Over the past few months there has been a lot said both in the media and in political circles about the highly anticipated film Padmavati aka Padmavat. The Sanjay Leela Bhansali directorial that stars Deepika Padukone, Shahid Kapoor and Ranveer Singh has been in the eye of the storm with protests across the country erupting, that eventually went on to derail the December 1, 2017 release of the film. Now, after the CBFC (Censor Board of Film Certification) finally granted Padmavati a ‘U/A’ certificate after it was retitled to Padmavat, the Rajasthan government has come out stating that they would not allow the release of the same within the state.
Going by this diktat, we take a look at the hypothetical box office damage the makers of Padmavat are likely to face if the remaining states viz. Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, and Bihar that had initially banned the release of the film in December decide to hold fast to their decision of non-release. Given the fact that Padmavat already faces competition from the Akshay Kumar starrer PadMan that is certain to eat into the film’s overall business, we theorise on the hypothesis that Padmavat could easily stand to make Rs. 200 cr at the box office. However, with the state of Rajasthan banning the release of Padmavat the makers of the film are likely to take a hit of Rs. 12 cr. in the Rajasthan territory.
Echoing a similar sentiment, film trade and business analyst Girish Johar adds, “Currently everyone is on a wait and watch mode and are taking cautious steps towards the release of Padmavat. And with Rajasthan coming straight and saying that they will not allow the release of the film in the state, I think it is a tough call for the makers since they have many speed breakers ahead and very little time on their hands.” Further talking about the loss the makers of Padmavat might face if more states that had initially banned the release of Padmavat join in, Johar adds, “If you are estimating a lifetime business of Rs. 12 cr. coming in from Rajasthan, then I would estimate another Rs. 25-30 cr. from Uttar Pradesh, Punjab & Haryana at Rs. 20-25 cr., and another Rs. 5 cr. or so from Bihar and approx. 10 cr. from Madhya Pradesh. Now if these states too join Rajasthan in banning the release of Padmavat, the makers of the film could see a negation of anywhere between Rs. 75-80 cr. in business being wiped out.”
Similarly trade analyst Amod Mehra too shares a point of view that coincides with Johar’s. However, unlike Johar, Mehra refrains from allocating any specific or ball park figure to estimated collections that could be drawn from the said territories. “As of now the makers are easily looking at a loss of 30-35% in terms of business at the box office. But this loss could easily go up to even 40% of the total revenue that they could have earned. In general terms, Rajasthan is considered as 12-15% of the total market share and it also depends on how much you sell the property in that particular region, this changes from film to film. So we also have to look at it in a general sense and it will take some more time to estimate a total loss figure that the makers of Padmavat might face.”
“I have been reading the media reports too, but as of now it is a wait and watch situation. One cannot really calculate the losses that would happen, till the time everything is finalised and we get to know where the film is releasing and where it is not or will be affected. As of now there are 16 days more for the release of the film, so you cannot assume that there will be substantial losses”, claims trade and business analyst Taran Adarsh.
While the industry seems to be gearing up for a film that might just face losses even before its release with certain markets being eliminated totally, there is another issue that the makers of Padmavat face, which is the task of acquiring a screen count that will ensure the film’s success. While this problem is fodder for yet another debate, the general presumption currently is that if more states join Rajasthan in barring the release of the film, Padmavat might face an immense setback at the box office, with matters further being compounded with PadMan eating into its business.