Global Box Office: Zero is a Disappointment, Not a Flop

So exciting! A Shahrukh release box office day! And, as usual lately, it is neither the exciting flop nor the exciting hit that the media wants it to be. Sometimes things are just kind of bad without being “the Worst EVER”! (as always figures from bollywoodhungama)

Back in the 90s, films used to sell out day after day and week after week, and run for weeks at a time. Everything felt different because you would go to the theaters and see the seats full and the people cheering. A film failed when it was at 80% capacity instead of 100%, or when it only ran for 3 weeks instead of 6. This is the era in which all 3 Khans started out.

Image result for chaahat

Just to pick a film at random, Chaahat probably sold more individual tickets per theater than anything Shahrukh has released in 15 years at least

Starting in the 2000s as economic policies encouraged the rise of high priced multiplexes, films stopped selling out. There were still the outliers (like 3 Idiots or Dangal) that could get even the expensive multiplex crowd to turn out, but in general the tickets were so expensive and the audience so blase, that a film experience that used to be routine (sold out, crowded theater) rapidly became unusual.

Overseas, the pattern was different. It wasn’t rising ticket prices that did in the films, it was the rise of streaming. Movies went from something you had to leap on while they were in theaters or miss forever, to something you could always catch later at your leisure. Just in the past 2 or 3 years, the bottom has dropped out of the overseas market.

In this new world, the Khans are “falling” because anyone can go to a Khan film opening day and see the difference, it’s not sold out necessarily, people aren’t all talking about it, it just isn’t as exciting any more. But that feeling HAS to be separated from the Khans and placed on the fact that the movie theater experience itself has changed. It’s not that the Khans are falling, it’s that movies as a whole are falling, audiences are leaving, and perhaps the fact that it is talked about the most with the Khans is a sign of how much power they still have, because this experience (which is weekly for me, seeing how far the box office is dropping and how few people are in theaters) is something that the media and audience only notice with a Khan film because those are the only films that certain audience members and media types will see.

Now, with all that in mind, let me quickly give you the run down on Zero box office. $3,000 per screen on 264 screens in America. $2,250 per screen on 144 screens in the UK. $7,000 per screen on 58 screens in Australia. This is about the same as Kedarnath or any number of other largish budget and promotion films of the past year. It’s a disappointment, because the promotions suggested it might do better, but it isn’t a flop. Especially considering it was only on 264 screens in America, which is high but not the highest ever, meaning the filmmakers weren’t necessarily expecting better than just average.

Image result for zero shahrukh poster

When I started tracking per screen American box office 3 years ago, Khan films were making $5,000 to $8,000 per screen. In the past 3 years, that has steadily dropped to $3,000 to $6,000. And that is across all movies and all three Khans. But it is also just across All Movies. A major Telugu or Tamil film opening weekend used to regularly come in around $8,000, now it is lucky to break $3,000. A non-Khan Hindi film used to regularly hit $4,000 to $6,000, now it is lucky to break $3,000 opening weekend. It’s not the Khans that are dying, it’s movies that are dying.

Shahrukh, Aamir, and Salman have all had legitimate flops during this time as well. Tubelight was a flop, Fan was a flop, and Thugs of Hindostan was a flop. Those are different from the others, even if you allow for the slide of the box office, they are still outliers, truly shockingly bad box office. The legitimate hits were similarly rare. Dangal is truly the only one in the past three years. Sultan was average, Tiger Zinda Hai was average, Secret Superstar was average (except for in China).

So, here are the two take aways I want you to get:

1) Movies are dying in general, you can’t compare the Khan’s films of ten years ago to today because it is a different market today. Even three years ago, it was a different market. You have to compare them to the film that opened last week or last month, no further back. Yes, the Khans are sliding, but they are still doing better than anyone else, and the real story isn’t “fall of Khans” or “Content is King”, it is “all movie theaters will be closed in about ten years”.

2) Resist the urge to look for extremes. Tiger Zinda Hai wasn’t a massive hit, and Zero isn’t a massive flop. They are both average, TZH slightly above and Zero slightly below. The Khan hits are coming less often but the flops haven’t actually increased, most of their films perform exactly at or slightly below the minimum expectation. Which has always been the case. It’s just that now the media is tracking box office like a horse race and suddenly we are more aware of it.

