PM Modi’s Demonetisation to Dent ‘Rock On 2’ at the Box-Office
Q: After the Prime Minister’s surprise announcement on demonetising Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes on Tuesday night, should the makers of Rock On 2 have postponed the release of their film to next weekend ?
Rock On 2 produced by Eros International and Excel Entertainment which releases on Friday, 11 November, is facing an unforeseen crisis of sorts - a country with a cash crunch. People are queuing up outside banks right now to get their hands on some loose change, will they do the same outside ticket windows to catch the film? Going by advance bookings, evidently not.
Speaking to The Quint, Komal Nahta, Film trade analyst and Editor of Film Information says, “It’s a question of liquidity, a lot of people are finding it difficult to meet their daily needs because Rs 50 and Rs 100 notes are in shortage. Obviously what is on the priority list is food, conveyance, medicines etc; entertainment now comes last on the list, so it is going to impact collections.”
Ticket Sales Dipped Already
An impact on the box-office is already evident, since ticket sales at cinemas have seen a huge dip since Wednesday morning. “I am 100% sure there will be a dent in the box-office collections of Rock On 2,” says journalist and trade analyst Amod Mehra. “The Wednesday and Thursday collections of films like Ae Dil Hai Mushkil and Shivaay have been practically negligible. As per what ever reports we are getting from multiplexes, there is zero advance booking for Rock On 2,” he adds.
This is definitely not a good sign because Rock On 2 is not a small film by any standard. The Farhan Akhtar-Arjun Rampal-Shraddha Kapoor-starrer is estimated to have budget of approximately Rs 45 crore including prints and publicity. The film’s cast has been touring the country with Rock On concerts - and that doesn’t come cheap.
New Release Will Take a Hit
“There will definitely be some sort of an impact on the kind of numbers Rock On 2 would have expected to make and what the film will make tomorrow. We were expecting Rock On 2 to open around the range of Rs 5 to 6 crore tomorrow, if the film opens instead to something as low as Rs 2 to Rs 3 crore, there will be reason for worry,” opines Amul Mohan, editor, Super Cinema.
Nahta expects the collections of Rock On 2 to take 15 - 20% hit due to the demonetisation move. Though the film like its predecessor is likely to appeal mainly to the urban multiplex audience, the penetration of cashless transactions at movie halls isn’t big enough yet. Considering all this, it might have been a wise move for the makers to postpone the release of the film by a week, as the financial turbulence would have more or less settled somewhat by then.
Over the years, film producers have braced themselves to counter last minute controversies, political pressures, certification hurdles and legal hassles but anticipating the need to overcome the problem of people having cash in their bank but not in their hand is something no Bollywood producer is ever prepared for.