By Hindustan Times
A 100 crore box office taking is no benchmark for success, and may even be exaggerated, say Bollywood experts. Last year, Ready, Bodyguard, Singham, Don 2 and RA.One reportedly made over Rs. 100 crore. This year, Rowdy Rathore, Agneepath and Housefull 2 claim to have achieved the feat. But industry experts say that the figure is misleading. Some even say that it is exaggerated to boost star pay packets.
“The R100 crore mania is a myth. Firstly because it’s only 40% of the total earnings that comes to the producers, rest 60% goes in paying taxes and the share to the multiplexes. So Rs. 100 crores is nothing but a phenomenon created by the stars to keep their next film’s fee intact. Bollywood is a star driven industry, so the Rs. 100 crore hue and cry is intended to not just create a buzz about the film in question but also to raise the hype around the star’s upcoming films,” says Shailendra Singh of Percept Pictures.
Actors Shahid Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra and Naseeruddin Shah, too, have recently questioned the sanctity of the term. “The Rs. 100 crore club is just a fad which has come up in the industry for the past three years. The films which come under this category are of a certain genre only and done by those actors who have been in the industry for the last 20 years,” says Kapoor.
Priyanka Chopra points out that several small films have done better business than the R100 crore hits. “I’m happy that two films of mine — Don 2 and Agneepath reached that figure, but there have been a lot of small films as well which, according to ratio, have been bigger hits than most R100 crore films- be it The Dirty Picture or Kahaani, Ishaqzaade or Vicky Donor,” she says.
Not one to mince words, Naseeruddin Shah calls the figure “laughable”. “It is like a balloon which will burst soon. People in this industry like to boast, which is why the term ‘100 crore’ has come up,” he says. Actor Sonu Sood, whose film Dabangg reportedly made R100 crore also admits, “It is a fad. Films made on a budget of R50 cr make R100 cr and we think they have achieved a lot.”
Filmmaker Atul Agnihotri, who produced Bodyguard, says, “It could be a success benchmark only if the film was made on a small scale.”