Box office, popularity, foot falls - in what order?

Sultan ad announcing 3rd week collection

100cr club happens to be the latest fad in the glamour business, at least for the past 4-5 years. So, where is this club and who the members are. What is the entry fee and any other fancy criteria!

Are there any other clubs or for that matter, were there any such clubs in the past? As audience or the movie watching population, how much does it really matter to us as to what is the 'gross' box office collection of a particular movie. Audience of the recent times hasn't heard clubs like silver/golden/diamond jubilee that was the (almost right) benchmark of the success of a movie.

Until not too long ago, it used to be the movie posters plastered along the footpaths, with hoardings everywhere waiting for our attention and there were these sponsored songs on various TV channels. Oh, did I forget to mention the teasers and trailers finding space between all those FMCG ads to woo you towards a movie. Obviously, these are some of the ways to promote a movie with various others (that does not need mention here).

Lately the bollywood moneybags began to take full page ads in popular national dailies and tabloids. But it seems that was not enough for them. There are now announcements of the so-called 'gross' collection figures which would read 'so n so film' collects 50 crores on the first week-end' or 100 crores or some absurd figure. Is it an invitation for you to invest in their next venture? No. Then, what are these ads for.

I want to believe, these are misleading, influencing communications. Probably the intention is to put the pressure of the number on your decision to watch a particular film. The movie has collected so many crores and you haven't watched it as yet?! Go... book the tickets immediately or we will put yet another ad claiming a bigger number and make you feel as though you are left out or left behind of all the intelligent people who have paid the fat ticket price.

So, what is the problem? The problem is that the comparison or claim to fame is unequal, chalk-to-cheese types. How much would a Salman/Shah Rukh/Rajini film collect in terms of ticket value as compared to another movie? It obviously depends on the ticket price. So there was buzz that a SULTAN ticket somewhere was selling at INR 700-900 where as other movies' tickets might be at INR 250 for the sake of calculations. And 5,00,000 tickets were issued for each or in other words there were as many footfalls for both the movies. So, which one is more popular, which one has more footfalls, or which is a better movie???

In a recent interview with Mr. P.V. Sunil director and CEO of Carnival Cinemas, it was revealed that not even 2% of our population had actually gone to theatres to watch the film. Whereas the number of people who watched BB on satellite TV was much more.

Then why the fuss about a film's 'gross' ticket collection to be bombarded on the audience? In fact in our case study, it is the other movie that should be considered more popular and rich in content comparatively.

The 'Jubilee clubs' of yore were far more realistic than today. Nowadays films are dependent on the collection of just the weekend fri-sun. And then, game over for most. Oh did I say collection? My bad. It should be the size of the audience and not the size of the ticket price. More footfalls would mean more number, which in turn should mean how a movie fares. Shouldn't serious/real filmmakers or studios announce the number of tickets issued instead??

So, the next time you see a 100 crore club ad, you know, what is it meant for. I should leave you at that!