It is very interesting read. This is interview from distributor(Kamal Jain, group CFO (India) with Eros International Media) it self:
“Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara is the highest grosser for 2011. In the overseas market it has done very well, in US it is all packed house and has done well in UK as well.” This is interesting comment as Ready is also distributed by Eros.
The market is missing a blockbuster but not the box-office. In an exclusive interview with CNBC-TV18, Kamal Jain, group CFO (India) with Eros International Media shares that the company’s latest flick Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara has made a whopping Rs 52.5 crore in three days of its release across the world.
“Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara is the highest grosser for 2011. We have seen almost more than 95% of occupancy in last weekend,” says an elated Jain. He says the film is running packed houses in US and has been received well in UK as well.
Below is a transcript of Kamal Jain’s interview with CNBC-TV18. Also watch the accompanying video.
Q: How has the response been?
A: We are extremely happy with the kind of response that we have got all over for the film across the nation. After a long time, we have seen these kinds of responses for a film. We have seen almost more than 95% of occupancy in last weekend. We have done almost Rs 52.5 crore just in three days — Friday, Saturday and Sunday across the world.
Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara is the highest grosser for 2011. In the overseas market it has done very well, in US it is all packed house and has done well in UK as well.
Q: How much do your investors make?
A: It is about Rs 52.5 crore gross that we have collected already. Eros as a studio model we work completely on a de-risking strategy and as a part of our strategy we generally pre-sell our most of the film before its theatre. Almost 50-80% of the cost was already covered through pre-selling of satellite and other rights, which has always been our strategy.
Hence, it is definitely a profitable venture for us and apart from satellite it is a wonderful performance on the theatrical also. It has added more to what we had already gained. Post IPL the movie business has seen a good time. Every week there is a hit one after the other. You had ‘Ready’, ‘Murder 2’, ‘Delhi Belly’ and now ‘Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara’, therefore, constantly there is hit after hit and the industry, which is experiencing a very good time over the last two to three months of time.
Q: Travel and hotel companies have sort of made it even better with your drooling locales of Spain. How the year has been? ‘Ready’ was your other big hit, you had ‘Chalo Delhi’ as well. How much have you raked with three of these films put together and would you change your 30% revenue growth target for FY12?
A: We are going to grow more than 30-35% a year on topline and bottomline. Ready, Murder 2 and now Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara has given us a phenomenal success on the box office as well as overall. Certainly, the numbers are looking positive for this quarter and going forward as far as Eros is concerned, Q2 and Q3 will be good with Ra. releasing in Diwali. It is a phenomenal slate which we are looking at in Q2 and Q3 and a good year that we look up to. We are maintaining the guidance on 30% plus in topline as well as bottomline.
Q: What is happening with respect to ‘Ra.One’, because there is an elaborate marketing plan for this one? What has the ad spends exactly been, because you have now started to move into new international territories like Taiwan, South Korea? What has the entire spend been and what is the plan with Ra.One?
A: Ra.One is one of the most anticipated films for the year. We can’t share the budgets but this movie is looking upwards in terms of profitability. As a strategy we have pre-sold most of the stuff, the satellite is already sold, the music is already sold and other mediums are also sold. Hence, most of the cost is covered through the pre-sell.
Being a big start cast film with Shah Rukh Khan in the film, there is in-film branding, most of the marketing taps already happened and the cost predominantly gets covered through the marketing taps.
The movie is releasing in Diwali, but the marketing of the film has begun from January and post the world cup and now going on every month with some activity building around on Ra.One.
Q: What is the level at which you start making money in Ra.One? In Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara you said you have grossed Rs 52.5 crore in the opening weekend. What should you gross Ra.One to make it at least break even venture?
A: Predominantly the dependability on the theatrical is something which is certainly getting minimized over and over time. The gross numbers are growing bigger because of the growth in theatrical part of the business due to the surging multiplex growth. However, satellite and other media are growing faster and the new media is really growing very faster.
As a strategy, we generally see that the cost of the film, between 50-80% is recovered before the movie comes to the theatre. Ra.One being the biggest film already most of the selling is already done and hence the investment is already covered. We feel the opening weekend is going to be certainly bigger because if you see the movie’s releasing on Wednesday which is Diwali, about four to five days long weekend. We are trying to release that film and more than 2500 screens versus what we have released Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, almost 1500 screens. The number of screens are more and internationally also we have open new territories like Taiwan with almost 25 to 26 screens. Ra.One is going to be a very big grosser for us and we are anticipating good profits from there as well. In terms of the coverage and percentage we are very positive as far as the movie is concerned.
Q: So you are sitting on net profit of about, a base of about Rs 120 crore odd. Earlier, you are targeting about a 35% growth in the bottomline. Did you factor in all of this huge response that you got for the pre-sales of Ra.One and what Ra.One might throw up for your performance?
A: As a studio our business plan is absolutely a plan for next 2-3 years. We know what is the slate going to be for FY11 and FY12 and also know exactly what is going to be the cost. About 60-80% of the cost gets recovered through pre-sell strategy. More or less about 30-35% growth on the bottomline is what we have factored in from these films and the numbers already are our bank. It is pretty much tied up in terms of the numbers we look forward for FY11 or FY12.
Q: Considering the string of successes, are you planning any major expansions? Will you be raising equity? Considering that at this point in time it is a very good situation where you can really expand your activities?
A: As far as any expansion is concerned, we are the largest in terms of studio. We will be planning to expand ourselves vertically in terms of a number of movies that we do. We will do more big budget movies with secured investment and we will be expanding ourselves into regional markets as well which is we already there in Tamil, Marathi and Punjabi. We will be expanding ourselves and into Telugu, Bengali and other markets.
All the plan is already there with us and as far as the raising of money is concerned. We are sitting in a sweeter spot today where we have already FY12 and FY13 slates mostly locked and significantly funded already. We are at a cash positive situation today.