The famous director Karan Johar, recently asked the Hindi film industry to aim for Rs 1000 crore earning rather than Rs 100- 200 crore recent earning by a few movies. It is entirely possible for Hindi movies to earn such high earnings prvided the number of theaters are increased substantially and the ticket prices are kept at reasonable levels. Let us see how it is possible.

On an all India average, the price of a ticket in a multiplex is, say, around Rs 120  and in a single screen theater it is around Rs 40 per ticket.(In Mumbai it can be as high as Rs 400 and Rs100 respectively, but the number of such seats on an all India basis is not significant for our argument). It is estimated by Boxofficeindia.com that 65 per cent of the box office collections of the top 50 Hindi films came from multiplexes and 35 per cent from single screen theaters. 

Thus, if a movie has to touch a turn over of Rs 100 crore, it will get Rs 65 crore from multiplex screens and Rs 35 crore from single screen theaters. it means at Rs 120 per ticket the number of viewers has to be 54,16,667 in the multiplexes. The number of viewers in single screen theaters at Rs 40 per ticket has to be 87,50,000. Thus a total of 1,41,66,667 viewers have to watch a movie for it to reach the coveted figure of Rs 100 crore at the box office. This viewership figure corresponds to a low of  1.14 per cent of india's population of 124 crores. For a movie to touch Rs 200 crore mark it has to be seen by 2.83 crore viewers or 2.3 per cent of India's population. In reality much less than 1 per cent of Indian population is watching Hindi movies. Only select movies are watched by between 0.5 to 0.75% of the population.

The all India viewership figure is thus very low. Thus if a movie has to touch a Rs 1000 crore figure it has to be seen by around 14 crore people or slightly above 11 per cent of the population. Is it difficult to achieve this high figure of viewership. As per present trends yes. One of the main reason for such low viewership is the less number of theaters in the country. As against 120 screens per million people in USA there are just 10 screens per million in India. India produces the largest number of movies in the world, more than 1,000 per year. In theater attendance also India is number one with more than 3 billion tickets sold in a year. However the density of screens is very low and this comes in way of  the movies realizing their true earning potential.

These days however the multiplexes are expanding, as these are were people go to see movies more often. The single screen theaters around 10,500 in number are gradually closing down, as they are now mostly patronised by economically weaker sections of the society and are finding operations unviable.The spread of the mall culture is giving a boost to new multiplexes.The number of multiplex screens is slated to go up from present 900 screens to 1,350 by April, 2013. On an average a multiplex screen costs Rs 2 crore and thus is capital intensive.

It can therefore be seen that in terms of viewership, per Rs 100 crore earning around 1.15 per cent of India's population must see a movie.This figure looks so small and manageable but every Friday, 90 per cent of the movies flop and fail to attract even such a low per cent of our population.However with rising incomes, increasing number of multiplex screens, option of movie timings and fair assurance of ticket availability, in say, next five years a hit Hindi movie could be earning around Rs 1000 crores. Just imagine how much would the Salman Khans of that time  charge per movie.


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