profit. That amount shall be shared by the producer and distributor again,” explains Johar.
But many big studios retain the distribution rights of their films. For instance, Disney UTV retained the distribution rights for Barfi! for all the territories. In such cases where the production house distributes the film, the entire net collection, after the exhibitor’s deduction, goes to them. Disney UTV even retained the distribution rights for Chennai Express for most territories.
However, there are exceptions. Some territories in which distributors have a better reach than the studios, the film is sold to the distributor for those few territories. A source from a leading studio says, “In some states like Uttar Pradesh or Madhya Pradesh, where we think the collections may not be very good, we sell the film to the sub-distributors and make our profit. Later, it depends on them as to how they want to sell it to the exhibitors.” Something of this sort may also happen if the production house feels that selling the distribution rights would be more profitable than retaining it. For instance, Teri Meri Kahaani was co-produced by Eros International, who later decided not to retain the distribution of the film. They were getting a decent amount from a distributor, which seemed a profitable deal than taking the risk of self-distribution. Though Teri Meri Kahaani was declared a flop at the box-office, the production house made a profit of about Rs.20 crore from the film.
While more often than not, the producer doesn’t suffer losses if he sells the film at a high price, there are exceptions. The revenue system differs from model-to-model. According to Rathi, Vidhu Vinod Chopra didn’t sell 3 Idiots for a fixed price, instead, he gave it to Reliance Entertainment on a commission basis. So, if 3 Idiots had tanked at the box-office, Chopra would have suffered a loss.
All said and done, despite several figures being floated around, it’s almost impossible to say exactly how much profit a producer or a distributor make from a film; it depends on the deals made between each of them, which on most counts is discreet, so it’s almost impossible to achieve accuracy when it comes to these numbers. Thus, as much as one tries to decode them, it shall continue to remain a big puzzle even as the rat race gets more bigger with time.
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