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Indian Box Office Thread | Jawan overtakes Pathaan, becomes highest grossing Indian movie of 2023

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On 6/23/2020 at 5:58 PM, charlie Jatinder said:

So Indian box office. Have seen many people confused about few things about Indian box office, so I am gonna make a post simplifying as much as I can. @grim22 & @ZeeSoh can pin this or move it to first page, if that's something they can. Will make couple of lists like Highest grossers and all, chalo shuru karte hain.


Everything you always wanted to know about Indian box office


First off, let's get done with terms used in Indian box office.

  • GROSS: GROSS as you know, like everywhere else, except China, is the total sales of movie tickets. GROSS is rarely reported officially in Bollywood and Hollywood numbers but in last few years, Gross reporting has increased due to increase in PAN-INDIA (will get to that) films. There are few industries (yeah, we have multiple industries, will get to that too) which report GROSS, namely Kollywood, Mollywood, etc. 
  • NETT: This is the number, which is most widely reported for Bollywood, Hollywood and most North Indian films. This is basically GROSS - Taxes & Service Charges. Prior to July 2017, there used to be 'Entertainment Tax' which used to vary state to state and overall 36-40% over NETT sales. Post July 2017, India changed it's taxation system and introduced GST. Currently GST rate is 18% for tickets priced over ₹100 and 12% for tickets less than ₹100.  Other than GST, some states have additional taxes at local administration level. The overall India tax figure works out 17-20% depending on which state the film made more money from.
  • SHARE: SHARE is what Distributor/Studio make from the NETT sales after giving the Exhibitors their share. There are various models which can be used for a film depending on film, distributor and theaters. In India, the National Multiplex Chains have fixed a week wise SHARE system while Single Screens/Independent theaters are negotiated for almost every film, which well at end of day is also fixed in some sense. This is even more rarely used and basically only one industry that use it to date i.e. Tollywood.
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Let's take example of Avengers: Endgame. It GROSS ₹438 crore in India. The NETT revenue after paying GST was ₹368 crore. The DISTRIBUTOR SHARE, i.e. what Disney earned was ₹168 crore Approx.


Now, I hope you are aware with what the numbers you see mean, let me walk you through the main industries we have in India. Before that you need to understand the languages in India, so go in spoiler box.

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  1. Bollywood: The biggest Industry of India, basically set in Mumbai, is one making Hindi language films. The main market for the film is North India as they can basically understand and speak Hindi along with may be separate mother tongue. About 40-45% of Indian box office come from this industry. In South India, Bollywood films are basically watched in cities where native people know Hindi or North Indians working in South. Dangal, PK, 3 Idiots, Aamir Khan, Shah Rukh Khan and Salman Khan are from Bollywood.
  2. Tollywood: This is Telugu language industry based in Telangana & Andhra Pradesh (North East part of that grayish-blue region you see in map). Baahubali films (s) are the one you all know are from Tollywood. Currently 2nd biggest Industry with 12-15% share but in next 10 years they could be biggest as sort of films they are making have big appeal in North India, like Baahubali, so dubbing them they can increase their share in pie quite considerably.
  3. Kollywood: This is Tamil language industry, based in Tamil Nadu (South East of that grayish blue part of map). The share of industry is 11-15% and more often they are at number three. The popular movie from this industry is 2.0, Robot. They have really good parallel cinema. Biggest film is 2.0.
  4. Mollywood: This is Malayalam language industry, based in Kerala (South West....). The share is roughly 5% and movies are quite isolated from rest of India, they are doing their own thing but probably best content in Indian film Industry. Not many popular films and they need much more exposure. Biggest film is Pulimurugan.
  5. Sandalwood: Kannada based industry in Karnataka, (North West...). 5% share, most popular film KGF.
  6. Pollywood: My state, roughly 1-2% share, Punjabi language, nothing really special. Make local comedies and rom-com majorily. Biggest film Carry on Jatta 2.
  7. And some other language industries in North India, rarely make any big film that catch nation's eye. 6-7% share. It is result of Bollywood's dominance that none other North Indian industry is first preference of the respective state. Biggest film Sairat.

In recent years, post Baahubali, PAN INDIA films have started getting made. Most of the times, it's just a big budget South Indian films having Tier B actors from Bollywood and dubbed in Hindi released in North. Recent film like Syeraa Narasimha Reddy. In future there will be more. Basically attempt to get ALL INDIA audience instead of just their own state.


How box office is tracked in India?

There are basically two numbers that you will see in India. One is Producer/Official numbers. The numbers which are revealed by Officially. Few years back these numbers were inflated very highly in Bollywood but nowdays things are better with increase in multiplexes share of business, box office is more accessible. The problem in South India still exist and they do release some BS numbers now and then. For Hollywood, things are better except for Universal, which pump numbers every now and then.

The other number is Trade Numbers. These are the independent reporting services, Bollywood majorily Box Office India and many individuals trackers like myself. South India, again things are bit erry due to toxic fan culture and individual trackers. I tried starting a portal for South India in 2018 which had decent response but I had something else to do so that stopped existing. 


As to how box office is tracked. Well we don't have comScore coverage big enough to report numbers, but the existing box office system is quite robust. India is divided in various box office territory, look another map in spoiler. Basically the initial numbers are compiled after getting numbers for a film independently from these territories which are readily available if you know where to get them. Some territories may take more time to arrive but they do. On based of these dailiy estimates are released by trade and by end of week, actuals are almost there.


Another method which I use and like our forum use, is MTC. There are 4 MTC in India, PVR, INOX, Cinepolis and Carnival. They hold 40-65% of a film's number and based on that you can estimate all India numbers.


The numbers of trade may differ based on their sources, for Bollywood, Box Office India is 99-100% accurate except sometimes, they notoriously give higher numbers initially for some PR or friendly purposes but in the end their database numbers are quite good.

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One more FAQ is what is crore and how much is this in dollar. Well 'crore' is term of Indian number system equal to 10 million and regarding how much this is dollars, learn the table of 7 for now. That will give you idea. Whatever number in crore you see, divide it with 7 and that's dollar gross in millions. Way ER is going, you may soon need to learn table of 8.


Now some facts and myths about Indian box office.

  1. The ticket prices are very low compared to rest of the world at roughly ₹100-225 ($1.5-3) depending on which theater film make money. For Bollywood films ATP in 2019 was ₹160 while for Hollywood around ₹175.
  2. No, India don't sell 2 billion or 3 billion movie tickets in an year. In 2019, Indian box office grossed ₹11,500 cr Approx i.e $1.65 Billion selling roughly 750-800 million tickets and that's about highest we go in a year. We are 5th biggest in term of Gross and 3rd biggest in term of Admissions.
  3. South Indians watch way more films than North India. In fact North numbers are awful, while South India is similar to Korea, with big films getting even 30% of population to watch the biggest films.

Anything else you wanna know, I will put it in.


Now a Few Lists.

Highest Grossing Films in India

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Highest Grossing Hollywood Films

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Top Opening Day Grossers

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Top Opening Day Grossers (Hollywood)

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Fantastic Opening Day. Could see a 250m net OW, or 384m gross.It still doesn't make sense to me as to why all Bollywood BO reporters use net figures instead of gross, its just strange and makes comparison between films even more difficult.

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Looking forward to Don 2 now. I think it could go past 70. We could be looking at a $20+ million OW

With a 3-day opening? I really doubt it. It can match Dabangg's opening ($15m) if everything goes well and WOM is good, but that's about it.
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