There are two sides to a coin. Similarly, there are two ways at looking at the business of UTV and Madhur Bhandarkar's HEROINE. First, the optimistic viewpoint. Despite the 'Adults' tag, despite coinciding with the Ganeshotsav festivities, despite the ongoing cricket matches, despite the mixed feedback/word of mouth, despite scathing reviews, HEROINE has garnered an impressive total [Rs 25 cr nett] in its opening weekend. But in view of the fact that HEROINE was keenly anticipated, had an extensive release [2,000 + screens], no film/s to compete with in the same week, the numbers are below the mark. Anything below Rs 30 crore weekend for a much-awaited film seems disappointing nowadays.
For some strange reason, a section of the industry were comparing HEROINE with THE DIRTY PICTURE, which also depicted the rise and fall of an actress and had fared exceptionally well at the ticket window. But let's not forget, besides the backdrop of the film industry, Vidya Balan's brand equity, terrific music, great script and Ekta Kapoor's wonderful promotional campaign, THE DIRTY PICTURE starred Emraan Hashmi in the lead and let's not forget, the actor is a big, big crowd puller, the darling of the masses. That's an ace that HEROINE lacked, as far as magnetizing the audience is concerned.
The buzz surrounding HEROINE was tremendous prior to its release. But while HEROINE got an open week to garner footfalls, it faced stiff competition from BARFI!, which had released in the previous week and continues to make waves. The announcement of BARFI! being India's official entry at the Oscars has given further impetus to the film. At the same time, I'd like to state that HEROINE and BARFI! ate into each other's business. HEROINE and BARFI! would've amassed higher numbers had there been a substantial gap between these two films.
What goes in favor of HEROINE is its nominal cost. Let's have a bird's eye view of the economics of the film...
|Cost of production: 20 cr|
|+ P & A expenditure: 12 cr|
|Total cost: 32 cr|
Now let's look at the recoveries...
- UTV had pre-sold the film prior to its release and collected 15 cr from various distributors [the only territories they retained for distribution were Mumbai and Delhi-U.P.].
- Although the Satellite rights are unsold, one can assume it should fetch anywhere between 13 to 15 cr.
- The Overseas, Music and Home Video rights should contribute another 10 cr.
- Over and above, the in-film endorsements have fetched an additional 2.5 cr to the makers.
So if one totals the recoveries [15 cr + 13cr/15 cr + 10 cr + 2.5 cr = 40.5 cr/42.5 cr], UTV and Bhandarkar should find themselves in the profit zone. The returns from Mumbai and Delhi-U.P. territories would only act as the icing on the cake.