Dangal Box Office Prediction – Set to rewrite History
Guest Article by Bobby Sidhu:
Note: The article was published on 22 December 2016 before the release of Dangal. Before anyone, it was Bobby Sidhu who predicted 375 crore lifetime for Dangal which is likely to come true.
Ghajini, 3 Idiots, Dhoom 3 and PK. Four All-Time Historic Blockbusters of Bollywood, all released during Christmas, by one man: the ace Khan, Mr.Perfecionist…..Aamir Khan!
Come to think of it, expectations from an Aamir Khan film are gargantuan. Whenever Aamir releases a film, the audience is expecting the film to be a classic. After all, he has set the bar so high for himself, starting from the days of Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikander to a Lagaan to a Dil Chahta Hai to a Rang De Basanti to a 3 Idiots. Over the years, the audience has loved his films!
There are some concerns regarding Dangal. The first concern is, the similarity with SULTAN. Interestingly, this is not the first time that I have noticed similarities between a Salman and Aamir film releasing near each other. In December 2013, Aamir’s Dhoom 3 released during Christmas, and 7 months later, Salman’s Kick released during Eid: both films were high-budget, huge scale, action extravaganzas (in terms of scale and budget), with both Khans playing a thief in their respective films! Then in December 2014, Aamir’s PK released during Christmas, followed by Salman’s Bajrangi Bhaijaan 7 months later in July during Eid: both films were based on social issues and portrayed the main actor’s character being a man with a heart of gold, standing up for justice.
This time, it is the opposite, with Salman’s film having released first (released on Eid) and then Aamir’s film releasing later (during Christmas). Both films are wrestling-based, both films have a Haryanvi background, and both films are 2016 releases. Both films have the protagonist wanting to overcome odds and reach the top, either by doing it himself (Salman) or through others (Aamir’s daughters). The difference is, Sultan was based on a fictional character, whereas Dangal is based on a real story. Also, as Aamir himself mentioned on Koffee With Karan, when Aditya Chopra told him that Sultan is a love story, he right away knew that his film Dangal is different as it is based on a father’s relationships with his daughters.
The second concern with Dangal is that the director Nitesh Tiwari directed two films, Chillar Party (which he co-directed) and Bhootnath Returns, and both films did not do well at the box office.
With all that being said, how often do you hear statements like “best film of the decade” being thrown around? Not often, right? Well, that is exactly what has been heard about Dangal from veterans of the Hindi film industry such as Karan Johar and Javed Akhtar!
So, does Aamir have a winner on his hands? Better yet, is that even a question? Of course he does, as usual! Not only does Aamir have a winner, but he has a film that will do earth-shattering, record-breaking lifetime collections! As Aamir always does, he is ready to re-write box office history on Christmas…..again!
In terms of opening day collections, it would be foolish to expect Dangal to get a Dhoom 3 type opening (which is Aamir’s biggest opening day ever). Dhoom 3 had earth-shattering pre-release buzz/hype, which translated into a record-breaking opening day collection of 36 crores, on a non-holiday! Dangal’s pre-release buzz is lower than Dhoom 3, and is more comparable to Aamir’s last release PK. PK collected 26 crores on its opening day, and without the presence of a female star (Anushka in PK) or a crowd-pulling director (Rajkumar Hirani for PK), I expect Dangal’s opening day collection to be slightly lower than that of PK, including when you factor in the demonetization issue which still seems to be a problem for the single screen audience.
However, there are dubbed versions for DANGAL that will be released in Tamil and Telegu and usually, these versions contribute approximately 2 crores to the opening day collection of a big film. Overall, I am expecting Dangal’s opening day to be about equal that of PK.
Based on the above comments from those veterans and given the terrific public response to the theatrical trailer, I am sure that Dangal will have amazing WOM (Word-of-Mouth). Another reason why I feel the WOM will be so good is because films, where the female characters have a very important role to play and are based on real-life issues, tend to have tremendous WOM in India, such as Chak De India and PINK.
If we look at the last 7 years, 3 Idiots is the film that has had the best WOM in Hindi cinema. I don’t think Dangal will reach that level WOM, but it will get pretty darn close! If 3 Idiots had a 90% Ormax Media WOM score, then Dangal’s will likely be in the 80+ % range, similar to another sports-based film on a real-life character Bhaag Milkha Bhaag but ahead of Aamir’s last film PK (which had a 75% WOM score). Dangal will have excellent WOM at both multiplexes and single-screens, small centres and big centres. The story of a father and his two daughters, combined with the patriotic theme of wanting to win gold for India, will result in fantastic WOM across the country of India.
Now, time to analyze where DANGAL’s lifetime collections can end up, with a comparison to Aamir’s previous films!
- Opening Day: 12.5 crores
- Lifetime Collections: 202 crores
- Multiplier from Opening Day to Lifetime Collections: 16.16 (AMAZING trend)
- Ormax Media WOM (Word of Mouth) score: 90%
- Opening Day: 36.22 crores
- Lifetime Collections: 284.27 crores
- Multiplier from Opening Day to Lifetime Collections: 7.85 (Average trend)
- Ormax Media WOM (Word of Mouth) score: 61%
- Opening Day: 26.63 crores
- Lifetime Collections: 340.8 crores
- Multiplier from Opening Day to Lifetime Collections: 12.80 (Excellent trend)
- Ormax Media WOM (Word of Mouth) score: 75%
I must add that each of the three films above had the added advantage of the holidays falling on the right days which made it a bit easier for the films to trend the way they did. For the above films, in order from first film to last, Christmas was on Friday (opening day), Wednesday, and Thursday respectively. For Dangal, however, Christmas falls on Sunday, which already is a holiday, and therefore it eliminates the holiday advantage. As a matter of fact, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day also fall on Saturday/Sunday, basically eliminating that holiday advantage as well. Basically, Dangal will have to trend almost like a non-holiday release. Because I am predicting Dangal WOM to be better than PK but lower than 3 Idiots, I predict that Dangal will multiply its opening day by approximately 14.48, the middle number between PK’s multiplier (12.80) and 3 Idiots multiplier (16.16).
Dangal Box Office Prediction by me:
- 1st Day: 26 crores net
- 1st Weekend: 98 crores net
- Lifetime Collections: 375 crores net
- Overall Box Office Verdict: All Time Blockbuster
Note: It also includes collectins from Tamil and Telugu versions.
Past trends show that since 2008, every Christmas release of Aamir has gone on to become the biggest grosser of all time. Whereas he usually breaks his previous lifetime record by an average of 75 crores, this time it will be approximately half of that (35 crores more than the lifetime 340 crore record of Bollywood’s biggest grosser PK) because of a lack of holiday advantage combined with the demonetization issue which will affect the film to a small extent, but not large. Nonetheless, Dangl will have three open weeks at the box office without any significant competition in which the box office will be ripped apart and destroyed by the aggressive force of Dangal!
The article has been written by Bobby Sidhu who is a Box office enthusiast from Canada.You can follow him on Twitter @BobbySidhu.
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