One final thing for Zero, to show you what I mean about the difference between “disappointment” and “flop”. Fan opened at 19 crore in India. It dropped to 12 crore on the second day, and I think 8 crore by day three. By the weekdays, it was down to 4-5 crore per day. It should go up over the first three days, because on Friday people have to work but on Saturday and Sunday, they can come to matinees as well as evening shows. Instead, it dropped like a stone and kept dropping. Worldwide too, there was no bright spot for Fan (unlike JHMS which opened better than Zero in America).

And here is Taran Adarsh’s take on the Zero figures in India:

You see? It’s not great, it should be doing more than that, but it isn’t dropping like a rock day to day, it’s going up and down the way a healthy film does. This isn’t a shocking failure that should cause us to run wild in the streets and rend our clothing. Of course, it isn’t a success either. It’s just below average. Boring old below average.

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52 thoughts on “Global Box Office: Zero is a Disappointment, Not a Flop

  1. It was showing at a multiplex near me that has 24 screens, 3 or 4 of which are usually Indian films. The first day, first show audience was 11 a.m. on a weekday before Christmas, and the theater was about 1/3 full, which is the biggest audience I have experienced in my three years of fandom. We all seemed to enjoy it, with lots of laughter and a smattering of applause for Salman and for Sridevi. Mary Poppins (afternoon, Christmas Day) was about the same, only with applause for Dick Van Dyke and Angela Lansbury. I think the future for movie attendance has to be with visually rich films. Not necessarily lots of CGI and VFX; beautiful cinematography and gorgeous soundtracks are also worth seeing on a big screen. At least, that’s what I am willing to pay for!

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s what Thugs was counting on, and apparently it failed. The appeal of big action and visuals, I mean. Although the trailer didn’t get as much buzz as it could have, so maybe it’s that audiences have higher expectations from the visuals of those movies.

      On Wed, Dec 26, 2018 at 8:37 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  2. I will have to question your takeaway point #1.Are the Khans really better than everyone else and are movies really dying?Can you compare Khan films with say Badhai Ho and elaborate? Also,how’s the return of investment on these films as compared to say the older movies of the Khans? Their older movies would be made on much lesser budget and made enough money for the producers I presume? Are they really recovering the cost and bringing in profits when compared to others? Is it wise to invest in them?

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    • Sure! Badhai Ho made $4,800 per screen on 107 screens in America. So, far far less than Zero in total (because of the lower number of screens). If Zero had released on 200 screens instead of 264, it probably would have done about the same per screen. Pretty much the same world wide. Higher per screen average and lower total screen count in a way that probably balances to doing slightly worse overall than Zero. Same is true for Veere Di Wedding, Raid, a whole bunch of other well-made and good word of mouth films in the past few months. Stree did almost bang on the same as Zero in the overseas markets per screen, and only about a third as many screens. For comparison, Neerja two and a half years ago made $8,000 per screen. That’s how far the box office has fallen, the sleeper lower budget hit is now at $4,800 per screen instead of $8,000.

      Khan films, IN GENERAL, still open slightly better than all other Hindi films. They have their flops, but if you average out the per screen and the total box office and all the other factors, they are still a slightly stronger bet than anything else. Not as much stronger as they used to be, but they are still better than everything else.

      In general, through out film history, the Hindi film market has had a terrible profit/loss percentage. The vast majority of films did not make a profit. That has changed recently, partly due to the ability to spread out the investment costs in order to protect the producer from damages, and partly due to sales of things like satellite rights and DVD rights and music company co-producing and on and on and on. Producers, in general, are making more money now and are in a more solid position than ever before.

      The older movies often didn’t make money, even with a larger number of tickets sold, because there was a different kind of initial investment required and there were no additional rights sales and so on to help out. The theater owners used to be in a very solid position with the producers struggling. The money came in at the end through ticket sales, and went in at the beginning with upfront costs. Now, the money comes in at the beginning with outside investors and product partnerships and merchandising deals and satellite rights and so on, and is lost at the end with theaters struggling to sell tickets for the product. The whole industry is upside down.

      The Khans bring in money from both ends. You can sell distribution rights and streaming rights and all these other valuable things for your film based on the Khan name, sight unseen. And the Khan practice of paying back distributors out of pocket when they fail to sell tickets means the distributors and theaters are willing to take a chance on them too.

      So if you are an investor looking to make a quick buck in movies, yes a Khan film is the way to go. You can get in and out with a guaranteed profit. Might be a small profit, but it is still guaranteed. Even the “flops” didn’t lose the producers any money, because the satellite sales alone covered most of the production costs and the other partnerships and deals plus the small ticket profit covered the rest of it. And if you are a theater owner, a Khan film is still the way to go too. Setting aside the outliers (thugs and fan and Tubelight) every one of the films that the Khans have released has made a solid profit for the theater. Again, it might be a small profit, but it is still there. With something like Badhai Ho or Stree, you are gambling, but with a Khan film it’s almost a certainty.

