Brahmastra’s box office receipts are driven more by high ticket prices than theater attendance
Brahmastra Part One: Shiva, the first installment of Bollywood’s ambitious “Astraverse” trilogy, roared at the box office this weekend. The film has grossed over Rs 123 crore in domestic collections in the Hindi and Southern markets (Rs 15 crore) in three days, in what is being billed as Bollywood’s biggest opening of the year.
brahmastra lifted not only the sentiments of the film trade, but also the stocks of multiplex operators. Shares of PVR rose 3.85%, while Inox gained 4.45% in afternoon trading on BSE Monday.
What really drives collections? Is it increased attendance or higher ticket prices or dubbed versions of the film in regional markets?
Brokers say theater attendance and occupancy continues to be 20% below pre-Covid levels. “If you compare the steps of brahmastra to a full-scale pre-Covid Hindi release like Kabir Singh Where War, it is down at least 20 percent. And that’s the problem for the industry now,” said Karan Taurani, SVP, Elara Capital. business today.
“Also in the first quarter of FY23, traffic was down 8-10% despite having such great content. Even for RRR, traffic was down 20% from Baahubali,” he shares.
Break down the numbers
So if you read the fine print, it appears that significantly higher ticket prices (a 25-30% premium) at multiplex chains have resulted in from Brahmastra opening of the weekend collections. “National channels are seeing extraordinary numbers,” tweeted business analyst Taran Adarsh. It pegs weekend collections from top multiplex operators at nearly Rs 60 crore.
A quick tour of the main multiplexes on the Mumbai circuit, which contributes a major share of Bollywood’s box office, reveals that tickets to Brahmastra have been sold at obscene prices in some places.
Even for the standard 2D format, the cost of a non-reclining seat is over Rs 600 in PVR, Inox and Cinepolis. While those of 3D versions in high-end and luxury cinemas have crossed the Rs 1,000 mark in INOX Insignia, PVR Luxe and Jio Drive-in theatre, PVR.
Taurani says, “Ticket prices went up 30% because of the 3D version, so the opening was strong. The film is popular with 15-25 year olds due to its visual effects.
Regional and overseas are essential
He believes, however, that box office numbers will see a “sharp drop” on weekdays because weekend highs are not “sustainable”. As a result, regional and overseas markets become critical in determining the lifetime collections of brahmastra.
“The economy becomes difficult if these films are not shot abroad. Growth will come if that happens,” says Taurani. According to his projections, brahmastra could potentially earn Rs 120-130 crore from international territories.
As for the Southern markets, business analyst Sumit Kadel shares dubbed versions of brahmastra brought in Rs 15 crore over the weekend. According to Elara Capital’s estimates, the dubbed versions could contribute around 15% to the film’s lifetime collections, which is less than the 40% Hindi dubbed version made for RRR.
Beyond the granular economy, the pervasive question is: Will brahmastra recoup its gigantic production cost (est. Rs 450 crore)?
“With home network at Rs 160 crore max, international at over Rs 120 crore, satellite and digital getting another Rs 120 crore and music bringing in Rs 20 crore, there could still be a shortfall,” says Taurani.