Bollywood still upbeat about big-budget films despite failures

Big budget films manage good deals by selling rights for satellite TV, digital streaming and overseas releases. Even if a big-spectacle Bollywood film fares poorly at the box office, producers usually recover most of their money.

While its true that several small-to-mid budget films with good content now do well at the box-office, Bollywood studios/producers still are excited about big-budget films, despite a few of them failing at the box-office.

Karan Johar’s Kalank was the latest Bollywood’s big-budget movie that failed at the box-office, joining the likes of Thugs of Hindostan, Race 3, and Zero.

Having said that, Bollywood is still excited about big-spectacle films (also known as tent-pole films); there are several big-budget, star-driven films lined-up for release over the next couple of years.

So are you thinking these guys have loads of cash to blow up?

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They may have the money, but if you take a closer look at the economics, you will realize that these studios/producers don’t necessarily lose money even after a film does badly at the box-office.

And there is a reason for that.

Big-ticket films manage to attract good deals on selling rights to other platforms.

So a production house that has made a big-budget film gets good money from ancillary streams such as satellite TV rights, home video, music, overseas theatrical releases and digital streaming. All this is besides the ticket (box-office) collection.

Kalank, for instance, made about Rs. 75 crore from the sale of satellite TV and digital rights, Rs.25 crore from music and Rs.20 crore from overseas distribution rights. And if you add this all up, its much more than what the movie collected at the domestic box-office (the global box office revenue in this case was lower than the film’s revenue from other streams).

And if you add the revenue from all the streams, you will realize that the prouder eventually recovers his investment. A big-budget movie that bombs at the box-office nowadays is not really a loss-making venture for the producer/studio.

That’s the reason Bollywood, though cautious, will always remain excited about big-budget films. And that is why they say “there is nothing like showbiz”.