      I’m not saying the Khans are as powerful as they used to be, I have a whole post I wrote on that over a year ago based on the 2017 box office. But putting all the focus on them is masking the larger issue, that films in general are sliding faster and faster into nothingness, and chasing the idea of “they just have to make better movies” is hiding that.

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      • Are u saying Badhai Ho did worse than Zero just because its total is lesser than Zero’s? I’m not able to make sense of the figures and correlate with what you are saying in the first paragraph. With regards to the films failing,I think it shows a trend that the filmmakers and actors are no longer the only source of entertainment now and will have to really entice the audience to invest their time & money into going to a theater to watch a movie. But then the ‘going for a movie’ & ‘watching in big screen’ is an experience that I doubt can be replaced by sitting at home and chilling with Netflix.Im sure that I would have gone and watched Zero in theater if I was convinced there was a story I could connect to.Same with Thugs-the assumption that audience will come to watch just the stars and spectacles is the kind of thinking that is killing the Khan and other superstar movies.I also regret that I didn’t watch a movie like Tumbadd in theater because I didn’t know when it came or hear enough about it. The ideal scenario would have been if SRK or Aamir had starred in a Tumbadd. It’s already a wonderful movie but the star presence would have given it the visibility it deserved,not to mention the acclode it would have gotten for the stars. And is the premise behind ‘they just have to make better movies’.

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          • KGF is doing very good for a Kannada release, highest screen count for Kannada in America I think I have ever seen (82) and making about $2,500 per screen. Antariksham is doing about $1.500 per screen, and Maari 2 is a disaster. KGF is doing similar in India from what I can see, very exciting for a Kannada film but not challenging the Hindi numbers.

            I didn’t do it this week, but I have in the past added together all the top films and confirmed that if you take all moves across all languages showing this week, the number of tickets sold in total for Indian releases in America is far far far far far less than it was just a few years ago.

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          • I was worried about KGF but seems I shouldn’t have:

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          • KGF is only an alternative for people who like both kinds of movie. I saw the trailer for KGF and said “no thanks”! Even the Indian audience is very diverse; the global audience even more so. No industry needs to cater entirely to the global market, but I can’t imagine Hollywood, Bollywood, or any industry can afford to ignore it, either.

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          • I could be wrong, but the target global audience for an Indian film is really the non resident desi crowd.Its great if non desis also enjoy the film,but I don’t know if they are really kept in mind, even by SRK & other stars when they make a movie.For the global desi audience,there are options to watch movies from their own language(Tamil,Telugu,Malayalam etc) alongside Zero,KGF and any Hollywood movie. I thought of KGF as an alternate to Zero since it carried the vibe of a pan Indian movie(like Zero) with release in 5 languages instead of being just a Kannada movie.

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          • Too dark and violent to work as a “family movie” for me! And with some producers (Indian and otherwise) eyeing the Chinese market, I would say that the global market is more diverse than you describe.

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  3. Thanks Margaret. It’s good to read a rational, contextual report rather than the wailing and finger-pointing I am seeing elsewhere. It’s very sad that the industry is seeing this trend but I’m sick of Shahrukh getting so much personal blame and savagery directed at him.

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    • Yeah, I understand the concern when these “tentpole” movies fail, but it’s not really a failure, not along the lines of Thugs of Hindostan, and this kind of mixed reaction says that there was a decent chance the movie could have hit with a few tweaks, the filmmakers didn’t set out to make a film that was doomed from the start (unlike Thugs, response there says that this film would never have worked and the filmmakers should have known that).

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  4. I’m glad it’s not a flop. Ambition to try to get people into theaters is something you want to see rewarded, at least with an expensive film eking out profitability even if it’s not a big hit. The theater I was in was sold out (one of those recliner type mall theaters that doesn’t have a ton of seats but also doesn’t sell out every show), but I’d say the audience was more sedate than when we saw Veere di Wedding, more like the audience for your standard Hollywood movie, which surprised me a bit.

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    • Yeah, it’s definitely not a flop. I would suspect that Red Chillies will weather the storm and come out without too much damage. It probably does mean that Shahrukh-the-star (versus Shahrukh-the-producer) will carefully consider his next move, maybe not working with Rai again and possible passing on any other space movies. But, I hope, it doesn’t scare him away from outside the box films in general.

