The special number that Kabali should target

Its not Sultan v/s Kabali, but what is the number that Kabali targets remains to be seen.

Sairaj Iyer

Kabali should definitely impact Salman starrer Sultan's performance at the box, but on the other hand, the Rajni starrer ideally will vie for a slot at the top ten grossing films in the all-languages category. The top ten highest grossing movies begins with the Aamir Khan’s starrer PK which grossed at $120 mn*, and the lowest being SRK starrer Happy New Year that grossed $57 mn*. This list also includes Sultan, which is now ranked at 5th, running at $75mn*. The target could hence be a mean average of the top ten- 523 cr or $78 mn*. This number represents box office collections, and no other income such as satellite rights and endorsements.

Media reports in 2010 showcased a virtual tug between Dabangg (hindi) and Enthiran (Tamil), with the latter directed by S. Shankar crossing a collection of 289 Cr* ($43 mn) in the process becoming the second highest grosser.



In terms of annual film output, as of 2013, India ranks first, followed by Nigerian movies or Nollywood, Hollywood and China. The Indian film industry in 2011 reached overall revenues of $1.86 billion (Rs 93 billion) with a projected rise of $3 billion in 2016. In 2015, outside of North America, Indian movies garnered total box office of $1.6 billion, the fourth largest outside North America. The provision by the Indian Govt of enabling 100% FDI in the Indian film market, has made it all the more attractive for major international enterprises such as Walt Disney Pictures, SonyPictures, 20th Century Fox and Warner Bros to invest in Indian movies.

The Indian diaspora overseas ensures that the cash earnings of Indian movies keep ticking. These earnings accounting for around 12% of the revenue generated by a mainstream movie, contribute substantially to the overall revenue of Indian movies which accounted for $1.3 billion in 2000. Indian music is another major source of revenue collector with the music rights alone netting 4-5% of the net revenues generated by a movie in India.

Numbers from all over the world project Sultan garnering $20.30 million( Rs136 crore) at the close of its second weekend. This movie has surpassed the projections of Chennai Express and is now the 7th highest in the overseas markets. The numbers that the Regional Indian movies garnered too are impressive. Bengali movies fetched Rs.15 crore ($2.2 million), Kannada movie Mr and Mrs Ramachari gathered a worldwide gross of $7.4 million or Rs 50 crore, Malayalam’s Drishyam got $11 million or Rs.75 crore, while Punjabi, Marathi, and Telugu had $10 mn, $15mn and $89 million worldwide. SS Rajamouli's Bahubali Telugu movie broke all targets grossing nearly Rs. 600 cr.


Six years after Enthiran, Rajni's movies failed to sizzle at the box. Both Kochaidaiyaan and Linga moderately sizzled. Essaying the role of a Don in Kabali, should empower the Enthiran star to partake in a formula that has attracted his millions of fans worldwide. After all it is 25 years now that (Basha) Rajni will essay the role of a Don with his inimitable style statements like the flick of his sunglasses, the smoke-beedi act, or the typical dialogue delivery that gets gut-gyrating whistles.

On the marketing front, Rajni's PR machinery has left no stone unturned. From advertising on an Airbus, to capitalizing on a tug of war with Sultan, everything organic and inorganic has been tried and perfected. The legal team has even gone to the optimal extent of thwarting any leaks and piracies.  The movie will open up to 5000+ screens initially including 500 for the US, a number similar to Linga, in comparison to close to 5500 screens for Sultan. The movie will also have access to many theatres in China in September and also have versions in Malay (Malaysia), Thai (Thailand) and Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesia) languages.

Will Kabali cross the Rs.523 crore is a question that could be answered only after the second week collections. Of this, the makers have already cracked 200 cr through advance bookings, for the rest we will wait and watch as records tumble. With his fan-following raging like fire like 'Neruppu Da', we can only hope that this is not a distant figure to hop over.

Sairaj Iyer - Jul 21, 2016 12:00 IST