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|September 29, 2000||
In my last column, I spoke about producers raking in profits through the rights for their films.
Some readers misunderstood my point about the Khan starrers.
My point was the Khans are hot overseas, hence overseas rights of their starrers fetch hefty prices. I did not, it must be clarified, say that their films were hits abroad. Several Khan starrers have bombed overseas as they have in India.
Distributors acquiring rights for films from producers comes much before the BO perfomance of a film. My article was about the former.
THIS time round, let me acquaint you with the many circuits or territories.
To get his film to reach out to cinegoers like you and me, producers need distributors and exhibitors. Exhibitors, as you all know, are the cinema-wallahs -- either owners or controllers of cinemas
And distributors are the link between producers and exhibitors. They acquire films from producers and screen them in different cinemas.
Save for Rajshri Pictures, no other production house has a chain of distribution. All other producers need to sell their films to distributors.
Top producers are now emulating the Rajshri example but, of course, they have a long way to go.
For while Rajshri has distribution offices all over India, producers like Yash Chopra and Subhash Ghai have distribution offices in some circuits only.
THAT brings us to the circuit. A circuit is a territory for which rights are purchased by distributors.
India is divided into the following circuits (one or more of which distributors acquire films for):
WHEN we talk of film prices or film ratios, we generally mean the price for one major circuit.
At one time, Bombay, Delhi-UP and Eastern Circuit were the three major circuits.
But, today, Bombay is the real major circuit. That means a film's ratio is the price for which it is sold for the Bombay circuit.
Given that Bombay is a major circuit, the prices of other circuits are calculated as percentage of the Bombay prices. By and large, these percentages are fixed.
Broadly, they are:
APART from the above Indian territorial rights, the producer sells audio rights for his film to a music company, overseas rights to an overseas distributor, satellite rights to a satellite channel, DVD rights, Doordarshan rights, etc.
A lot of money? Sure it is, but only if a film is an exciting proposal. Otherwise, the monies obtained from sale of all these rights may even be less than the total cost of production of a film.
In that tragic case, producers make a table loss. Examples are many.
Recently, Pukar producer Boney Kapoor reported a loss of about Rs 8 crore -- the film cost about Rs 24 crore. His recovery from the sale of all the rights was about Rs 16 crore only!
Top producers can generally rake in profits of upto Rs 15 crore to Rs 20 crore (even more!) per film, unlucky producers could end up losing a couple of crores (or more) in a film. Pukar was an exception because of the long time it took in the making and also because it went grossly over-budget.
A look at the week ending Thursday, September 28, 2000
**Ratings based on box office collections and cost of the film**
Komal Nahta edits the popular trade magazine, Film Information.
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