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Rs.200 crore net theatrical collection is the breakeven point for the sub-distributors and exhibitors who have paid nearly Rs.100 crores as minimum guarantee (MG) for the domestic rights of Salman starrer DABANGG 2. They have every reason to worry now. The theatrical collections of the film have dropped drastically and the box-office momentum seems to have petered out faster than expected. The scenario seems quite bleak and leave aside profits, the possibility of incurring big losses looms large on the horizon for them. According to the last available information the domestic box office collections of the film till its second Saturday (29.12.2012) were 110 crores net. Even if we take a highly optimistic projection of 160 crores net box office for the film, it falls far short of the breakeven figure.
However, the producers and distributors of the film Arbaaz Khan Productions are sitting pretty on a huge pile of money having presold various distribution rights for a whopping and unprecedented price of Rs.180 crores. They have nothing to worry. The question is if it will be ethical and morally tenable for them to leave their sub-distributors and exhibitors in the lurch. They certainly have no legal obligation to compensate for an eventuality where the film’s domestic box office collections turn out to be lower than the MG paid for it. Who knows they may still play the role of good and sensitive Samaritans and decide to follow the ‘Being Human’ mantra of their film’s star Salman Khan and make good the losses of their business partners in some way or the other.
(Rajesh Kumar Singh is Editorial Consultant for Festivals and Markets for BollywoodTrade.com. He is a filmmaker, critic and market analyst)