Can you trust Box Office Numbers by Bollywood Producers?

The credibility of box office collection from producers has become a hot topic in the industry with the release of Raees and Kaabil. There is a big difference between the trade and official figures, especially for Kaabil.

Exaggerating box office numbers is not a new practice. In 2013, Rakesh Roshan was criticized for inflating Krrish 3 collection by more than 40 cr however the director denied all such reports. One year later Shahrukh Khan's Happy New Year broke all the opening records and collected a huge 45 cr. However, the trade figure was much less and the same also applies for the lifetime.

So can you trust the box office numbers released by producers? Well, we talked to some of the trade pundits and here is what they have to say.

Film exhibitor and distributor Vishek Chauhan says that he prefers producer numbers as there is not any other credible source. He also said that they don't share their data with any box office portal.

"I choose to go with producer figures due to lack of a credible alternative. If some other source can back it up with evidence and prove producers wrong then only I will choose them over producer figures. Till then its perception, not fact. So if I had to choose between two perceptions I will choose the producer's perception until someone can prove them wrong. Just alleging won't do, accusing people won't do. Prove them wrong then talk, till then its all talk and perception."

"Just to add...every site has their own figure..every film has 5 figures going around..which one do you believe? Hence I go with producer figures as it seems most credible situation wise. People alleged Shah Rukh Khan inflated figures in HNY, no evidence provided, which territory? which cinemas? If you know he is inflating, pls tell us how and from where? The people who allege what is their credibility and what is their source? These questions remain unanswered, hence I will go with producer figures till I get a credible scientific alternative."

Box Office India is India's leading box office portal which updates collection daily on the basis of samples. After a week, they revise their figures and are said to be most accurate. As of now, it is considered the most authentic independent source for box office. Almost all of the other trade website follow their updates. However, Bollywood producers have mostly slammed it.

A distributor, who didn't want to be named, said, "BoxofficeIndia.com has authentic numbers, most from the fraternity follow this when tracking one another's films. But when it comes to their own films, they track the sites that show inflated numbers."

Rentrak is a global box office tracking agency and has also tracked some of Bollywood films. Yash Raj Films has a deal and recently they have tracked the numbers for Salman Khan's Sultan. The trade and official figures turned out to be the same. Sreedhar Pillai who is a trade analyst from Kollywood hopes that Rentrak will help.

"I hope Rentrak brings in an amount of professionalism but having PVR alone is not enough. The multiplex phenomenon down south is a recent development. I don’t think PVR has more than two properties in Tamil Nadu. Rentrak also needs to have the single screens in Tamil Nadu and Andhra to be effective.”

Down South, manipulation is done a large scale as there is no check and balance. Recently the producers of Rajinikanth's Kabali claimed that it has collected 100 crores on the opening day. Later on, they released an official statement that Kaabil was released in 10000 screens worldwide and collected 350 cr on 1st day. There is a chance that some of the people might believe it.

Box office collections in India are meant to be “taken with a bucket of salt”, especially down south where a superstar can conjure up any figure they’d like you to believe. In Tamil Nadu there’s a cap on ticket prices. The highest rate in multiplexes is about Rs 120, but when a big film opens they sell tickets openly at Rs 200-300 in connivance with the local administrative agencies. How else do you get these big collections when the prices are so low?”

Trade analyst and distributor Raj Bansal belives that manipulation should be exposed in Bollywood. "Its shameful for the industry. You can not fool people with fake collections. Every reputed journalist & site should give producers figure & there own source. We all must jointly expose such producers."

ComScore is global media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to many production houses. The managing director of ComScore India, Rajkumar Akella says, “In India, most distributors and exhibitors would like to keep the theatre level data confidential, only top-level data will be shared. But over time each market starts seeing more value in sharing and using the analytics and granularity for creating greater value."

"There are many in Bollywood that know about how Rentrak works. But apart from them, there are so many regional industries and small-time producers that don’t. It’s hard to get them all on the same page. But we are trying to create awareness and explain to everybody that it is a win-win for producers and distributors."

However, a veteran trade analyst doesn't seem to think so. In a conservation with Film Companion, he said “I don’t see comScore making any difference. I have trusted executives even in the most remote regions of the country who call to give me daily collections, so why do we need them. Also, I don’t see comScore being able to convince any of the single screen owners to share data with them transparently." Interestingly, he also added that while he has near-accurate collection data for every film, he only prints the figures the producers share with him. “Yes, often the numbers don’t match but I don’t get into all that because they also advertise with my publication,” he added.

