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In the new Rs 200 cr club, is high ticket price the real game changer?

Do the recent box office successes denote that Bollywood has found new markets? Or is the magic figure courtesy higher ticket prices and more number of screens.

bollywood Updated: Nov 16, 2013 11:51 IST
Prashant Singh

The game has changed. And in Bollywood, just like in cricket, 200 is the new number that matters. Scored a hundred? No big deal. A double ton, that’s worth talking about.

A movie makes Rs 100 crore? Every second one does these days. To make headlines, Rs 200 crore is the new mark to aim for.

For the past five years, Bollywood films have been obsessed about entering the Rs 100 crore club. But now, with about two dozen films having made it, the stakes are higher.

Birth of the Rs 200 crore club

Aamir Khan-starrer 3 Idiots (2009) was the only film to have made Rs 200 crore, until 2013 saw two entrants in quick succession — the Shah Rukh Khan-starrer Chennai Express and now, Hrithik Roshan’s Krrish 3. The Hrithik-starrer, in fact, made a record Rs 226 crore in just two weeks.

More screens, higher ticket prices

Trade analyst Taran Adarsh says, "The number of screens and ticket prices have both multiplied. So the scope of earning has gone up."

As per industry estimates, the number of screens for a big film in the last four-five years has shot up by almost 50 per cent. Case in point, 3 Idiots released in approximately 1,800 screens; Chennai Express doubled that number to 3,700. And Krrish 3 set a new record with around 4,500 screens.

In the same period, the ticket prices have shot up by 20-25 per cent.

Rakesh Roshan, film-maker, Krrish 3, admits that "(the number of screens and theatres) has also helped us technically break the records. And it won’t be surprising if tomorrow some other film breaks Krrish 3’s record".

Higher investment

The money pumped into a film has also gone up remarkably. Producer of Rs 100 crore earners like Ready (2011) and Aashiqui 2, Bhushan Kumar, says, "Now, Rs 200 crore should be the mark simply because today, if you make a quality film with big stars, the budget will be Rs 75-Rs 80 crore, with Rs 20-Rs 25 crore for publicity and advertising. So, to break even, the film has to make around Rs 150 crore."

Exhibitor-distributor Akshaye Rathi adds, "With the way things are going, I won’t be surprised if we start to aspire for figures like Rs 500 crore."