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        • He was rumored to be confirmed, but his latest interviews he has said that he is considering 7-8 projects, including that one, depending on scheduling and so on. So if that movie, for instance, doesn’t have the final version of the script ready, maybe he will make something else first and that one will come in a few years.

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          • After Zero, I’m not sure if a space themed movie would be appropriate as his next. You probably don’t want to remind people of the last movie that didn’t do so well. Just like pairing up with Anushka again doesn’t make any sense right now,

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          • Yep, I had the same thought. Zero isn’t so bad that he should just go and hide for a year, but it is a disappointment so maybe don’t remind people of it.

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  5. I think the Khans still survive because of the lack of competition… With all the power and money gained over years, they now can release their films in the biggest festival seasons and can make sure that nobody else is releasing any film and hijacking all the theatres… it isn’t any surprise zero is getting average collection since its holiday season all over the world and an indian family has to watch a movie in theatre to complete their celebration. No other new bollywood films are released and zero is the only available option..
    But what if raazi, badhai ho, stree and kedarnath were also released simultaneously with zero in good number of theatres, Do you think zero will get any profit from bo?
    In a tiny film industry like Malayalam which release films in very small number of theatres compared to bollywood and having negligible reach outside Kerala, minimum 4-5 major releases will be there for each festival season. biggest stars, young stars and newcomers all release their films simultaneously and compete with each other in bo. And the audience have different films in multiple genres to choose from..
    Do you think Khans in bollywood will survive in such an environment?. With huge market all over india and outside India, why do they have to make sure nobody else is releasing any film with them in a festival season.. Its actually shameful and injustice to the movie lovers and Industry, what these khans are doing now..No one else in the industry is able to make any profit in festival season and only a single poor or mediocre film is available for the filmlovers for the big holiday seasons!!
    With in a few years, the tradition of watching a movie with family in festival season will come to an end since you are constantly disappointed in every festival season with Race 3, thugs, zero etc..

    Liked by 1 person

    • You bring a good point with Badhai Ho, it released before Thugs and benefited from that. While Thugs sank, Badhai Ho rose as it was the only other option in theaters.

      The bigger problem is the whole way that films are released in Hindi, the wide release concept which takes over theaters and cancels competition for that one weekend, and also means the focus of promotions is on getting people in for the first weekend instead of stretching out a run.

      There’s a straight forward reason for this and you can thank the Indian multiplexes for it. Years ago when the film industry went on strike, it was to prevent this situation, and it failed. The compromise reached was that Indian film producers/distributors get a bigger cut of the tickets opening weekend and a steadily decreasing cut as the weeks continue with the theaters reaping a bigger profit. It has lead to a situation with the film industry has no motivation to try for a film that will be a long run and all the motivation to try for a film that will be a short run in the maximum number of theaters.

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      • What I don’t like in this Khan’s monopoly for holidays is that they announce it year ahead. I remember Zero was announced last Christmas. And only yesterday I saw some poster of another Tiger franchise. Like first finish your movie and do it well and only than bother us with dates.

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        • It will be interesting to see how Simmba does, because I think that date announcement and film completion was pretty recent.

          On Thu, Dec 27, 2018 at 10:14 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • I’m curious about Simmba too.

            I just saw Ek ladki ko dekha toh aisa laga trailer. Are you doing a post about it?

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          • Yes! Haven’t written it yet, but will soon. I think there’s also a new Simmba song.

            On Thu, Dec 27, 2018 at 10:29 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Who’s stopping anyone else from releasing their movies during holidays? Ranveer has had holiday releases. Ranbir is releasing his next on Christmas 2019. If the Khans announce and then everyone else stays away, it’s hardly their fault.

        The problem is that even if the Khan movie is bad, it will still win the opening weekend in a clash which puts the other film at a disadvantage. It can still go on to be a hit with word of mouth but why bother? You can release on a regular date, get a free and clear weekend and still get as much or more money than you would in a clash.

