The Ghajini Challenge!

 

HISTORIC is the word that’s used to describe Ghajini’s opening. It is indeed historic, and here’s why:

 

* The first film to beat the previous best opener (RNBDJ) by a margin of 10+ Crores (7 day opening)

* The widest release with a print count of around 1100 prints in India, it notched up a per print average of 5L per print (approx)

 

It’s a behemoth in terms of Percentage occupancy and Volume, which I define as the margin by which it outscored its previous rival.

To get a fair idea, Chak De India has the best print average of 5.21L/print for 422 prints, among major grossers. Ghajini has achieved that kind of per print average over almost THREE times the print count. To achieve a high print average over a small/medium sized print count is one thing, to do it over the highest print count ever, is something that becomes a distributor’s “Chappar Phad Ke…” dream.

So this in effect is the challenge — for a movie to be as ‘historic’ an opener, the new film has to beat Ghajini’s record by:

 

1) At least 10 Crores (which implies an opening of 65 Crores in 7 days!)

2) Do so, without increasing the print count by more than 200-250 prints!

 

A film released on 2000 prints could break Ghajini’s record by 10 crores, albeit with a proportionally poor screen average of 3.25L/print. Hardly commendable!

CCTC offers an intriguing possibility. It’s releasing on precisely 250 more prints (in India) and it’s a major film with a major star, playing the lead. If it manages to beat the Ghajini challenge, Akshay Kumar automatically will become the biggest star of BW! If he manages to touch 55 Crores with the current print count, he falls short, because he has an advantage of 250 extra prints!

That’s the way it is. In order to beat Ghajini, not only is the margin important, the percentage occupancy is also a factor!

 

Any bets on which film will actually meet this challenge? Or which star would be able to shatter the ‘myth’ that is now known as Ghajini?

Type away…

56 comments

  1. saket - January 6, 2009 5:04 AM

    Thanks Aar, Satyam, Sandy, Julie, Som, Shah, Gabber and Q! (What prompted you to sing that song, Q?)

    I tend to agree with Aar here. If CCTC will not be able to break the record by a safe margin, I don’t see any film doing it, this year. Kites is a departure for Rakesh Roshan. And departures from the norm are always risky! Ghajini got a monstrous response from the single screens, and that section of the audience will be alienated if the setting in Kites is English-heavy.

    I agree that new records and benchmarks are being set on a regular basis, but take a look closer — high volume and high print average hardly go hand in hand to this degree, unless it’s an ‘event’ film. And that was my whole point. To beat Ghajini through # of prints is quite possible. To match its print average (in effect percentage occupancy) or beat it, at those volumes, is very very difficult! At least that’s what it looks like to me at the moment. A bigger ‘event’ could always take place and a new benchmark set. I just don’t see that happening anytime soon. And that’s what the ‘fun’ in prediction is all about.

  2. utkal - January 6, 2009 5:56 AM

    Thoeetically one can defend the slightluy higher fall of Ghajini in the second weekend, because it is the new Year, ist week, which is supposed to be bad for business. That’s why no big new films release around this time, right?
    Any way the caid test for Gajini is to double its first 7 days, to be countes as a Blockbuster ala D2, OSO and others, and as a film that’s been genunely liked. Rab Ne also wil have to pass the same test.

  3. satyam - January 6, 2009 6:01 AM

    My question still remains unanswered. Forget the specifics. Why is that this ‘democracy’ of top stars crops up only when Aamir creates history with Ghajini? Why didn’t anyone say this after D2? After OSO? After SIK even? At that point those stars were given credit. I do admit that even Akshay got grudging acceptance after lots of hits but overall Ghajini has created an enormous anxiety where the greater the opening the more this ‘democracy’ comes about. So weirdly rather than actually saying anything about Aamir the film supposedly says more about the top 4 stars or about ‘any’ film with the right combo! So people are pretending that it’s ‘impressive’ Aamir’s done this but the entire logic of the argument constantly veers towards the other stars! Why wasn’t Aamir given this benefit when those others were doing it, especially when he had and continues to have an unsurpassed track record in more genres than anyone else?!

    But we’ve seen this before. For the SRK supporters who never gave much credit to Aamir for making big hits out of the ‘different’ suddenly CDI became the most important film in movie history. For Hrithik supporters who also had little use for such arguments suddenly a JA (that opened way less than expected though it trended well) suddenly this one film becomes one of the most important in movie history! In each case the ‘trending’ idea also gained new supporters!

    For the record I have (and I’m not the only one) spoken of certain top stars and their genre strengths. I have even suggested that if each star gets their top genre perhaps Hrithik beats everyone (though Ghajini makes me rethink that.. it might be that Aamir in this kind of deal beats everyone). So I’ve looked at all the scenarios as others have here. But no one else was willing to do it on those other occasions. Now Aamir has a big one and people want to talk about everyone else and Aamir himself becomes a kind of tangential detail!

    Yeah keep it going. No star has the record that Aamir has in this decade. No star is even close. No star of the ones currently working (Bachchan always excepted) has ever had a period where they’ve had the Aamir kind of record, looking at all the factors. I should add that Akshay’s string of hits, especially if he keeps this up, is also something that other stars have not achieved in that compressed a period of time (which means a lot). But overall Aamir has been superlative in this decade in terms of combining pathbreaking films within commercial boundaries, getting very significant initials and grossers for all of these attempts, he only has one failure in MP (still had the biggest initial of its day which is more than can be said for JA.. and by the standards of some on NG didn’t lose too many people money so let’s call it ‘average’! By the way even if a ‘failure’ I consider it a rather rich film).. the list otherwise is Lagaan, DCH, MP, RDB, Fanaa, TZP, Ghajini. Add to this his production success with JTYJN and everything he touches turns to gold! And I wouldn’t want to be the guy betting against 3 Idiots. So what is it now? 4 hits in a row? And a certain 5th with 3 Idiots? SRK and Hrithik doing hatricks is a big deal? What about this?!

    But yeah as always I give Akshay complete credit for hits within that compressed time period. This isn’t something we’ve seen since Bachchan even if Akshay does not have the same magnitude (who could?!) or even if his films aren’t the prestige products of his age. The last he’s taken care of with volume of course. At this point it’s hard to knock him on these grounds. How long he keeps this up remains to be seen.

    By the way I also note with some amusement that some of us here coined the big 4 idea and now everyone’s jumped on it. It’s been especially useful to throw around when certain supporters start developing anxieties about the performances of other stars’ films!

  4. ILG - January 6, 2009 6:08 AM

    Re: When it is decided what the 7-day total is (I have my own calculation)…let me know. The lower it is, the more great trending will look…the higher it is the more historic Ghajini will look in week 1.

    Brilliant. This summarises the plight of fans of ‘lesser’ stars.
    Talk about getting knickers in a twist!

  5. RAJ - January 6, 2009 6:17 AM

    Satyam,

    I dont think anybody is dening the due to Amir for ghajini..

    Ghajini has done remarkably well and as a lead star Amir is responsible for its success….And he should be applauded for this without bias…and I appreciate and apluad Aamir for his efforts…

    Same goes with other stars….Akki should be appluded for SIK and SRK for RNBDJ…

  6. satyam - January 6, 2009 6:51 AM

    But Raj what Aamir has achieved here is well beyond what those two have achieved for those films. The playing field cannot be leveled!

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