Thugs of Hindostan has proved to be one of the biggest disasters of this decade as neither the producers nor the actor and not even the exhibitors have made money from this magnum opus starring Aamir Khan, Amitabh Bachchan film directed by Vijay Krishna Acharya. The only party for whom the film has proved to be a profitable venture are the sub-distributors of YRF who distributed the film on commission basis, as it has been the norm for all their films. Before getting into the actual issue, let us first explain the business model of Thugs of Hindostan.
All Yash Raj Films are distributed in different territories by their own set of distributors on commission basis i.e. the distributors get 10 to 12% of the distributors share whereas the rest is pocketed by the producers. Same was the case with Thugs of Hindostan. Since it was on a commission basis, the sub-distributors didn’t lose money however the exhibitors had to face a burn in their pocket. At almost all territories in India, the sub-distributors signed a Minimum Guarantee deal with the exhibitors and quoted an amount just a little under Baahubali 2, thereby pocketing a major chunk of the profit. By doing so, the sub-distributors made hefty monies thereby hedging their risk by passing it on to exhibitors. But the exhibitors have lost out on more than half of their investments. Our trade sources have confirmed that the losses entailed by the exhibitors on this film are higher than Tubelight, thereby making Thugs of Hindostan one of the biggest loss makers of this decade. A few examples of theatres which lost money are mentioned below:
Madhav Talkies (Bihar)
MG: Rs. 4 Lakh
Sangeet Cinema (Bihar)
MG: Rs. 4 Lakh
Nutan Cinema (Sitamrdi)
MG: Rs. 7.50 Lakh
This is the uniform scenario all across the country and the same has resulted in a lot of exhibitors going into a MENTAL TRAUMA and SEVERE DEPRESSION. We spoke to exhibitors who had bought the film out of trust on Aamir Khan and Brand YRF, however, due to the dismal content, they felt cheated and totally let down. “We had lost a similar amount on Tubelight as well, however Salman Khan refunded us the money. We plan to approach our territory distributors to claim refund because we know that they have made ample monies from this film due to the minimum guarantee contracts. We hope our message reaches out to Aamir Khan and YRF, who will help us get back our money from the territory distributors,” said a trade source.
Another source revealed that this scenario is different from films like Tubelight and Jab Harry Met Sejal because in those cases, the producers had made humongous profits. However this time around, even the producers have lost money and it is only the sub-distributors who have managed to get some amount of money as they entered into a several contracts with exhibitors. While the exhibitors across the country have lost around 50 to 60% of their investments, the producers Yash Raj Films too have lost a substantial sum of their investment. However, they still stand a chance to enter into a break-even situation if the film performs well in China.