If trade talk is anything to go by, RA.One will only need the six-day Diwali weekend, starting October 26, to recover Rs 100 crore, the remainder of the film’s estimated Rs 150 crore budget. Reportedly, producers Gauri Khan (lead actor Shah Rukh Khan’s wife) and Eros have already made Rs 50 crore through TV rights in India (Rs 35 crore), home video and music rights among others.
Tradesmith Amod Mehra believes that with RA.One raking in the moolah, the never-ending Salman-SRK war will heat up again at the box office, and should, in turn, generate great business for Hindi film trade in India. "RA.One can easily surge ahead of Bodyguard, which is the year’s biggest money maker so far. As of now, it looks like R 100 crore will be recovered in the first week itself, because the film opens in several countries on the same day and SRK is a popular figure in a lot of places where Hindi isn’t even understood," he adds.
Typically, the earnings from any movie are divided into three or four parts. A portion, about 45 per cent, is paid as tax. The remainder is divided between distributors, exhibitors, and at times, producers who claim a share in the "overflow".
According to Sunil Punjabi, CEO of Cinemax, a chain of multiplexes, RA.One’s business can even beat that of Aamir Khan’s 3 Idiots, two years ago. He notes that there have already been several block bookings for RA.One, days before release. Parents and schools have been asking for special shows around Children’s Day, which is still a couple of weeks away. Ticket prices have escalated, and the number of seats and shows available has also increased, since it’s the only biggie releasing next week.
"One of the biggest advantages is that it’s in 3D, which allows exhibitors to sell tickets at a slightly higher cost. Diwali holidays have extended up to Monday in several states," he explains, adding that the collections could beat those of 3 Idiots if it stays in cinema halls for over four weeks. "Several top networks are vying for the international TV rights too. So, there’s no stopping the estimated collections, unless something seriously goes wrong."
Sanjay Ghai, Delhi-based distributor, accredits the pre-release buzz and heightened trade expectations to SRK, who returns to cinemas after My Name Is Khan in 2010.
He says, "Shah Rukh’s not left any means to promote his movie untouched. As a distributor, I can vouch that it’ll make Rs 300 crore in exactly three weeks and two days of running in cinema halls. That should increase expectations from Don 2 and other biggies that will release after RA.One."
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His 3 Idiots (Rs 227.68 cr) is a record that no actor has been able to match in the last two years. Although his next movie, Dhuaan releases on June 1, 2012, instead of the usual Christmas, it’s already on the list of anticipated hits next year.
His dream run at the box office continues. What started with Wanted in 2009 (Rs 62.97 cr), continued with Dabangg (Rs 154.39 cr) in 2010, followed by Ready (Rs 103.48 cr) and Bodyguard (Rs 151 cr) this year.
Agneepath’s TV rights have gone for a record price of Rs 41 crore, months before release. His last, Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara (Rs 62.83 cr) that released in July this year has broken the chain of flops he’d had with home production Kites (Rs 51.54 cr) and UTV’s Guzaarish ( Rs 14.25 cr, weekend ). With Krrish 2 and Agneepath next year, it could be a happy new year for him too!
* All figures above are adjusted net collections recorded * Figures courtesy: www.ibosnetwork.com