        The new actors don’t need to worry as it is. They know the Khans will vacate the big dates themselves in 3 or 4 years max since age is not on their side. The younger guys have 20 years ahead of them so there is no hurry for them.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Few additional reasons from my perspective –
    – People’s attention span got reduced. Now a days, I hardly see viewers in theater getting immersed in the movie. They constantly scroll through phones. In fact, even those prank/gag videos on FB/YT with hardly 2-5 minutes, people including me constantly scroll to see only that gives that gag/prank.
    – In India, people are preferring to wait for 20 days and watch on Prime/Hotstar/Netflix with home comfort, rather than drive in traffic for 30+ minutes, stand in queues, watch 20 minutes of trailers/advts, 10-20 minutes of interval and INR 300-500 ridiculously priced popcorn. A trip for family of 4 to a multiplex in Metro costs more than INR 2000, whereas Prime subscription costs INR 1000 per year. Only those who watch movies at theaters in India are youth/couples. Women and families are not coming unless it’s a visual pleasure like Bahubali as MKP commented or due to peer pressure your kids/spouses feel.

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    • Yep, that last point is with the rise of multiplexes. I am sure you can remember just 15-20 years ago when the single screens were powerful and tickets were far cheaper. Taking the whole family to the movies was the cheapest entertainment you could have.

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      • Yes, it was not only the cheapest, but the only entertainment. Now, everybody (literally everyone in the family at home, colleagues at office) is poking their eyeballs only into their Jio phones – watching endless streaming of videos – primarily binging on serials from netflix/hotstar/prime/YT, short films, prank videos, comedy skits/shows.

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  7. May I just echo the early comment about how nice it is to have an unhysterical, hyperbole-free discussion of reviews and box-office returns? A warm hug to Margaret our entire DCIB community, with my deepest wishes for a happy new year!

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  8. This is absolutely fascinating and I wish I had more to contribute. But I will add this: the Khans are 53. Regardless of what’s going on with the industry, their time of box office domination is coming to an end in the not too distant future. And it pains me to say it but I am 53 myself and at some point you have to retire and step aside and let younger people have their time in the sun.

    A question: what is happening in areas that don’t have multiplexes? Single screen theaters are still common in a lot of India, right?

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    • Single screen theaters are struggling. Ajay Devgan announced he is buying some up to save them from closing, and I think Salman Khan has the same plan. There are also government incentives for multiplexes, tax breaks and so on, that don’t exist for single screens.

      You are right about the Khans, but there is another way to think of it. With the movie industry dying, there is no one coming up who has the same kind of power as the star power of the Khans. Once they step back, there is no one to take their place. So you can think of it as ungraceful 53 year old men trying to act young, or you can think of it as three old guys forcing themselves to keep working because they know they are the only ones who can do it.

      On Thu, Dec 27, 2018 at 10:49 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • The era of superstardom is ending. It already happened in HW and is going to end with the Khans in BW. There was a time when in HW, Tom Cruise could power movies like Jerry Maguire and Top Gun to blockbuster status. Now nothing other than superhero movies or action sequels can make big numbers. The same will happen in BW but in their case, it will be senseless masala trash. The days where an actor could push through a quirky movie or a romance or something unusual are long gone. There might be an outlier once in a blue moon but not frequently enough to hold up the industry.

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      • Please don’t refer to them as old men. That is only a matter of perspective and just reinforces the ageist language people frequently use here.
        There is almost an attitude that they are being selfish by continuing to work and not ‘let’ others shine in the industry. Why would any 53 year old who loves their job retire?

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        • I mostly see this from fans of the younger actors who are resentful that the Khans are still around and the younger guys simply aren’t making the impact that these guys did. There is this desperate wish that they would just go away so their favorites could shine as if the Khans are the ones holding them back, not letting them have holiday dates, etc.

          I think the issue is that even when these younger guys get hit movies, the shadow cast by the Khans is so huge even in other areas. They still dominate the media. They are still the ones the crowds cheer the loudest for. If they attend an awards show, they are still the ones doing the big performance of the night. Even when I see interviews with new actors/actresses, I mostly just see them naming one of the Khans as the ones they are dying to work with.

          They have risen to such a position that nobody else will be able to get near unless they abdicate and go away, which they won’t.

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          • An neither should they. If your football team is not doing well you can’t start nagging the more successful teams to pack up and go away, just to give you a better chance. It’s ridiculous.

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        • 53 is pretty old and I’m saying that as a 53 year old. I am two years away from qualifying for senior discounts. Do I think the Khans should retire? No but the kind of roles they play have to change. They shouldn’t be in films romancing women 25 years younger than they are. Dangal is an example of a Khan starrer where the lead looks his age and isn’t paired up with an ingenue. Aamir wiped out with ToH but I still think he’s the one best positioned to gracefully transition into mature leading roles instead of botoxing and steroiding himself into playing 30 somethings forever.

          Amitabh still has a robust career but he’s not playing the Angry Young Man anymore.

