In the past month, small has been beautiful for Hindi film distributors and exhibitors. While Peepli Live, which released last Friday, has got very good response from both film critics and audiences, two other small-budget films, Tere Bin Laden and Udaan, which released last month have also made profits. However, the big-budget films in the same time period — Khatta Meetha and Lamhaa — have tanked.
“Peepli Live had net collections of Rs 4 crore on Friday and over Rs 5 crore on Saturday (last weekend). Considering Sunday was Independence Day, collections were expected to be high. The producers have already covered their cost and even made money before the film released by selling the satellite and music rights of the film,” said film trade analyst Komal Nahata. While the satellite rights of the film were sold for Rs 10 crore, the music rights were given for Rs 4 crore. According to estimates, the film’s cost was around Rs 10 crore (including marketing and promotion).
Trade analysts said Udaan and Tere Bin Laden, which released on July 16, have been profitable ventures on the back of good content. “Tere Bin Laden is a success story. It had collected approximately Rs 5.61 crore in the first week itself. The returns from theatrical and non-theatrical avenues should ensure profits to its distributors and also its producers,” said film trade analyst Taran Adarsh. Even in the third week of release, the film has been doing well in multiplexes. According to estimates, the cost of the film is Rs 6 crore.
“Udaan collected Rs 2.5 crore in the first week. The cost of the film is around Rs 5 crore. The satellite rights have been sold for Rs 3.5 crore; sale of music rights and home video rights together will fetch around Rs 75 lakh. The theatrical revenues from India and overseas will fetch another Rs 50 lakh. The recovery is around Rs 6.25 crore, which means a 25 per cent return on investment,” said Adarsh.
However, the return on investment (RoI) on Peepli Live is going to be unprecedented for a small budget film, said trade analysts. Co-produced by actor Aamir Khan with UTV and marketed well, the RoI for Peepli Live could be over 300 per cent, said analysts.
So, is going small the profitable model? “I would not say so, as each film has its own requirement and the economics of each film should make sense. So, I might make a small film but its recovery potential may also be small. The bottom line is, you need to safeguard the project and the potential to earn from it should be higher than the investment,” Khan had told Business Standard in an earlier interview.