It’s that time of the year again, when Salman(ia) strikes in full force. No prizes for guessing that we’re taking about Salman Khan’s next Eid release – Tubelight. With Bollywood having seen hitherto just three clean hits in2017, and with no film being able to touch even the 150-crore mark yet, the industry and trade have pinned huge hopes on Tubelight to pull them out of the rut. So, will this Kabir Khan film be able to live up to its herculean expectations. Let’s analyze its budget and other economics; the facets that could work in its favor and against it; and how much it ultimately needs to rake in at the box-office to be considered a commercial success.
1.) It’s a Salman Khan film arriving during Eid – few actors have dominated a festive period more than he has during Eid, and, fewer still, can boast of the crazy fan-following that he enjoys.
2.) Salman is reuniting with Kabir Khan. Their last two film, EK Tha Tiger and Bajrangi Bhaijaan, have been outright blockbusters, with the latter not only going on to break all sorts of records upon its release, but also being acclaimed as one-of-the-most loved and widely watched films in recent times.
3.) The Ramadan period would have ended, which will draw the Muslim audience in full force to the theaters.
4.) The industry hasn’t seen a single successful release since Hindi Medium, which had released over a month ago. In other words, the audience should emerge in huge numbers, with the family audience, in particular, likely to have saved their money solely for Tubelight.
5.) Kabir’s films are known for their universal appeal, and the trailer of Tubelight gives a similar vibe.
6.) Biggest release ever for an Indian film, breaking the previous record held by Baahubali 2.
7.) Post the back-to-back success of Bajrangi Bhaijaan and Sultan, the trust that moviegoers have in a Salman Khan starrer has only augmented, with the multiplex audience in metros also warming up to his movies.
1.) The trailer has surprisingly not been able to create the same sort of pre-release buzz as Bajrangi Bhaijaan and Sultan had, with some sections in the trade and audience also feeling that it looks too similar to Bajrangi Bhaijaan.
2.) The songs (excluding the Radio song), too, haven’t yet caught on that well.
3.) Lack of a bankable female lead or strong supporting cast. With due respect to Sohail Khan, he just doesn’t enjoy the same level of popularity like Nawazuddin Siddiqui.
4.) The economics of the film are extremely high, and anything below 350 crores at the ticket window would be considered a disappointing result.
5.) Lack of a popular female lead - Salman's previous releases had actresses like Kareena Kapoor Khan and Anushka Sharma in lead roles, who have a dedicated fan following. Tubelight stars Chinese actress Zhu Zhu, and audience are yet to make a connect with her. Zhu Zhu hasn't been a part of film promotions either.
Taking the above parameters into consideration, we’re going with an opening-day prediction of Rs. 25-30 crore nett. The film could collect even more if the buzz picks up, but we’ve decided to go with the safe bet for now, considering the film releases just before Eid, which will keep a large section of the Muslim audience away from the theaters. An opening in this range would still give the film a fantastic start, and if the word-of-mouth is positive enough, it could grow from there to finish its first weekend within the 90-100 crore range, especially with the Muslim auience emerging in full force from Sunday evening.
|Parameter||Prediction in Nett (INR)|
|Opening Day||25-30 crore|
|Opening Weekend||90-100 crore|
Let’s now scrutinize the film’s budget. The film’s landing costs are quite high, with its total production and marketing budget being more than that of both Bajrangi Bhaijaan and Sultan. The producers, though, have already made a whopping profit from its theatrical, satellite, and overseas rights, and are sitting pretty regardless how the film performs in the theaters.
|Total Budget||100 crore|
|Satellite Rights||60 crore|
|Music Rights||20 crore|
|Domestic Theatrical Rights||132 crore|
|Overseas Theatrical Rights||75 crore|
|Total Profit||187 crore|
NH Studioz have shelled an mindboggling amount for the domestic theatrical rights, which means that even with 250 crore – an amount at which most films would be considered blockbusters – they’d just be breaking even. Tubelight has to earn a minimum of 300 crore to be considered a clean hit, and has to become the first Bollywood film to cross 400 crores if Salman Khan wishes to add to his list of blockbusters.
|Blockbuster||Above 400 crore|
|Above Average||280-299 crore|
|Below Average||200-249 crore|
|Flop||Below 200 crore|
Even though the stakes riding on Tubelight are insanely high, if anyone could pull them off, it’s the Salman Khan-Kabir Khan combo. Nevertheless, the box-office is an extremely fickle entity, and every single of these analysis and predictions could be chucked out of the window once the film releases.
Image Source: SKF