fate is divided

The most eagerly anticipated film of the year, RA.One didn't open to record-breaking collections in India this Diwali, but it did pretty well for itself in the subsequent days.

While one section of trade analysts says that the numbers are not good enough, another section maintains that the SRK-starrer has matched Bodyguard's collections, the year's biggest hit so far.

Trade sources, on condition of anonymity, peg the first five days' numbers at about Rs 80 crore. "That's only for the Hindi version, while Bodyguard raked in R 86 crore in as many days," says a source, declining to go on record.

Veteran trade analyst Amod Mehra observes that at the most, Eros International will break even. "Sub-distributors who bought the film for various territories in India will lose," he says, attributing it to the film's concept being rejected. "The 3D format is not good enough."

Pegging the cost at R 150 crore plus, Mehra maintains that RA.One cost thrice as much as Bodyguard.

"Besides, it released in about 1000 screens more and also has the advantage of 3D. But comparing the figures at par, RA.One stands at lesser than Bodyguard in India. Though overseas, Shah Rukh's film is far ahead," he explained.

A Central India based distributor remarked that when a film doesn't fare well on the first Sunday after its release, then there's little hope. "There was only a marginal difference of about R 2 lakh as compared to Saturday.
So the writing on the wall is clear," he said, on the condition of not being named. He added, "Nizam territory was sold for R 7.5 crore, but it looks like this distributor will lose R 2.5 crore. CI territory sold for R 3.15 crore, but will not see more than R 2.5 crore.
Rajasthan went for Rs 5 crore and will lose at lease Rs 1 crore and so will the distributor of CP, who spent R 4.75 for the territory. Entire east circuit (West Bengal, Assam, Orissa, Bihar) was sold for R 7 crore, but the distributor looks to lose R 2 crore."

Sharing Amod Mehra's perspective, a head honcho of a multiplex chain attributed the dropping collections to content. Requesting his name to be withheld, he revealed, "The occupancy on Sunday was about 40 per cent, and Monday was about 20 per cent. Even the impact of 3D was not good enough."

However, Amul Mohan of the trade weekly, Super Cinema is optimistic. When pointed that RA.One's numbers didn't meet the expectations, he countered, "People were expecting Rs 150 crore in five days.
Given the high cost of the film, the hype is only natural. RA.One did a business of R 82.15 crore in Hindi and include the figures for Tamil-Telugu, it has crossed Rs 91 crore. Instead of being in a hurry to give their verdict on the film, people should wait."

Mehra feels that expectations are justified since the film was much hyped. He reiterates that by the end of RA.One's run, Eros will break even, but not make any noticeable profit. As for the theatre owners, they have no choice but to continue playing the film till the next biggie, Rockstar releases on November 11.

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