Aamir Khan starrer 3 Idiots, that has gone on to become the biggest hit in Hindi film history, has helped multiplexes recover from the two-month strike last year. 3 Idiots, which takes a critical look at the education system in the country, has already earned more than Rs.382 crore (Rs.3.82 billion/$82 million) worldwide since its release Dec 25 last year.
"Losses have reduced post 3 Idiots. We have had a gross revenue of Rs.1.6 crore from the movie till date. There were a lot of expectations from it and it fulfilled all expectations," Amit Awasthi, manager (programming and operations) of Spice Cinemas at Noida, told IANS.
"The movie has also proven Aamir Khan as a brand who comes out with one movie every year and that too a hit. Audiences are now ready to pay any ticket price for him," Awasthi added.
Spice ran on an average 26 shows of the movie with a maximum ticket price of Rs.175 per head. Yogesh Raizada, corporate head (cinemas) of Wave Cinemas, echoed the feeling.
"The profitability that went on the negative side of the integer line because of the strike saw a new lease of life courtesy 3 Idiots. Though the tremendous loses have not been recovered in their entirety but '3 Idiots' has sustained it with a recovery of close to 80-90 percent," said Raizada.
The industry went through a two-month-long standoff between the producers-distributors and multiplex owners over revenue sharing last year. It led to a whopping Rs.300 crore loss to the Hindi film industry.
The standoff between producers-distributors and multiplex owners started in February last year. While the producers demanded a flat 50 percent share of all film revenues irrespective of the stars, budget and box office collection, the exhibitors stressed on sharing profits based on the earnings of a film.
As a result the producers declared a strike April 4 onwards, which saw no new releases of Bollywood films in multiplexes across the country. The strike came to an end after the two parties agreed on a new revenue sharing format.
A source from PVR cinemas added: "We've generated a net profit of close to Rs.4 crore net till date in the North from the movie. We ran close to 160 shows across all properties here and there have been definite profits with the movie. Undoubtedly the movie has skyrocketed Aamir Khan's brand too."
An industry source on the other hand had a different take.
"3 Idiots definitely brought profits to multiplexes and also got benefited too courtesy the multiplexes. But there are also other things involved as we had to give extra share to the distributors unlike earlier, after a new contract came into exercise when the strike ended," he said.
Based on Chetan Bhagat's bestseller Five Point Someone, the film has been produced by Vidhu Vinod Chopra and directed by Rajkumar Hirani. Also starring R. Madhavan, Sharman Joshi, Boman Irani and Kareena Kapoor in pivotal roles apart from Aamir, the paid previews of the movie garnered over Rs.9 crore worldwide.
3 Idiots is also being touted as the highest grossing Indian film to release in the US, Middle East, Australia, South Africa, Pakistan, Kenya and Fiji so far.