Bollywood Box Office Collection and Manipulation

Note: My views expressed in this article are not based on fact/fiction. For each film, I have used pieces of evidence to support my argument in each case for what I think happened, rather than what actually happened

"90 crore net" is the first week collection. "No no, it's 67 crore net" argues the other.

What is right? What is wrong?

Box office collections in India are something that became more popular and more widely talked about in the last few years. Decades ago, box office collections weren't talked about as much. Rather, terms like "silver jubilee" and "golden jubilee" would be used as films would run 25, 50 weeks (some even longer) and that was the true way to really measure how appreciated a film was and how big of a success it was. Times were different back then: there were fewer options for other sources of entertainment, a lot fewer screens/theatres which meant that those who couldn't get tickets for a film would have to wait to watch it, ensuring longer runs and sustainability of films in theatres.

In today's time, with unlimited entertainment options, more screens, more theatres...the shelf life of a film in theatres is very limited. People can easily watch the film of their choosing in a close by theatre, or unfortunately, through piracy. The unlimited entertainment options, along with high ticket prices, means that the audience becomes very choosy about which film they see.

So, if the number of weeks that a film runs is no longer relevant enough in today's time to measure box office success, then what is? Simple: Box office and box office collections only. The problem with these collections, however, are the million different numbers that start floating around for different numbers. Perhaps by error. Or perhaps, the worst possible event, producers inflating their box office numbers.

1) Let me start with an example of Salman Khan's Ek Tha Tiger. Box Office India (the collections from which Bolly Arena follows as well) at the time had the lifetime collection of the film somewhere around the 186 crore net mark. What did the producers Yash Raj Films have as the lifetime collection? 199.6 crore net. A source had stated that Ek Tha Tiger had actually crossed the 200 crore net mark but that YRF wanted to give a lower share of profits to Salman and hence, reduced the collection to 199.6 crore net.

I don't really buy into the theory that YRF would reduce the collection of their own film to less than 200 crore net as that only makes their film look bad, and how much would that have changed Salman's profit ratio anyway? At the same time, how weird does a number like 199.6 crores net look? It also seems artificial. Box Office India's figure was around the 186 crore net mark, but given that Salman's films have HUGE collections from smaller centers/single screens (places where it may be harder to track collections), it's possible that the figure was actually higher than that.

I think the film probably collected somewhere around the 190 crore net mark, with a few crores inflated by YRF, which is not a big deal, really. Perhaps, though, they should've declared a different figure, rather than a weird-looking "199.6 crore net".

With YRF-Salman's recent film Sultan, there was again talk that the collection was being reduced to avoid giving Salman a big share of profit. Again, I don't buy the fact that YRF would publicly reduce the collection of their own film. The lifetime collection of being exactly on the dot at 300 crore net is a little strange, but BOI also has a similar number, which means that the actual collection was definitely around that mark.

2) Next up, let's get to the most interesting one that everyone is aware of: the box office collection of Krrish 3. It was always going to be a big grosser. No denying that. It was always going to be a Blockbuster. No denying that. Both of these facts are universally known by all trade analysts. However, the difference in collections from source to source was indeed worrying:

  • Producer (Rakesh Roshan): 244 crore net
  • Komal Nahta: somewhere around the 220 crore net mark
  • BOI: 175 crore net
  • BoxOfficeIndia.co.in (a different one, not the widely known BOI): 198.65 crore

Interestingly, trade analyst Taran Adarsh stopped posting a weekly top 5 chart of box office figures soon after he reported a 235 crore net total of Krrish 3. Times of India also posted that they will no longer be reporting box office figures of films due to manipulation and fooling readers.

Were Krrish 3 figures manipulated/inflated? The answer is a big YES. In reality, the collection was somewhere near the 200 crore net mark, but probably not anywhere close to the 244 crore net collection that the producers released.

3) Happy New Year: The opening day collection released by the producers (Red Chillies) was 44.97 crore net (including Tamil and Telegu version). Box Office India had their initial estimate for the opening day as 40 crore net, but as of now, they have it at 36 crore net. If we add Tamil and Telegu version, their opening day would be somewhere around the 38 crore net mark. Again, it can be hard for BOI to track exact collections from single screens and smaller centres.