The famous trade analyst Komal Nahta also believes that there is manipulation done in Bollywood. According to him, Kaabil will collect around 80 cr in its lifetime run and is a box office flop. On the other hand, the official collection of Kaabil has crossed 110 cr. The producer Rakesh Roshan has a spat with Komal because he did not quote the official figures on his television show.

Another trade analyst Taran Adarsh is not sharing the official collection of any film after the first weekend indirectly hinting about manipulation.

Recently Shahrukh Khan has also taken a dig at trade websites saying that he knows his collections better. "Please don’t send the collections of films. I make the films, I know the collections, this is the business that I’m in. I produce and distribute films. What the film is doing on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Inflated or Deflated.

People send me figures.. fools. They send me figures.. ki yaar Tuesday collection maloom hai.. No. I know my Tuesday collections to the last penny. I hate seeing it (collections) in my office. You have wrong figures. I know it (the collections), ask me."

It is clear now that there is not any unity among producers and distributors to bring an independent tracking agency like Rentrak. Until then this industry will continue to run on perceptions.

49 comments on “Can you trust Box Office Numbers by Bollywood Producers?”

  1. yes we trust both raees and kaabil you trade websites are confused and dont have big nerwork you guys dont even know when you show same occupancy for kaabil 1st day and for 2nd sunday but figures are very different producers are only one who have large network to know the collection

    1. If I trust producer figure than MSG-the lion heart is the Highest Grosser Of All Time in Bollywood...isn't it??

      1. Raees trade and producers figures difference is not more than 10 %, which happens will every film , it was only KAABIL how was doing wrong things with collections ,
        it was bollywood arena who blamed Raees also , are this dont like SRK , so Kaabil ke saath Raees ka bhi naam likh diya , as no other site is blaming Raees , only Kaabil collections are in dout.
        phir bhi done films ne jo bollywood arena ne predit kiya tha usse se kafi zyda difference se zyda kamaya hai ,
        tabhi Assa likh rahe hai .

        1. vishal bhai inke moo mat lago....bas ek hi comment karo...

          except Takla all are authentic about their collections...

    2. Yes I went to Bokaro PVR on 02/02/2017 for 7:25PM show of Kaabil & it was almost full. Whereas Raes shows was not even 25% full. I think trade is giving very less collection for Kaabil.

  2. Its well known fact that filmkraft n red chillies always do manipulations..but this time they crossed all limits of manipulations.look at arrogance of srk's reply when he was asked about manipulated figures,he is calling us fools,instead he is mocking at himself ,he is badly trolled.get a life king Kong.

    1. Don't blame SRK, the dirty game was played by Rakesh Roshan and he is the master of manipulation. SRK had no choice other than defending himself after Monday onwards. Please read the article carefully before making any comment. Rakesh Roshan has been doing these dirty things for decades right from the time when he launched his son.

    2. Fools like u will be called as fools.If u don'r like it let's change that to stupid or gadha. Happy now.

  3. After the manipulation done in kaabil and Raees came to the fore nobody believes in producer figures still there are some who give authentic figures there is no denying that.

  4. Srk is very arrogant in his statement coz he does manipulation in his movies that is the fact

    1. Don’t blame SRK, the dirty game was played by Rakesh Roshan and he is the master of manipulation. SRK had no choice other than defending himself after Monday onwards. Please read the article carefully before making any comment. Rakesh Roshan has been doing these dirty things for decades right from the time when he launched his son

  5. Rentrak is a global box office tracking agency and has also tracked some of Bollywood films. Yash Raj Films has a deal and recently they have tracked the numbers for Salman Khan’s Sultan. The trade and official figures turned out to be the same.

    Now anybody has a doubt plz clear here sultan crossed 300 cr by boi too

  6. Manipulation has been going on for many years but they were manipulated only for max 5-10% but now Srk and Hrithik Roshan's movies are reaching new heights of manipulation . They are manipulating by more than 20% . They are one of the biggest stars in the industry who have been here for a very long time . They have got success as well as failure in the past but now when their movies are not collecting , they have started cheap stuff by manipulating . Till 2011-2012 All the 3 khans and hrithik were in the same level but then hrithik and srk started manipulating and they have gone behind Salman and Aamir . They started cheating so now they are going behind ( Karma ) . Salman and Aamir are top stars in the industry right now as they are playing the real game and getting the audience love . Even Akshay Kumar is doing very good recently and it won't be strange if Akshay Kumar might be ranked after Salman and Aamir in the next 2 years or so . Victory is victory but accepting the defeat is much bigger victory just like how samsung accepted their note 7 failure .

