Three obsessions. Cricket. Bollywood. Marriage. Not in that order, thoughâ€¦ Let me explain. Indians adore cricket. Love movies and worship movie stars. And spend all their savings on marriages. The other day, a prominent film-maker told me that TANU WEDS MANU was sure to be a success because it got the formula right. The promotion/marketing was perfect, the music had caught on and the subject material [the journey from strangers to dulha-dulhan] had all the trappings to appeal to the traditional Indian audience.
In December last year, Yash Raj’s BAND BAAJA BAARAAT [one of the best films of 2010, in my opinion] emerged a success story for various reasons. Of course, the contribution by its lead cast [Ranveer, Anushka] as also the musical score [Salim-Sulaiman] cannot be ignored, but more than anything else, the solid content did all the talking when the film hit the screens. BAND BAAJA BAARAAT had a slow start at the ticket window, but the tremendous word of mouth lured the audiences in hordes, despite major opposition in that particular week as well as during the subsequent weeks.
Now TANU WEDS MANU seems to be chartering a similar path. The morning and noon shows on Friday ranged from modest/decent [North India] to below average, but by evening, the trends were evident: The business was moving Northwards. The positive word of mouth was slowly and gradually translating into box-office numbers and the film posted a healthy Rs. 3.26 cr on Day 1. The question was, would it sustain on Day 2 [Saturday]? Or trip and fall [most films slide downwards on Saturday]? Or gross better figures?
TANU WEDS MANU grossed a remarkable Rs. 4.33 cr on Saturday, with North India [Delhi-U.P. and Punjab] contributing the best figures. In fact, a lot many people were skeptical of its performance in North [despite the Punjabi flavor in the film] since Madhavan is no crowd puller in these circuits, but the show-wise increase proved the naysayers wrong. In fact, the Delhi-U.P. distributor [Ginni Arts], who acquired the film two days prior to its release, must be jumping with joy over their right decision.
The film fell on Sunday evening due to the crucial cricket match between India and England. Yet, despite a strong opponent, TANU WEDS MANU fetched Rs. 3.66 cr on Day 3 [better than Friday figures], taking the 3-day total to approx. Rs. 11.25 cr nett, which is very good for a mid-bud film that comes at a time when the World Cup fever has caught on.
Now let’s discuss the economics of TANU WEDS MANU. The producers sold the film to Viacom18 for 11 cr and the company incurred an additional cost of Rs. 6.5 cr on P & A, taking the total cost to Rs. 17.5 cr. Thanks to its popular music and attractive promos, Viacom18 sold the film to various territory distributors, collecting Rs. 7.25 cr in the process. Plus, the company sold the Satellite Rights for Rs. 7.5 cr, besides selling its Music Rights + Home Video for Rs. 1 cr. Which means, Viacom18 had already recovered approx. Rs. 15.75 cr before the release of the film. Viacom18 is distributing the film in Mumbai city-suburbs, Thane and Maharashtra and also in the Overseas territory. At the rate the film is faring, recovering the balance amount [Rs. 1.75 cr] from these circuits would be a cakewalk for the company. In fact, one expects a 20%-25% profit on the invested amount in the first cycle of exploitation itself.
TANU WEDS MANU enjoys a virtual monopoly in the coming days. With no major release till 1 April, the film is expected to enjoy ample shows at plexes and the undivided attention of the movie-going audience. Let’s hope the cricket matches don’t spoil the party!