Keeping all this in mind, I feel that Happy New Year's opening day collection was somewhere around the 40 crore net mark, but not the 44.97 crores net figure released by Red Chillies. I think with both the lifetime collection of Ek Tha Tiger and the opening day of Happy New Year, it's the producers inflated the collections just enough to be below a certain benchmark (200 crore net and 45 crore net respectively). Regarding the lifetime collection of Happy New Year (approx. 203 crore net reported by the producers), I think the collection was inflated just to enter the 200 crore net mark. In reality, the collection was probably closer to BOI's reported 178 crore net. Nonetheless, the film is universally considered a Super Hit at the box office.

4) Ajay Devgn's Shivaay also its share of controversy regarding its collection. On individual days, the producer's (Ajay) figures kept coming higher than that of BOI. Again, we can take into account the fact that an Ajay Devgan film will do its best business in smaller centres/single screens where it is harder to track collections, but the interesting thing here is that after a certain point, Taran Adarsh stopped tweeting the figures of Shivaay.

The final difference in collections between BOI and the producers was 16 crore net: 84 crore net from BOI, 100 crore net from the producer. On the other hand, Shivaay's competition, Ae Dil Hai Mushkil, had only a 6 crore net difference between BOI's collection and the producer's collection. The interesting thing here is that leading into the clash, Ajay Devgn was the one making the clash dirty by having a phone call of KRK recorded that lead to absolutely nothing with Karan Johar being proved honest.

In reality, I think Shivaay probably collected around the 90 crore net mark, but the figures were hiked so that it can be said that the film crossed the 100 crore net mark. Interestingly, Taran Adarsh tweeted that the film has completed 50 days at the box office, but he never made mention of the film crossing the 100 crore net mark.

5) Lastly, the current clash: Kaabil vs Raees. This has become a very dirty clash, and all of the dirty laundry, so to speak, has been revealed in public eyes. Many people are now well aware that the makers of both films are indeed inflating the collection of their respective film. Throughout the extended weekend, the collections of Raees were matching those of the trade figures: a clear indication that the figures of the film were not being manipulated, yet. However, the makers of Kaabil (and Rakesh Roshan in particular) started playing a dirty game by manipulating the figures of Kaabil from the first day itself.

By the end of the 5 day extended weekend, the figures from BOI were at around the 54 crore net mark, whereas the producer figure was around 67 crore net . At the end of the extended first week (9 days), the BOI figure of Kaabil was 67 crore net, whereas the producer figure was 90.55 crore net, a HUGE difference of approximately 23 crore net! What happened here was that Raees was beating Kaabil each day (in terms of collections), but the collection of Raees dropped on its first Monday whereas Kaabil was inflating the collection of their Monday (despite having a lower Monday than Raees).

Thus the makers of Raees also had to start manipulating their figure so that Kaabil doesn't artificially take over the figures of Raees with their own manipulated figures. With that being said, it is also morally wrong of the makers of Raees to start manipulating their figures as well. However, on the second Friday, both films crossed all limits of manipulation: the trade figure of both films was around the 3 crore net mark each, whereas the producer figure of each film was around the 6 crore net mark! Interestingly, Taran Adarsh stopped tweeting the figures of Kaabil fourth day onwards, and he stopped tweeting the figure of Raees sixth day onwards. Quite telling really, of the manipulation being done by the makers of both films!

The collections of both films are being inflated by the makers, no doubt. The BOI lifetime figure of Raees and Kaabil will be approximately 130 and 85 crore net respectively, while the producer figure will be around 160 and 130 crore net, respectively.

In conclusion, it's high time that there is a proper tracking source to report box office collections in India...to end inflation. To end manipulation. There should only be one major source that cumulatively collects data. If that means that a reporting agency from overseas has to be brought in to track collections in India, then that will be a step in the right direction. There has been news about Rentrak tracking collections of some films, but it will be necessary to do that for all films, not only some films, be it Rentrak or any other tracking agency!

If box office collections keep getting manipulated, then it will get to the point where NO ONE will take them seriously and whichever film actually realistically breaks the next barrier (400 crore net) will not be celebrated, as the question on the minds of some people will be, "Are these collections manipulated or not?"

