Shah Rukh Khan’s prophecy of a blockbuster came true!
Disclaimer — This interview was conducted with Shah Rukh Khan around a year and a half back, during the release of Dilwale. Guess he wasn’t getting ahead of himself when he said that Rs 1,000 crore could be a real possibility for an Indian film. Between the time this interview was held to now, there have been two Rs 300 crore blockbusters (Dangal, Sultan) and one Rs 1,000 crore money-spinner (Baahubali 2) worldwide. With Shah Rukh Khan now ready to release his film with Imtiaz Ali this August and then unveil his ‘dwarf biggie’ with Aanand L Rai in Christmas 2018, his prophecy of a Rs 1000 crore club opening in not so distant future could well be happening, too. Here is the extract of the interview that took place in December 2015 and sounds believable, especially now.
On more and more audiences watching a film
I think Rs 1000 crore is closer than you could imagine. In the best case estimate, we have 10 crore people who watch films. Films like Baahubali, Bajrangi Bhaijaan, PK have done really well and in the process got 10 crore eyeballs. Inme se kuch repeat audience bhi hogi par chalo, tab bhi 10 crore maan lete hain. Ab hamaari country ki population dekho — we are a 125-crore people country. The best business which is taking place is in a time period of two weeks. Ab picturein six-eight hafte toh chalti nahi. Do hafte mein zyaada se zyaada revenue aa jaata hai aur uske baad thodi bahaut chalti rehti hain. There is a scope for lot more.
Once you have theatres near you, it will automatically entice you to watch films in there. There are at least 100-crore people who are not watching your film in theatres. So let’s say ki hamein aaj ki collections double karne ke liye sirf 10 crore log aur chahiye. Woh agar kar lein toh 300-400 crore aur hai picture ke revenue mein jodne ke liye. As theaters increase and as they reach out to more B, B+ and C tier cities, business will naturally increase. Agar filmein bhi badi ho toh yeh possibility hai.
Look around you
Aaj India mein bhi Hollywood films kitna achcha kar rahi hain. Rs 40-50 crore toh araam se aa rahe hain. Ours is the only country, which is very loyal to cinema, so making big bucks is a realistic possibility. Whenever we manage to get a long running film and there is a free run to that as well, we will gain some very good numbers. I think three-four saal ki baat aur hai and we will have a realistic shot of doing the kind of numbers which sound unrealistic today to some out there. I hear that har saal 40-50 naye theatres aur ban rahe hain. Aaj hamaare paas 5,000 screens hain. Two-three saal mein 1,000 screens aur hogi.
Rs 1000 crore — here we come
The business of films is growing manifold in China. I recently met a Chinese distributor and asked him wahan par ek badi Hollywood ya Chinese film kitna kar leti hai. He said, to the tune of Rs 2,000 crore. Ab agar hum apni population ko dekhein toh we are not far behind China. In terms of our viewership of cinema too, we are quite close. Now, if we are able to create theatres then Rs 1,000 crore is a definite possibility.