  7. king khan give good collection day 11 4cr and day 12 4.75 day 13 1.5cr without manupulation.
    and roshan don't give good collection day 11 4cr trade and producer calculator 4+5.22=9.22cr day 12 5.5cr trade and producer calculator 5.5+6.38=11.88cr day 13 1.5cr trade and producer calculator 1.5+1.47=2.97.
    look difference between raees and kaabil day 11 day 12 day 13:
    day 11 raees 4cr and kaabil 9.22cr
    day 12 raees 4.75 cr and kaabil 11.88
    day 13 raees 1.5 and kaabil 2.97
    and now i trust king khan srk give correct collection and i can't trust roshan give calculator collection.
    why because roshan RESPONSIBILITY for MANIPULATION fisrt day first show.

  8. srk is very arrogant person
    1% bhi manipulate kiya par kiya toh red chilli walo ne
    sharm aani chahiye srk ko WO top actor hai.
    ye film nhi chala toh koi baat nhi agla chalega par ye gande trick mat karo inflated collection bta kya dikhana chahte hai khud murk. ban RHA hai srk
    that's why I don't like srk
    he is the cheapest person in the world

    1. Says the only cheapest person in the planet. Get a life. U have no right to criticise SRK as u were supporting Roshan calculator from the beginning. So u lost u r credibility.

  9. All time flop akki beta hamata akki tumhare ghatiya srk jaisa nhi h bhale hi flop ho par cheating or fraud nhi karega srk flop ko hit bata de ghotala king lol apna muh band rakh jake raees dekh le jolly ko to hum jaiso ka tagda support hai chal bhag murkh khi ka

    1. akki flop ka king hai check kr le history ..hahahaha i m not support any actor i hate akki ..arshad warsi ko nhi liya..uski movie hai..?? arshad warsi best comedy actor ..akki sirf box office collection ke liye aya hai..

    2. akki jaisa ghatiya koe nhi 5 upcoming hai to bhi ..dusro ki movie li..arshad warsi bichara usko sath m liya bhi nhi..akki se better comedy krta hai..

  10. Lol.... to that who is saying HNY collection wasn't inflated and bring evidence, You r the biggest in this world, can't u assume collection by its screen counts and Occupancy ? .... Who make such illiterate a journal or trade expert ?!

  11. hahaha....manupulation...srk 1995 se kr rha h...with media support...

    aaj kal roj news peper or Tv me aa rha h..."ki kese srk poor hote hue b superStar bna"

    "ki kese oosne life me love kiya...ki kese srk ne TV se bollywood me kadam rkha"

    ........Or har jagah...kese na kese...apna naam gused deta h...

    Fir b Raees ka collection...fussss h...

    etna prachar....aamir 3idiots ,or Tare zameen k liye krta to.....to 400crore sure the...

  12. First of .. All u known

    Sultan producer figure : 300.65 and,
    Trade : 300.46 marginal 19 lacs differ..


    Dangal 385 plus but differ. Was just below 20 lacs ...

    So choice is yours trade or producer ...

  13. Hny 4000 to 4200 SCR... Release with 90% occupancy and collect 44.97 CR...

    Sultan 4300 SCR ... Release with first Sunday 85 to 90% occupancy and collect 38 plus CR ...

    Dangal 4400 to 4450 SCR ...release with first Sunday 90% occupancy and collect just around 42cr...

    Also ATP of dangal is more than hny ...

    So how to explain hny first day collection is not manipulate ...

  14. If I trust producer figure than MSG-the lion heart is the Highest Grosser Of All Time in Bollywood...isn't it??

  15. Personally the thing is if a film starts with 10%-20% occupancy on Friday morning trade declare film a flop no matter how good it is and from that people's perception of that film is yaar ye film bakwaas hai so nobody watches that film if trade helps than okay look at ok jaanu decent film bad trade reports on opening film finished. So trade also has to take blame for this manipulation as bad press can kill a film.

