Does having a merely monstrous budget and a mega star in the film guarantee a film’s success?

Pawan Kalyans Sardaar Gabbar Singh limps along Is south star power falling short of the 100-crore bar Sardaar Gabbar Singh/Facebook
news Entertainment Wednesday, April 13, 2016 - 18:12

Pawan Kalyan’s latest release “Sardaar Gabbar Singh”, the sequel to the highly successful “Gabbar Singh” has reportedly failed to do good business in its opening week.

While the film got a cracker of an opening on Friday, said to be the highest ever day 1 for a Pawan Kalyan movie, it limped through Saturday and Sunday- having collected an estimated Rs 69 crore at the worldwide box office in the three days.

Interestingly, while the film was made at an estimated cost of Rs 70 crore, several reports pointed out how it failed to reach the Rs 100 crore mark, a “benchmark”, used to measure a film’s commercial success, set by Bollywood.

The tanking of Pawan Kalyan’s highly anticipated action film raises one pertinent question- Does having a merely monstrous budget and a mega star in the film guarantee a film’s success?

Both the Telugu and Hindi version of the film reportedly had a screen count of nearly 2000 and was released in over 40 countries, the highest ever for a Telugu film globally. According to an IBTimes report, “In a bid to cash in on the Pawan mania, the makers had made grand arrangements for its release and shelled out hefty sums for its promotions.”

However, none of which, including star power, seems to have worked in the film’s favour.

A primary problem is that while budgets and effects increase, stars are still cast in the same old mold as filmmakers continue to stick with predictable overdone story-lines. 

Sardaar Gabbar Singh/Facebook

“Content is king. The star is the brand which can bring in the opening, but if the content is not good, the film won’t last beyond that,” a film trade analyst from south India told The News Minute.

Rajinikanth’s “Lingaa”, Vijay’s “Puli” and Surya’s “Mass” are some other examples of big-budget south Indian films that have tanked in the recent years. 'Enthiran' and 'Baahubali' are likely to be the only two movies from south that have grossed Rs 100 crore worldwide till now. 

Puli/Facebook

Talking about the 100-crore trend, which now seems to be catching up in the south Indian film industries, the source said that Bollywood and south Indian industries follow somewhat different structures when it comes to a film’s budget.

“In the south, the budget of the film is usually high because of the astronomical salaries of the stars, which is 50 percent or at times even more of the total budget. So if the budget is Rs 50 crore, the producers could be coughing up Rs 25 crore or more for the star irrespective of the film making it big or not," he said.

Endhiran (The Robot)/Facebook

He further explained that in big banner Bollywood movies, the main star of the film often takes a token amount for the film, which could be a small amount, say Rs 5 crore. However, the star also has a share in the profit of the film or could ask for the film to made under his/her production house. They could also have a share in the overseas, digital and TV rights of the film. The star makes profit if the film is a hit, but will also bear the brunt if there are losses. 

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