rediff.com
rediff.com
Movies Find/Feedback/Site Index
      HOME | MOVIES | BOX OFFICE
September 29, 2000

5 QUESTIONS
BILLBOARD
MAKING WAVES
MEMORIES
MOVIES CHAT
QUOTE MARTIAL
REVIEWS
ROUGH CUTS
SHORT TAKES
SOUTHERN SPICE
WISH THE STARS
ARCHIVES
                       

Send this column to a friend

Territorial rights

Komal Nahta

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):

  • Bombay. This includes Bombay city and suburbs, Thane district, parts of Maharashtra, Gujarat, Saurashtra and parts of Karnataka.
  • Delhi-UP. Includes Delhi city and suburbs and Uttar Pradesh.
  • East Punjab. This covers Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir.
  • Eastern circuit. This is further sub-divided into four sub-circuits. A distributor may acquire the entire Eastern circuit rights or he may acquire one or more sub-circuit rights:
    • West Bengal
    • Bihar and Nepal
    • Assam
    • Orissa

  • CPCI Rajasthan. This, too, is actually divided into three sub-circuits.

    Years ago, distributors acquired films for the entire circuit. Today, deals are usually struck for three sub-territories with three different distributors:

    • CP (or CP Berar), which stands for Central Province and comprises parts of Maharashtra (Amravati, Akola, Jalgaon, etc), and parts of Madhya Pradesh (Raipur, Jabalpur, etc)
    • CI - which stands for Central India. This consists of part of Madhya Pradesh (Indore, Ratlam, Gwalior, Ujjain, Bhopal. etc.
    • Rajasthan covers the entire desert state.

  • South. This territory is today broken up into four sub-territories:
    • Nizam -- consisting of parts of Andhra Pradesh and parts of Maharashtra.
    • Andhra -- consisting of parts of Andhra Pradesh
    • Mysore -- comprising stations like Bangalore, Davengere etc - the part of Karnataka which is not the portion of Bombay circuit.
    • Tamil Nadu and Kerala .

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:

  • Bombay: 100%
  • Delhi-UP: 80-85% (but if it is an action film, Delhi-UP is also 100% - or, in other words, it is a major circuit for an action film).
  • East Punjab 40%
  • Eastern circuit
    • West Bengal 25-30%
    • Bihar-Nepal 40-45%
    • Assam - 10%
    • Orissa - 10-15%
  • CPCI Rajasthan
    • CP (or CP Berar) - 40%
    • CI - 20-25%
    • Rajasthan - 20-25%
  • South
    • Nizam - 25-27 %
    • Andhra - 7 -10 %
    • Mysore - 10-15%
    • Tamil Nadu-Kerala - 5%

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**

Rating Film Production House Verdict Position Last Week No Of Weeks Since Release
1 Fiza The Culture Co &
UTV Motion Pictures
Above average in Bombay; average to losing in other circuits (overwhelming initial) 1 3
2 Hamara Dil Aapke Paas Hai S K Films Enterprises Above average in Bombay,
hit in Gujarat but losing
to average in the rest of
the country
2 5
3 Dhadkan Venus Records & Tapes Ltd Loser 3 7
4 Tera Jadoo Chal Gayaa Puja Films Loser 6 6
5 Har Dil Jo Pyar Karega Nadiadwala Grandson Entertainment Average in some circuits, above average in some 5 8
6 Kunwara Tips Films Loser (average in a couple of circuits) 7 10
7 Deewane S P Creations Disaster 9 7
8 Refugee J P Films Above average (fantastic initial);
average in a couple of circuits
10 13
9 Gladiator Universal and Dream Works Average in some circuits and
above average in some
-- 4
10 Kaho Naa...
Pyaar Hai
Film Kraft Superhit -- 37
(Note: Tera Jadoo Chal Gayaa, Deewane and Refugee have climbed one or two notches as compared to last week only because there haven't been any new releases. And the few that did release (like Karobaar and Kaali Topi Laal Rumaal) fared dismally enough to be thrown out of the Top 10 in their second week itself.)

Komal Nahta edits the popular trade magazine, Film Information.

Earlier column                          

Do tell us what you think of this column

HOME | NEWS | CRICKET | MONEY | OLYMPICS | MOVIES | CHAT | BROADBAND | TRAVEL
ASTROLOGY | NEWSLINKS | BOOK SHOP | MUSIC SHOP | GIFT SHOP | HOTEL BOOKINGS
AIR/RAIL | WEDDING | ROMANCE | WEATHER | WOMEN | E-CARDS | EDUCATION
HOMEPAGES | FREE MESSENGER | FREE EMAIL | CONTESTS | FEEDBACK