Fan‘s been out for 2 weekends now, and the box office trends are pretty steady. That trend being “down.” But while that is the bad news, there is also good news. And, separately, there is the news that relates directly to Shahrukh.
India figures for Friday are out, they put it at 2.15 crore. Which matches the trend of going down about a crore a day since Monday (6.05 crore). Early estimates for Saturday and Sunday put it at about 2 crore for each day. So, the film is basically flatlining.
Meanwhile, overseas, it is the biggest hit of 2016. Now, if you remember, the per screen numbers were not terribly impressive, but the large number of screens means the total figures were still impressive. In fact, the opening weekend figures for overseas were over twice as high as the next highest films on the list, Kapoor & Sons and Airlift. In fact, they are so high, that even after only one week, it also has the highest total numbers for any release of 2016.
But, what does this mean for YRF? Are they taking a loss or not? Well, NOT! Bollywoodhungama has the total figures for every element of profit. YRF is already in the black (or red? which is the good one?) on this. Combining their cut of the Indian business, and the overseas business, they are at 52.58 crore from the box office alone, which is almost exactly half the total cost of the film (105 crore). Add on 5 crore each estimated for the home video, music, etc. rights, and product placement. And they are at 62.58 crore.
And then you add in the big big profit, 55 crore for satellite rights to Sony TV. And that bumps them up to 117 crore, a solid 12 crore profit, within the first week. So, it’s not terribly impressive, but it is a profit. The studio can keep their doors open and their films in production. Which is more impressive than it sounds. No one can really predict what makes a film a hit, but you can predict satellite rights and opening weekend box office, and YRF hit those targets juuuuuust right. It’s a sign of good management, that they are managing to find the exact balance point of spending enough money to give the film a good release, and make a good product, but not over-spend to the point that you have to have a major hit to make your money back.
Which brings me to Shahrukh. When Dilwale did not live up to expectations, although it made way way way more money than Fan has to this point, it was NOT GOOD for Shahrukh. He had over-promised and over-spent and the failure of the film was seen to be his fault. For Fan, in contrast, all of the success is being credited to Shahrukh and none of the failure. The only bright spots are opening day box office, the satellite sales, and the overseas box office. And all 3 of those are thanks to Shahrukh, not the studio, and not the film as a whole. So, oddly, the failure of the film as a whole is just making him look even more vital. Remove Shahrukh, and there is no profit at all.