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Most profitable films entertain no love for the Rs 100-crore club

Most profitable movie in 2013 is was Aashiqui 2 staring two fresh faces

Surajeet Das Gupta & Urvi Malvania  |  New Delhi/ Mumbai 

Big-budget releases such as Ram-Leela, Krrish 3 and Himmatwala would be among Bollywood’s most profitable of the year, right? Wrong. While these have done good business, it’s Bollywood’s low-budget success stories that have yielded the highest returns on

The most profitable film of 2013 has been the quintessential love story Aashiqui 2 starring two fresh faces, Aditya Roy Kapur and Shraddha Kapur, which has given a staggering 224 per cent return on for its producer, T-series.

Six of the top nine in terms of the rate of returns — including Fukrey, Shuddh Desi Romance, Jolly LLB and Kai Po Che — were neither backed by big stars or big budgets. All of them were made (including the cost of production as well as promotion and publicity) at a budget of less than Rs 50 crore. And at least three of those — Aashiqui 2, Fukrey and Jolly LLB — had a budget within Rs 18 crore. Says Bhushan Kumar, head of T-Series, “We have got into films that have good music, the rights to which we own. Our knowledge of the music business has helped us invest in the right films.”


The return on for a producer has been calculated on the basis of the cost incurred (on the making of the film as well as its publicity and promotion) in relation to what they earned from their share of the domestic net collection and the overseas gross collection. Domestically, the producer gets about 47 per cent of the collection on average, with the rest going to the exhibitors. Overseas, the producer gets about 40 per cent. The returns also include what the producer makes from satellite and music rights.

The big lesson of 2013 is that the return on investment for producers does not hinge on whether the film enters the coveted Rs 100-crore net collection club. Five of the nine aforesaid films made a net domestic box office collection of less than Rs 100 crore but reaped good returns because they were produced at a tight budget and were sold to broadcasters willing to pay for content that would work for TV. Shuddh Desi Romance, for instance, was able to recover more than half of its cost of Rs 30 crore by selling its satellite and music rights. Its satellite rights alone went for Rs 15 crore. Says Suniel Wadhwa, box office analyst who tracks film financials, “This year, several star-led films with high expectations have not worked at the box office. These include Himmatwala, Ghanchakkar and Besharam, to name a few. But content-driven films worked even without adequate star power.”

The two notable big-budget films to have bucked the trend wereYeh Jawaani Hai Deewani and Chennai Express. The latter tasted huge success abroad, where it made as much in box office collections as in India.

Farhan Akthar had a good year as the lead star of Bhaag Milkha Bhaag and also as co-owner of Excel Entertainment which produced Fukrey. Deepika Padukone was the most successful actress of the year, with two big hits in Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani and Chennai Express.

First Published: Sat, November 30 2013. 00:57 IST
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