Great marketing and promotions, lavish budget and a big star cast, Bollywood films have tried every trick in the book to make it big. However, none of it seems to be working. Big films such as Mohenjo Daro, Baar Baar Dekho, Dishoom, Baaghi and Ki & Ka missed the train to blockbuster land.
According to trade analysts, a film is a box office hit when it manages to earn twice the production cost, since tax and theatre deductions happen after final collection.
“The problem is that the film industry is still not script driven, but star-driven. You go to most financers in studios and the only thing that drives them is the film’s cast. Not enough new comers who are not from the film industry are given a chance. I think we need to make more space for content,” says filmmaker Onir.
Producer Anubhav Sinha believes our efforts are usually centred around enticing crowds to the theaters and not on delivering a good film. “A fine balance between the invite, the promise, the experience and the cost will be the success formula. Stars can only be a part of the invite but a bad experience can easily neutralise their presence,” he explains.
However, filmmaker Ali Abbas Zafar, whose Salman Khan-starrer Sultan was one of the hit films this year, says there is no definite route. “The honestly of the situation is that no one knows here what gets accepted and what does not. As filmmakers, you tell a story you’re confident about. There’s no rule to the box office or a rule to acceptance,” he says.
Filmmaker Sabbir Khan, who directed Tiger Shroff and Shraddha Kapoor-starrer Baaghi, also bats for good content. “Right now is a beautiful time for Hindi cinema. If the audiences really like a film, they talk about it. Those not giving good content or something new are ones failing,” he says.
Trade analyst Atul Mohan says producers must do a reality check before setting the budget of their film. “A producer has to get into the reverse mode of budgeting a film. You have to understand how much the film can make. You have to make a rough estimate. He has to invest in the project accordingly and not spend lavishly. He has to keep in mind the potential of the film,” says Mohan.