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Last Updated : Jun 11, 2019 06:47 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Despite Bharat's dominance, The Tashkent Files still drawing cinegoers to theatres

While most of the screenings are night shows, according to film trade analyst Sarita Singh, the fact that the Rs 4 crore film has not lost ground during Eid weekend despite a face-off with Bharat is praiseworthy.

Maryam Farooqui @farooqui_maryam

At a time when the industry is celebrating the success of Salman Khan-starrer Bharat, it has forgotten the achievements of a small film that has been running in theatres for over 50 days.

The Tashkent Files, directed by Vivek Agnihotri, released on April 12 and has been running for over eight weeks.

While most of the screenings are night shows, according to film trade analyst Sarita Singh, the fact that the Rs 4 crore film has not lost ground during Eid weekend despite a face-off with Bharat is praiseworthy.

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"When Bharat was releasing, I was told that our film will be out of the theatres because Bharat is different from Avengers Endgame and this was after the celebration of 50 days. According to trade pundits, the film had done its run in theatres. But to my surprise even after 60 days it is still running in theatres despite the massive onslaught of Bharat," Vivek Agnihotri told Moneycontrol.

Agnihotri claims that the shows for the film are still running houseful in many circuits especially in cities like Bengaluru, Mumbai, among others.

Bharat earnings, which currently stands at Rs 160 crore after its six day run in theatres, is just second to Uri: The Surgical Strike a mid-ticket film (budget- Rs 45 crore) which earned over Rs 240 crore and is the highest grosser of 2019 amid Hindi films.

Small films are churning big profits which is only spelling good news for the Indian film industry. Despite Bharat's release, business of The Tashkent Files did not drop and Agnihotri said that "the film has crossed Rs 20 crore and is now looking to cross Rs 25 crore mark."

A look at the returns shows that The Tashkent Files has grown 50-60 times more than its opening day numbers which was at Rs 35 lakh.

Even Netflix, which has bought the digital rights of the film, is waiting for the film to go out of the theatres as they cannot release a film on their platform if it continues to run in cinema halls. While the over the top player (OTT) had intended to release the film on June 12, it has now scheduled to play the film from next month.

Just like The Tashkent Files, there have been many small films this year and in the last few years that have shown their might at the Indian box office.

In 2019, three small films including The Tashkent Files, Luka Chuppi and Badla have been declared super hits which means that these films have doubled their investments.

While Luka Chuppi which was made at Rs 34 crore and earned Rs 94 crore in its lifetime, Amitabh Bachchan and Taapsee Pannu-starrer Badla minted over Rs 88 crore with an investment of Rs 10 crore.

Looking at the success of small and medium-size films, analysts are of the opinion that the commercial success of such ventures is mitigating the content risk for multiplex operators, which were earlier dependent on star-studded Bollywood blockbusters.

There was a time when theatre owners would wait for movies starring Salman Khan on Eid, a Shahrukh Khan film for Diwali, or an Aamir Khan blockbuster around the New Year. But these days a movie with strong script but less popular actors attract significant footfalls.

In 2018, films like Baaghi 2, Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety, Raazi and Badhaai Ho entered the Rs 100 crore club all with budgets falling in the range of Rs 59 crore to Rs 29 crore.

Another small film Kedarnath which was also Sarah Ali Khan’s debut film had pocketed as much as Rs 70 crore last year with a budget of Rs 35 crore.

"Success of small budget films has also reinforced advertiser's confidence and given them opportunity to leverage in-cinema advertising more often. They are now keen to advertise through the year as opposed to title-based advertising. Success is measured in terms of recovery vis-a-vis cost. A 3X multiple recovery is always welcome and a good example," said Rajesh Mishra, CEO, UFO Moviez.

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First Published on Jun 11, 2019 06:01 pm
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