Poor Box Office Collections of movies like ‘Bade Miyan Chote Miyan’ & ‘Maidaan’: Theatres cut down shows as films fare poorly

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Poor Box Office Collections: The absence of films that pique audience interest and the underwhelming box office performance of recently released high-budget films like “Bade Miyan Chote Miyan” and “Maidaan” have forced multiplex and single-screen cinema owners to reduce the number of screenings or temporarily close some screens.
According to an ET report, trade analysts estimate that multiplexes with five to six screens are limiting their shows to two or three, while some single-screen theatres are temporarily suspending operations due to poor business and the high costs associated with running them.
Manoj Desai, producer and executive director of Mumbai-based G7 multiplex and the iconic Maratha Mandir movie hall, said, “Shows are being cancelled. It is not just about the general elections, the heat wave or competition from streaming platforms. Filmmakers are making bad films. And viewers are not interested in them.”
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Desai further noted that in the past, when Hindi films failed to perform well, South Indian films dubbed in Hindi provided some business to theatres. However, this time, even dubbed southern films are not available.
According to trade analysts, Bade Miyan Chote Miyan was produced on a budget of Rs 350 crore but only collected Rs 48.50 crore in the past three weeks. Similarly, Maidaan, which had a budget of Rs 250 crore, collected Rs 40 crore in the same period.
Single-screen cinemas and multiplexes are struggling with low attendance numbers. According to independent film distributor and trade analyst Shaaminder Malik, “Single-screen theatres and multiplexes are grappling with very little collections. There are theatres which have meagre footfalls of 170-250 people.” Despite reducing ticket prices to as low as Rs 30-70 in cities like Agra, Bareilly, Kanpur, and Lucknow, there has been no significant improvement in audience turnout.
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In an effort to attract moviegoers, exhibitors are offering ad-free shows at premium properties, saving audiences at least 30 minutes. They are also providing fixed ticket coupons for a certain number of films. Malik emphasized the importance of word-of-mouth communication among viewers, stating, “Today, word-of-mouth communication among viewers and potential viewers of films is more effective than ever. One cannot dump bad films and expect people to come to theatres, especially at a time when they have more interesting avenues to entertain themselves.”
The low attendance has made it challenging for multiplexes to run full shows due to high fixed costs, which account for 55-56% of a large multiplex’s total costs. These fixed costs include salaries, rent, common area maintenance (CAM) charges, electricity, water charges, and other operating expenses.
A senior management executive at a leading multiplex revealed, “Rentals and CAM charges have increased post the pandemic. This has added to costs of running a screen. We used to pay an average 15% of the revenue generated per screen before the pandemic to theatre-owners. This average increased to 20%. So, poor performance of Hindi films is just a key trigger for temporarily shutting screens.”

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