Bolly Sidhu is a Bollywood buff and Box office enthusiast from Canada. You can follow him on Twitter https://twitter.com/srkat14

Disclaimer: The views expressed by the writer do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of Bollywood Arena. If you also want to write for us, send your articles on [email protected] 

46 comments on “Bollywood Box Office Collection and Manipulation”

  1. Very good article, respect from a SRK die hard fan. I'm glad with Raees success (looking for 135+ LBO) but it would have been much better without all those controversy. Shame on Rakesh Roshan for starting this manipulation game on a greater scale since Krrish 3. We really need an independant source that we can trust.

  2. Where is PRDP?
    It does not cross 200cr.its 191cr.

    200cr movies
    3 idiots
    Chennai express

    300cr movies

    Also jai ho not crossed 100cr

    1. PRDP 191 cr. BOI hindi version.
      But don't forget that the telugu + tamil versions collected 7 cr. the first week itself.
      So 191 + 7 = 198 cr. (add to that 2-3 crores from the following weeks and you have easily your 200 cr.)

    2. Abe Lallu sultan is 300 cr every where in trade or official and jai also above 100 cr everywhere

      But you always showing your iq level how it's best

      Too much fun

      1. whelcome bro...bahot dino se dikha nahi..sadme me that kya?
        ya Dangal ne Sultan ka band bajaya isliye ro raha tha.
        to much fun

        1. I have more thing to do not like you to argue without common sense where one movie get bigger holiday and tax and hike price benefit and people like you called stardom

          Anyway you live in our planet

          Too much fun

          1. Wa bhai wa salman ne 300cr kiya to stardom aur Aamir ne uska band bajaya to holiday,tax free staus ke karan.kaunsa national holiday mila tha bey Dangal ko?
            Jabki sallu ne 5 days weekend ka maza Liya aur tu use stardom bolta hein.check kar sallu movies
            First weekend me kam se kam 2 holiday rahte hein.Aamir ko sirf sunday milta hein fir phi Aamir ke naam hein top2 weekend.
            Salman holiday made star hein.
            Wo Aamir ke aage uska stardom bahit chota hein.kaha 386cr aur kaha 300cr,85cr ka gap hein.dum hein to record todke dikhao.

              1. Achha billi ti salman ka god kaabir kya bola hein."Aamir is king of box office"samje billi..maio maio chal bhag.

  3. Leave all the fuss of manipulation, hame Jolly LLB 2 ka besabri se intezaar hai a must for everyone

    1. prdp ka trade figure 192 cr tha jisme tamil/Telugu collections included ni hai aur producer figure 213 cr tha mtlb actual 200-202 ke bich to hoga he

  4. Again Nice Article Bolly Sidhu
    Kaabil & Raees both films have become a joke within the industry but SRK & Ajay Sir have Manipulated Collection of their Maximum Movies.
    Ajay Devgn-
    Sonof Sardar-15
    And I feel BOI is Underreporting Hrithiks Movies Collection
    However Rakesh Roahan Manipulated the Figures too but
    I think-Krrish 3 Crossed 200 Cr Mark,
    BANG BANG-150Cr.+ &
    Kaabil -90 has Crossed 90 Cr.

  5. hi bollywood arena don't angry me srk is my best actor king khan of romance and he is not manipulation he give correct collection we don't use manipulation but hitrik and papa roshan is two officials for manipulation and now I present to you the king of manipulation roshan hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

  6. Manipulation dirty game is played mostly by 3 actors who cross their limit: srk, hrithik & ajay devgan.
    Don't get me wrong this is truth

  7. beautiful article. .. i had been writing this over and again about the manipulation..
    Rakesh Roshan tho sab ka baap nikla :D
    Manipulation to a certain extent is fine.. but some are overboard and sucks..

  8. sab karte hain yaar bas is baar taklu ki wajah se sara rayta phail gaya kyuki usne had hi paar kardi. well nys article.....

  9. But Sultan's collection was definitely deflated, as said by u only that,

    "but given that Salman’s films have HUGE collections from smaller centers/single screens (places where it may be harder to track collections),"

    so we can't totally track SScreens collection, then Sultan definitely has collected 310+ and YRF deflated the no. to lessen the Share of profits.

  10. Plzz guys this manipulation is not done by rakesh or srk themselves. One is producer and the other is an actor respectively. They are tooo busy in their works, they dont get much time to do this shit. Plzz dont disrespect anyone.

