With around 5000 screens in India that run Hindi films, there is a capacity of roughly 50 crore available for consumption on a daily basis. Even if one accounts for lower ticket rates at certain properties during the weekdays, there is still a capacity of at least 35 crore available. However, the kind of numbers that are actually being accumulated are way too low for the survival of most of the properties, especially the single screens.
On Monday, Kahaani 2 (currently at 19.72 crore*) brought in around 2.75 crore* and Dear Zindagi (currently at 58.6 crore*) had 1.5 crore* more coming in. This comes to 4.25 crore* between the two films. Now even if we puts a rough estimate of around 2 crore coming in from all the other Hindi films in the running (holdover or re-releases), we are still looking at around 6-7 crore collected at best. Now compare it with 35 crore worth of capacity available and we are staring at an all-India collections of just 20%!
Is this the kind of outcome for which theaters actually operate?
Yes, there is going to be Dangal and after that Raees and Kaabil that would bring back the audiences. However, that’s once a month phenomenon at an average. For rest of the weeks, the occupancy is at the bottom in 10%-25% range. It is not just about today when demonetization is hitting cinema viewing public hard. Even on regular weeks, the situation has been like this for a good part of 2016 when only a select few films have succeeded.
Hopefully, better decisions would be made when kick-starting a film project in 2017. There is precious combination of time, energy, money and talent that results in a film being made. Let’s make it all worth it!
*Estimates. Final numbers awaited