The Curious Case of Desi Box Office Numbers

Posted: July 27, 2013 by moifightclub in bollywood, Box Office, News, WTF
Tags: , , , , ,

We hardly cover box office related news on the blog. But this is really becoming ridiculous, and in epic proportions. If you don’t track the box office numbers closely, let us explain what we mean.

Nikhil Advani’s D-Day released last friday. After its one week run, here are some of the box office number floating around. First one is by Taran Adarsh, who is a well respected trade analyst if you go by the tweets of B-townies. Also, well endorsed by most Bollywood people. Here’s what he tweeted about D-Day’s 1st week collection

TaranSo the figure given by Taran is 26 crore net.

Now, check out the figure given by others who also track box office. Amul Mohan edits another well known and respected trade magazine called Super Cinema. Here’s what Amul tweeted

AmulBy Amul’s report, the total box office collection of first seven days is 16.5 crores net. As you can see in the tweet, he has given the daily break up too.

So that means a difference of about 10crores (9.5 crores to be exact). A difference of 10crores! Is this a joke? Such a big industry and there’s no accountability of box office figures. Let’s check out the figures given by other sources too.

BoxOfficeIndia has given the same figure of 16.5 crores net.

BOIGirish Johar, who is with Balaji’s distribution wing and tracks box office on daily basis, has also tweeted the figure of 16.5 crores net. Komal Nahata, Editor of trade magazine Film Information, has pitched it far less at Rs 15.75 crores.

UPDATE – Box Office India magazine, which is another reliable source for numbers, they have also finally released the 1st week total of D-Day and it’s Rs 14.6 crores. Ooh la la.

This difference in the figure actually started from its opening weekend. Going by Taran’s tweet, D-Day opened with a collection of Rs 13.69 crs net. For the same three days, Amul tweeted the figure of Rs 9.65 crores net. And strangely, the figure given by DAR Motion Picture (Producer of D-Day) is something else – Rs 12 crores as quoted in this report. If you compare Taran and Amul’s numbers, the opening day collection is still close (Rs 2.94/2.50), but looks like Taran’s figures suddenly got wings from saturday.

Everyone in the industry knows that many trade analysts inflate/deflate box office figures based on various other factors – the kind of reviews they have given to show that they were correct in assessing the film’s potential, relationship with the star/maker, and other ulterior motives. A difference of 1 to 5 crore is almost the accepted norm every week. With no central body that does the job of tracking box office numbers, it’s left to the whims and fancies of trade analysts who play around with them the way they want. Strangely, when they endorse a film and it doesn’t manage to get good numbers, they sometimes don’t even reflect the numbers in their box office report. More generic terms like “not up to to the mark”, “above average” (when you don’t even know what average is), “good not great”, are used to cover up the numbers. Well, all this is for a bigger post some other day.


– Posted by @cilemasnob

  1. Soniya Singh says:

    Guess Taran by mistake added BMB’s tax free collection of the 2nd week with the 1st week D Day collection 😉

  2. aalif says:

    This is a very prickly subject for most films not just for D Day. Especially big star films when it comes to opening day/ weekend numbers. Taran often provides the “official” numbers provided by the producers or studios themselves and to his credit, generally clarifies that source in his tweet or update. Obviously, studios/stars/directors have a vested interest in giving a higher figure. I have seen Wikipedia entries for some Bollywood films also carrying amazingly inflated box office numbers.

    The most common trick used by producers is to give out GBO instead of NBO. The second is to add international box office & pre-sales numbers. In the old days, I am told producers used to add satellite prices also to opening weekend numbers.

    Hard as it may seem to believe, things are actually getting better. As a thumb-rule, I have heard from various producers that the closest to actual figures tend to appear on boxofficeindia (the website, not the magazine). But it would be a few years before we have a Rentrak-like system, especially when we have so many cinemas in UP, Bihar etc which do cash business, and don’t report actual numbers.

  3. AA says:

    When you get the opportunity, do also look into the desi bollywood twitterverse scene. It is also ridiculous.

    The way film people themselves promote their movies leveraging Twitter, is not really honest and sometime borderlines unethical.

    I stopped taking Adarsh seriously a while ago.

  4. Sufi kamal says:

    according to this then 3Idiots also didnt cross 200cr. Mark… Its sud be 192cr as its total life time income given is 202cr

  5. […] always a difference between the numbers put forward by different agencies and sometimes, like in the case of D-Day, the discrepancy is big enough to raise eyebrows. Another film that may have overstated its […]

  6. […] always a difference between the numbers put forward by different agencies and sometimes, like in the case of D-Day, the discrepancy is big enough to raise eyebrows. Another film that may have overstated its […]

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