    A message from die hard fan of srk

  11. dear all if srk want to play and inflate figures he would have done for Dilwale ....may be he would have given wrong figures for dilwale lets say 175cr or 150cr ...not 148cr.....he gracefully accepted defeat from BM...

    this is proof SRK never inflate figures...even SALLU and AMIR never inflate figures....

    anyways, Raees is hit by trade figures or producer figures thats it...

  12. @srkat (writer of the article)

    Too much discussion over Shivaay's 16cr manipulation but not a single word on JTHJ's 20cr manipulation! Why??? Also, JTHJ was the movie which had huge difference (20%) between trade figures and producer figures. Therefore the article should have been started with JTHJ.

  13. The article doesn't clarify many aspects of the Indian Box Office but, yet it is an interesting read. My take is that the movies that have become huge crowd pullers at the single screens is almost impossible for anyone to track. Only the Producer and the Distributor would be knowing what a certain film did. Coming to Raees and Kaabil, Raees has won the clash hands down and there's no denying that. Kaabil on the other hand performed better than expected in front of a juggernaut. Happy for the makers that it wasn't washed out completely. Winning a clash with over 40 Crores is no joke and now when they are inflating, good luck to them coz in the end they will pay more taxes which will be used on us to make our lives better by the Government and the makers egos will be intact knowing their movie didn't make enough money and for the next time I assure you won't see them clashing special the one who lost.

  14. I know 2 wrongs don't make a right but if anyone was in that situation against roshan calculator they would also have to buy a roshan calculator. The next clash I would like to see is krrish 4 vs singham 3 Sab manipulation ke record break karde ge. lol ps bhai dosen't manipulate if he did bb would have been at 350cr and no one would have argued with that.

  15. too shameful for Rakesh Roshan bcs he is the reasons for all these happened and the best inflated Bollywood is the Amir Khan all his film start from GHAJINI will not cross it's collection but must of trade analys are interested in his manipulation

  16. Lameen aamir dosen't manipulate he's the actor that bought in rentrack for Pk and dangal if you are saying rentrack is manipulating than all Hollywood films are manipulated.

  17. @Jolly 200 dreamer

    SIB 71 cr BOI
    SIB 86 cr Producer ,........15

    Brothers 70 cr BOI
    Brother 83 cr Producers 13

    GIB 82 cr BOI
    GIB 87 cr Producers 5

    Baby 81 BOI
    Baby 96 producer 15

    Shaukeen 18 BOI
    Shaukeen 30 producers 12

    Entertainment 64 BOI
    Entertainment 72 producers 8

    64 crs difference out of 6 movies averaging
    10.5 crs inflation per movie.
    Many more but I stop here

    But you have guts to talk about the other biggies manipulation?

    Big Fool.

  18. Good article but what if so called trade site khan office India deflat/ inflate figures intentionally
    And what about selling tickets to corporates for less than a half price
    , neither producer nor trade can be believed about figures
    It's the audience who decides the movie

  19. hahaha....

    renTrake...ka system hi sabse pahle aamir khan laya tha...Dhoom 3 me...

    or Dangal ka trade figure or Producer figure same hi aata tha...

    par ye manupulation ka Game....Rakesh roshan ...or....SRK ne start kiya tha...

    CE,hny ,Raees ,krish or kabil...sab k sab manupuleted h...

    Raees ko to 150 krne k liye manupuleted kiya gya h....apni oochi Naak rakhne k liye....

    es rakesh roshan or haklu SRK ne to bollywood ko....कोठा bna diya h....

  20. @bollyarena

    kya trade figure fake hote h ...??

    kya BOI fake h ...??

    kya producer or trade figure me....दौगुना ,तिगुना...difference hota h ?? jesa Raees me ho rha h...

  21. sabse jyada chale vali movie me...

    sirf ek hi KinG h....Aamir khan...

    3idiots....70 days...
    dangal...45 days
    pk..........55 days
    dhoom 3...50 days..
    gajni......60 days...
    rang de basanti....45 days...

    or srk..

    hny ...12 day...finish..
    ce....15 day...
    fan...15 day..
    dear jindgi...15 day...


    sultan...40 days
    BB........44 days

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