Mumbai: Salman Khan’s Ek Tha Tiger has all the makings of a super hit a week before its Independence Day release, not that this should be a big surprise given the star’s sway over the masses. Tiger is said to be among the costliest films ever made under the Yash Raj Films (YRF) banner with a budget estimated at Rs 70-80 crore, but trade analyst Komal Nahta comfortably predicts the production house will get its money back by the weekend.
Buoyed by audience demand, ticket prices have been raised 15-25%.
“Theatre owners are expecting the film to be the biggest blockbuster movie ever for a Hindi film,” said Girish Wankhede, spokesperson for Cinemax India Ltd, which runs multiplexes. “The interest among film enthusiasts is also very high.”
A still from Ek Tha Tiger
Given the higher ticket prices, the movie opening on over 3,000 screens worldwide (said to be the most for a Bollywood film), and the 15 August and Eid holidays coming up, it’s easy to see how Nahta has arrived at his calculation.
“The production house will recover its cost of production in the first five days itself (Wednesday to Sunday),” he said. “The production house decides whether or not its film’s ticket prices should be increased. Clearly, with the ticket prices increasing for Ek Tha Tiger, YRF stands to benefit.”
PVR Ltd, which runs multiplexes across the country, has raised prices by 15-25% based on geography, said Rahul Singh, senior vice-president, operations.
A still from Ek Tha Tiger
“Our customers have the option of pre-booking a film a month in advance. There is huge demand for Ek Tha Tiger,” Singh said. Regular advance bookings will open on Sunday at most cinema halls.
Executives at other multiplexes such as Big Cinemas and Inox Leisure Ltd confirmed that ticket prices will be higher for Ek Tha Tiger, directed by Kabir Khan and also starring Katrina Kaif. The trend is also reflected at single-screen halls that are mostly located in the smaller territories, where Khan reigns supreme.
“Single-screen theatres are also increasing ticket prices by almost 15%. Given the audience we cater to, it can’t be higher than that,” said the owner of such a hall, who didn’t want to be identified. The average ticket price at a multiplex is around Rs 200, while it’s Rs 50 at a single-screen hall.
Pramod Munot, owner of Panchsheel Cinema, a single-screen theatre in Nagpur, said: “Salman Khan films are all the rage for single-screen movie goers. We are expecting the film’s pre-booking to be a record hit, given his last few releases have been box-office record setters.” Salman Khan’s last three movies Bodyguard (2011), Ready (2011) and Dabangg (2010) were all big box-office smashes.
According to a revenue-sharing agreement signed in 2009, producers will get a 52.5% share of box-office collections in the first week for a film that earns more than Rs 24 crore, with the rest going to the theatre. The ratio changes subsequently, with the producer’s share dropping to 45% in the second week, 37.5% in the third week and 30% in the fourth week.
Unlike most films which release on a Friday, Ek Tha Tiger will be released on a Wednesday to cash in on the Independence Day holiday followed by Eid on the weekend.
“Ek Tha Tiger will be the biggest grosser, as it has the advantage of an extended weekend and high demand for the film,” said Ashish Saksena, chief operating officer of Big Cinemas.