  16. mmmm.....What if you say did you understand what the dog means when he barked ..?? OF COURSE NOT
    the same thing with the producers in bollywood..lol

  17. My issue with BOI is that certain superstars are undermined by them. Those who suffered most are Akshay Ajay and Aamir.
    Most trade has Baby GIB SIB more than Boi. Ajay poor fellow from footfalls of his movies you know something fishy esp Sos Shivaay Singham. Aamir Talaash and Pk too.
    Boi Hit counts movies like Khiladi Yeh dillagi Jigar PAK etc are not included. But Boi is far better than @Indicine!
    @Indicine too give more preference to Shah Rukh that's a fact.
    I can't imagine when BOI rentrak has given movies Hit Super Hit status Indicine does not want to include them so that their Hit Success counts are not exceeding Shah Rukh.

    Akshay .Universal Hits
    Khiladi ,
    Hera pheri
    Jaanwar not include as Hits for Akshay Sir.

    Ajay D
    Kaache D
    Major Sahaab
    Diljale are all above average for Indicine.
    I bet you add these Hits Akki takes 1st spot Ajay 2nd SHah Rukh 3rd Salman 4th but never will indicine include these movies. There's a particular Star movie which was Shelved never released but Indicine included it in his profile as Disaster. Why? Mr Fraud is a Mohanlaljji film.
    OMG is not included in Akki movies why?
    Totally rubbish.

  18. Problem arises mainly because we focus on net figures and not gross. That's where producer play smart by announcing gross figures without mentioning it as gross.
    What's wrong in following groos amount as its revenue... even if one is paying taxes, contributes to the nation.
    Then possibly we don't need 100cr as benchmark but 200cr.. which is still fine.
    Hollywood don't track net amount but gross only.

  19. Why we don't see manipulation in Aamir Movies? Where doesn't all this talk go then. There was hardly any difference in BOI, BA and adda today etc.

    Some may say BOI was showing 10-12 Cr are lesser but that is becoz it always mentioned Dangal(Hindi) so it was not showing Tamil & Telegu collections on daily basis. They showed it on weekly basis which added up to same numbers as other site.

  20. @all time Akki tere jaisa ghatia Adami Maine aaj tak nahi dekha dhoom 2 me hritik tha iska matlb ye nahi ki John se movie cheen lia ye decision producers ka hota hai aur tum sale srk fans hamesa history dekhte ho Akki history me sabse jyada flop dia hai, salman history me bahut jyada flop dia hai present me deho kaun jyada hit de raha hai
    Srk ka aukat nahi hai ek clean hit Dene ka aur Akki is compare to Karna hi nahi
    Akki>>>>>> than manipulation king srk
    Jolly llb aa raha hai raees ka record todne aur superhit hone

  21. No way producers figures can be trusted :

    it seems bollyareena want easy way to accept producers figures so giving above crab statement .

    the way box office India should is giving figures - others also should give. they r confident and always stand by their figures . they r taking trade figure and also they have common sence which few sites don't have or don't want to use and gives us baseless figures.

    last 4-5 days I am not seeing bolly arena figures as not value ...better they improve or else people will stop beheading on u.

  22. we all know figures are manipulated by producers and broadly speaking we all also know which producers manipulate figures really!!!

    The most disappointing part is that even the pne of the biggest of them all - SRK has been resorting to such things since sometime now for multiple films........the industry looks up to the top most stars and such practices are shameful!

    BTW @ Bollyarena - really impressed with the pace and quality of articles posted here.......what does one have to do to be associated professionally with you guys? Inquiring for a friend!

  23. Aamir Khan's Dangal profit share will be more than that of Raees collection...


  24. Kaabil shows are now also going houseful in Chennai..it was effort of some of the SRK agents to malign Kaabil reputation....

  25. Ban SRK and Rakesh roshan's films. SRK had done many times manipulation to his films from the day he became producer. His RA.ONE was FLOP, he did manipulation for the collections.
    The whole world knows the collections of HNY first day collections of 38 crores. But he manipulated it to 45 crores. Shame on him.....Again he did manipulatng his film Raees daily....Shame .,..Shame...Same for Rakesh roshan...

  26. People tend to forget 2 things producers know if film has decent occupancy of 40%+ than manipulation is easy some production houses also buy there own tickets in bulk so it gives illusion of high occupancy.

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