Big-budget releases such as Ram-Leela, Krrish 3 and Himmatwala would be among Bollywood’s most profitable films of the year, right? Wrong. While these films have done good business, it’s Bollywood’s low-budget success stories that have yielded the highest returns on investment.
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 investment for its producer, T-series.
Six of the top nine films 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 investment 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 box office collection and the overseas gross box office 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 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.