Nothing succeeds like ‘100 crore’

Salman Khan was the next to lay claim to the Rs 100 crore-plus pantheon and has ruled for a while with Dabangg, Bodyguard and Ek Tha Tiger.

And the entries ever since have been on the rise. Ajay Devgn entered with Golmaal 3 and Singham, Akshay Kumar with Rowdy Rathore, Hrithik Roshan with Agneepath, Shah Rukh Khan with Ra.One and Don 2 and Ranbir Kapoor with Barfi! With this very attractive number being mandatory for being considered a big league player, it's the one vital stat being flashed rather frequently these days.

This impressive churn is linked to the exponential growth in business ever since films became a legitimate business, funded by studios and financial institutions. Close to a hundred films are released in Hindi alone every year allowing every film a rather short window for wooing the audience. It is a scramble out there and only the fittest survive. As has been the case, usually it is the smartly packaged and promoted films with big stars that make the cut. More often than not, high content films dependent on word of mouth usually get left out as they make money over a period that lasts well beyond the opening week.

But, as it is with all things widely coveted, the rules are becoming more stringent every day. First it was just the grand total that was counted at the end of a film's run but now, to make the grade, a film has to net Rs 100 crore within a week's time from the day of the release. Also it has to be the "net" collections and not gross (the amount that remains after entertainment tax is paid for) and yes, the overseas collection from foreign territories doesn't count and so on and so forth.

The danger, however, with such clever computation is that it doesn't necessarily add up to superlative cinema. In the din of revenue stacking up, the attention to the craft of storytelling is completely lost.

... contd.

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