Some Box Office stuff

Despite freezing fingers and a temporary Internet shutdown here at IIT, I would like to write a bit about the box office of Jab Tak Hai Jaan and Son of Sardaar. I’ll be taking only Box Office India numbers since I do not trust the numbers of other sources. Also, box office numbers will be rounded off, wherever necessary, for easier calculation.

Let’s compare this Diwali with last Diwali – a.k.a Ra.One.

Ra.One released on 3,000 screens and grossed 15 crores on its first day, followed by a 23 crore haul on its second day. By most estimates, the total release size of the two 2012 Diwali releases is 4,200 screens (the exact break-up is still under a bit of dispute). So, ideally inflating Ra.One‘s first day as per screen count increase :-

2012 Ra.One first day = (4200/3000)*(15) = 21 crores.

2012 Ra.One second day = (4200/3000)*(23) = 32 crores.

Now, the combined first day of 2012?s Diwali is 12.5 + 8.5 crores = 21 crores. This means that the combination has equalled last year’s Diwali, which is no mean feat considering the amount of hype Ra.One was riding. However, the performance could have been a bit better – 22 crores would have been great.

As per latest reports, the combined second day is 19.5 + 14.5 = 34 crores. This shows that day-to-day business this year has grown quite a bit compared to last year. So this Diwali is, by all counts, a major success. But the more important question is :- what is the status of the individual films?


Let’s take the screen count of 2,600 for Jab Tak Hai Jaan (estimates may vary by a 100). So, again idealising Ra.One from last year :-

Ideal first day = (2600/3000)*(15) = 13 crores.

The actual first day came out slightly lower than this. While this may be attributed to slightly lesser hype and competition, the fact is that Jab Tak Hai Jaan could have done better, especially since the above calculations are considering reduced screen space. A 14 crores first day would have been excellent.

Ideal second day = (2600/3000)*(23) = 20 crores.

Jab Tak Hai Jaan has again missed the mark by a very small amount. The verdict is retained as per above. A 21.5 – 22 crores second day would have been perfect.

The rise in collections of Ra.One from Day 1 to Day 2 is ((23-15)/15)*100 = 53%. For Jab Tak Hai Jaan, the rise in collections is ((19.5-12.5)/12.5)*100 = 56%. So Jab Tak Hai Jaan has actually shown an improved theatrical response in terms of its growth.


Let’s take the screen count of 1,600 for Son of Sardaar (estimates may vary by a 100). So, again idealising Ra.One from last year :-

Ideal first day = (1600/3000)*(15) = 8 crores.

The actual first day came out slightly higher than this. While the film could certainly have done a bit better, it is – by all means – in an adequate position. A 9 – 9.5 crores first day would have been the best case.

Ideal second day = (1600/3000)*(23) = 12.5 crores.

Son of Sardaar has improved significantly over this figure; in fact, what it has earned is excellent, just perfect for the film.

The rise in collections of Ra.One from Day 1 to Day 2 was 53%. For Son of Sardaar, the rise in collections is ((14.5-8.5)/8.5)*100 =70%. That’s a major theatrical improvement in terms of growth.

So what do all these numbers finally add up to? Both films are improving on their collections at a better rate than Ra.One last year. But on the one hand, Jab Tak Hai Jaan is just touching the needed collections while Son of Sardaar is outdoing them in varying degrees. The higher collections and good growth of the former is clashing with the better growth of the latter, creating a terrific dilemma as to which will run longer.

In such comparisons, a hundred and one factors influence the longevity and future of the film – its genre, the response (both public and audience) etc. It is also very unwise to write the verdicts of films by seeing only their first two days (the best example of this mistake being made was in this year’s Agneepath, which suffered a 50% Day 1-to-Day 2 drop and yet became a major hit). So the third day will give us a clearer picture.

Both films are excepted to drop on their third day, similar to Ra.One (this is also the last day that we can compare this Diwali to last Diwali, as Ra.One‘s fourth day was a non-working Saturday while 2012?s Diwali’s fourth day is a working Friday). Ra.Onemade 16 crores on its third day, meaning a drop of ((23-16)/23)*100 = 30%. Taking slightly improved levels (25% for both films, just as an idealistic prediction) and considering the decent word-of-mouth, we get :-

Jab Tak Hai Jaan = 19.5 – (25/100)*(19.5) = 15 crores.

Son of Sardaar = 14.5 – (25/100)*(14.5) = 11 crores.

I would add a crore to Son of Sardaar due to its significant day-to-day increase. That makes 15 crores for Jab Tak Hai Jaan and12 crores for Son of Sardaar. Let’s see how the box office plays out!

Do give your thoughts about my analysis in the comments section below.


  1. ank_16n
    November 15, 2012 at 8:25 PM

    good analysis….
    According to me, more than screens what matter more is the number of shows given to a movie…….

  2. ank_16n
    November 15, 2012 at 8:57 PM

    Acc. to u JTHJ wud be 15 cr today….while according to me it won’t cross 10 cr …

    as for SoS it wud be 9 cr……

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