The film ads proclaim, “Rs 120 crore collection!” The seats are empty.
What’s up? Yesterday’s Times of India offers hope out of the mystery.
According to an article titled India makes almost as many films as US, Japan & China, an average Indian movie ticket costs $ 0.5 while an average American ticket costs $ 7.2 and a British ticket costs $ 9.5.
Now, Hindi, Tamil and Telgu films collect a good amount from overseas. A few reasonable assumptions and you have:
|Seats per hall||400||150||150|
|Shows per week||28||28||28|
|No of halls||100||30||20|
|Seats filled per show||63||9||6|
|Total in $||2,40,00,000|
Of course, films are imported elsewhere too. The Middle East must be a big market, at least wherever movies are allowed. And there’s Southeast Asia.
And I refuse to believe that the average ticket price commanded by a big movie in its first few weeks is as low as $ 0.5 (Rs 25). Surely they make much more in the multiplexes.
On the flip side, one wonders if Indian films get 4 shows a day throughout the week outside India. But we don’t need the details now.
The point is that with a weak rupee, a hit rate of1 in 25 should be good enough to turn any movie into a blockbuster, and Indian moviemakers need never look for non-Indian (Chinese, Western) audiences because Indians abroad are enough!
No wonder stars pay the highest taxes: They have so much to spare. The tragedy is that almost everyone else connected to movies – technicians, bit players, ushers - seem to be making a pittance. Why?