Low-budget, content-heavy films driving revenue and redefining big success

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Low-budget, content-heavy films driving revenue and redefining big success

In 2018, the lines between small and big movies blurred, with low-budget movies raking as much, or even more, moolah than the big-banner ones. This trend has spilled over in 2019 as well.

So, when a film like Badla hits the theatres along with a Hollywood biggie Captain Marvel, it not only opens strong; but the Bollywood movie manages to mint more than the 21st offering from the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).

While Badla collected Rs 4.05 crore, Rs 6.60 crore and Rs 8.05 crore on second Friday, Saturday and Sunday, respectively, Captain Marvel recorded Rs 3 crore, Rs 5 crore and Rs 6.50 crore during the same period.

Just like Badla, last year too ‘smaller’ films like Stree, Badhaai Ho, Raazi, Andhadhun, Mulk came as a pleasant surprise for the film industry, forcing people to think and debate that a not so big film can also be the blockbuster.

This was also the topic of discussion at the recently held FICCI Frames, one of the biggest media events. Ajit Andhare, Chief Operating Officer, Viacom18 Studios, a panelist, said that the shift has happened especially in the opening day collections. 

Small films are attracting audiences on their first day. “Hence their first day collections have increased from Rs 2-3 crore earlier, to Rs 5-8 crore in last one year,” he said.

If the horror comedy Stree managed Rs 6.62 crore on day one, Badhaai Ho went a notch up by earning Rs 7.30 crore. Alia Bhatt’s Raazi fell in the same range with Rs 7.33 crore.

In the case of Andhadhun and Mulk the opening day numbers were low with collections to the tune of Rs 2.45 crore and Rs 1.52 crore respectively. However, the two films gathered steam in the following days with Andhadhun becoming one of the top Hindi films of 2018, with a business of over Rs 73 crore.

On the change that the industry is seeing in terms of small movies going big, director Amar Kaushik, who was at FICCI Frames, said that it is not the audience that has changed; it is the producers who have changed.

Talking to Moneycontrol, Amit Sharma, MD, Miraj Cinemas said, “While the Indian audience has always been a taker for masala films, nowadays people want to watch good cinema, irrespective of whether it is masala or non-masala. That’s why even producers want to be associated with such films.”

Content-driven films may be small in budget, but they are high in concept. That is the reason why they are celebrated at film festivals and sometimes, even award shows – another reason why producers want to associate themselves with such movies.

An example of this is Guneet Monga, who won an Oscar for her documentary film Period. End of Sentence.  Monga is said to be a path-breaking film producer with more than thirty films in her kitty. These films  include The Lunchbox, Gangs of Wasseypur, Masaan- movies that are low on budget, but high in content.

Even advertisers are cashing in on the popularity of small movies. About five years ago, advertisers came to theatres only for a Salman or Shah Rukh Khan movie. However, they have gradually started to understand that cinema is not just limited to those 4-5 big releases and that there is an audience for alternate cinema too.

Hence, advertisers started using the medium more and now it has gone up from 3-4 movies to 12-15 movies in a year.

This led to good business last year with low-budget movies doing well; in-turn helping the cause to continue the growing trend of in-theatre advertising.

Images are for reference only.Images gathered automatic from google.All rights on the images are with their original owners.

2019-03-19 08:40:59

Images are for reference only.Images gathered automatic from google.All rights on the images are with their original owners.

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