Home / News / India /  Subdued  box  office  hits  big-budget  Bollywood  movies

After S.S. Rajamouli’s RRR, trade experts say superhero flick Brahmastra may find it tough to recoup its investment fully any time soon. The film, produced at a budget of over 350 crore, has made around 248 crore in domestic box office collections, translating into a 124 crore share for producers Star Studios, which is also retaining the satellite and digital rights for their platforms. Trade experts say the box office is yet to recover to fully support such ultra-expensive films though producers are conceiving these as franchises that will pay off in the long term with multiple spin-offs. Earlier this year, distributors and theatre owners who paid over 400 crore to acquire the rights of RRR had not been able to recoup their investments. Trade experts said the film couldn’t achieve the box office collections it could have if it had been released before the pandemic. The period drama had underperformed, particularly in the Hindi-speaking belt, making less than 275 crore as compared to the 510 crore made by Rajamouli’s Baahubali 2- The Conclusion in 2017.

“If the barometer is to compare the costs of the film to the revenue earned, there is definitely a shortfall for Brahmastra," said a film trade expert declining to be named. While the producers will recover some more money when the film streams on their satellite and digital platforms, the box office provides ultimate validation, the person said, adding that the film has done a good job of improving sentiments for the Hindi film business. “It has destroyed the notion that social media boycotts have an actual impact and lifted the spirits of the industry but, at the end of the day, has proven to be a costly bet," the person said.

The returns from films like RRR, Brahmastra and more recently, Mani Ratnam’s Ponniyin Selvan-1 are lower for distributors as the country has lost nearly 1,500 theatres to the pandemic—mostly single-screen properties that could not survive the pandemic’s blow to their businesses. Several cinema owners admit a certain section of their clientele hasn’t returned to theatres and is unlikely to return as it is accustomed to enjoying the content on streaming platforms in the comfort of home.

Independent trade analyst Sreedhar Pillai said it has become critical for filmmakers to stick to budgets at a time the overseas market has shrunk considerably for Indian films.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Lata Jha

Lata Jha covers media and entertainment for Mint. She focuses on the film, television, video and audio streaming businesses. She is a graduate of the Columbia School of Journalism. She can be found at the movies, when not writing about them.
Catch all the Business News, Market News, Breaking News Events and Latest News Updates on Live Mint. Download The Mint News App to get Daily Market Updates.
More Less

Recommended For You

Trending Stocks

×
Get alerts on WhatsApp
Set Preferences My ReadsWatchlistFeedbackRedeem a Gift CardLogout