The exhibitors were heading for some serious trouble back in 2016 due to the back to back failure of films, until Dangal and Baahubali 2: The Conclusion came along, who proved to be a breath of fresh air for cinema owners. The year 2017 also held the promise of massive returns through Salman Khan’s Eid release Tubelight, which unfortunately failed to light up at the box office.
Although the movie is definitely not a flop, as the makers have already pocketed an amount north of 150 crores, it is the exhibitors, specifically the single-screen exhibitors who are reporting humongous losses. In fact, some claim that they have lost all the profit that they made due to Baahubali and Dangal. The total amount that the exhibitors and distributors paid for the film was a staggering 132 crores, which we believe they are now regretting paying.
A trade expert says the following “With the kind of standards you set for a Salman Khan film, it has been unfortunate that Tubelight has not lived up to all the hype and expectations that we all had from it. It is also extremely unfortunate that many people in the trade have lost money.”
Popular trade analyst Komal Nahta has confirmed that the exhibitors and distributors are in tears and some have travelled to Mumbai to seek some assistance from Salman. He says:
“Single-screens which ran TUBELIGHT are in huge losses. In Ferozabad (U.P.), two cinemas, Sant & Bharat, lost entire price of Rs 9.11 lakh. Maya cinema of Hathras (U.P.) claims, he lost all that he earned in BAHUBALI 2 & DANGAL, in TUBELIGHT alone, which he booked for Rs 4.11 lakh. Distributors of TUBELIGHT in tears. Some have come to Bombay to plead with Salman to refund them money. Salman should rise to the occasion. For all those asking, Salman is not bound by contract to refund money to Tubelight distributors. But if he does, it wud be a great gesture.”
However, there is a very important lesson to learn from this debacle, says a trade analyst by saying “I feel it is time for the entire industry to really start playing with the belief that success or failure of a film depends on the star. It ultimately depends upon the efforts and the work of the director, the writer, the people who make the film. And we have proof of it. It is not so long ago that we had seen a phenomena like Baahubali 2, where we saw two South stars who were hardly known in the Hindi film circuit before Baahubali: The Beginning came by. And the kind of business that the second film has done in the Hindi circuit, it is beyond the biggest of hits by the biggest of superstars in Bollywood. So it is time to face the reality and to understand the biggest hero of a film is the content and the script. And as long as you can get that right, then nothing can stop you.”
We wonder what will our Bhaijaan do in the light of this!