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          • 53 is not old, and I’m saying that as a person in the same age bracket. I guess it depends on your own personal perspective of yourself.
            Although I would prefer that the women paired with Shahrukh were closer to his more mature age, unfortunately the industry seems to have dictated that such women are more or less invisible on film. That is tragic, and a whole issue in itself. However I don’t see that to mean that he also has to disappear.
            In those circumstances I personally have no problem with an age difference with his co-stars if there is chemistry there.

            It works better for me that he’s playing characters closer to his real age but I want him to continue to portray characters with an emotional life, even if that’s not the main focus of the film. I don’t see that that has to stop just because he has turned a certain age.

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        • I am 76, I love my profession and I see no need to retire because of age concerns; I know I’m not hindering anyone’s progress in my very specific field. Of course I’m not naive and know show business is something else but the Khans have to be wise enough to follow Amitabh steps or Clint Eastwod or Morgan Freeman, speaking of male actors, and carve their own niche, slowly abandoning the stereotypes that made them superstars. This will be the most difficult task for people who have been almost divinized; to recover a human dimension and show more love for their public than for their stardom.

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  9. I’m reading first tweets about Simmba and they are all so fake. Like every tweet uses the same words: blockbuster, even BEYOND blockbuster, paisa-vasool etc. It doesn’t look like genuine reactions at all.

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    • Because it’s fake. The reviews are like that too. If you pay attention to reviews, you will see that Dharma movies always get good reviews no matter what.

      On top of that, the corruption in BW is beyond the pale. Here’s a video of Ranveer Singh and Rohit Shetty dancing with Taran Adarsh after the Simmba trial. They are jumping, dancing, kissing Taran’s cheeks and hands and celebrating before his review comes out. People guessed what was going to come in his review and they were right. He is obnoxious and stupid but probably the biggest critic in India.

      Keep in mind that Ranveer and Deepika also held a special wedding reception just for the media and critics where they were well fed and buttered up.

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  10. A realisation I had after reading the comments here is that when Margret,Joyomama & Alissa talks about Indian films it’s about Hindi films and box office means American box office. Readers like me who are in India and used to other Indian films thinks of Indian box-office & other language films too. So when Alissa asks what’s happening in areas that don’t have multiplexes & if single screens are common in India and M answer about Ajay Devgan and Salman Khan,I find it quite misleading and confusing. I have said it before also,if the discussion is solely to be about Bollywood movies, don’t say it as Indian movies cos there’s a bigger India out there. I see that most of the readers of this blog are invested enough to know that Hindi films are where the Khans and Ajay Devgan and Ranveer Singh others work. Otherwise,please expand the discussion to include non Hindi language movies ,their stars,box office, trends etc when you say Indian films.

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    • Sometimes that’s what is in my mind, sometimes not. I started with Hindi films, but now watch about half Hindi and half south Indian. In my area, the big multiplex shows mainly south Indian, and only the biggest Hindi ones. So far I haven’t seen more than a handful of films from other regions. The industry discussions have certainly emphasized Bollywood, but also Hollywood (which is not the sum total of American cinema, either).

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      • I get it.Each discussion will have its own context & I think we will have a more focussed & fruitful discussion if we knew where the other person is coming from.

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    • Hindi films are the examples I have at my finger tips, because that is my area. But in the post itself. notice that I do specifically discuss non-Hindi films as well and the way they are dropping. In fact, the southern films are more noticeable for how they are failing in the overseas market than the Hindi. I talk about the overseas market differently than the Indian market, because there are actual solid numbers for the overseas market. In India, I am left to speak in generalities or focus on the few numbers that are some what reliable.

      As for the commentators, they are speaking from their own experience I am sure, which is the benefit of this community, we can all come together and share our own knowledge base and try to create a full picture.

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  11. I was thinking last night how most of the time the American movies I watch are independents or documentaries. I have enjoyed the Indian “indies” as well, but they seem to much harder to find on streaming services here and rarely show up in theaters at all. Where do they fit in this picture?

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    • Commentator Emily might know more about this, she understands streaming rights in a way I don’t.

      What I was told by my DVD store guy when I wanted to buy Running Shaadi is that the producers were holding out for a bigger amount than anyone was willing to pay. With the way Indian producers count on the profit from rights sales, and the limited interest a streaming service might have in these niche products, I can imagine it being as simple as a bargaining dead end between the two parties.

      Or (and again, Emily knows more about this than I do) it might be the way streaming services in general resist purchasing anything but the most popular outside products, preferring to make their own niche options and reap the benefits.

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