There has from the beginning of time seemed to be a certain comfort in numbers. From gathering food in groups to settling down in them human beings seem at ease in company. What seems good for large numbers for some reason without us even realizing it, seems good for us, at least at a sub conscious level. What it also does is that it takes the onus of having a ‘Take’ or a real ‘Opinion’ away from us. We don’t need to really find our own path, voice or opinion or have a take on something because there is comfort in just going by what do many people seem to have liked. But when it comes to a film the comfort we seek in the numbers of its earnings is false. [pullquote_right]No one realizes that when you see a figure that says ’100 Crores!’ we’re not making any of it. None of it comes into our bank account. What we get left with is a film which hardly makes us feel anything and has robbed us of 300 rupees.[/pullquote_right]

Producers over the past 5 years or so have realized that one way to get a viewer who doesn’t really make his own opinion into theatres is to keep flashing these big figures claiming that their film has earned big bucks, indirectly saying ‘OUR FILM IS SUCCESSFULL. SO YOU MUST WATCH IT’. And as they say, for humans, nothing succeeds like success. So even a thinking man’s actor like Aamir Khan has ads for his films which talk of the amount of money they’ve earned. Why this insecurity? Why can’t producers promote the idea that each one of you should come to your own conclusions? to your own deductions about whether a film is good or not?

This of course is the case even when it comes to books. ’6 million copies sold’, or on Chetan Bhagat’s books for years the most prominently placed review was ‘The largest selling English Novelist in India’s history’- New York Times. What and how does this make us really feel that we’re going to get a good product? or good content?

For readers and viewers alike it is important to realize that the number of people that a film gets to theatres is dependent nowadays, sadly sometimes, on its media spend and the amount of marketing budget it has along with the stars involved. The content only drives the film beyond the first week but poor content marketed very heavily will often recover even garguantan costs in the first weekend itself. This is because it is released in 10 times the number of theatres that a smaller film is released in and has ten times the marketing budget of a smaller film.

Audiences have a certain appetite for films. They want a film every weekend, at least. So they take the best of what it offered to them. And how do they make this assessment? they go by what they hear about. So if there is a good film and enough people haven’t heard of it (Marketing) then they’ll go for the bigger film, with a bigger star and one they’ve heard of through more marketing. But if a film that is smaller with better content is given as much push as a larger one, im sure they’d always go for the better content, the better story.

Also, does anyone remember how much money DDLJ made? or Munnabhai? or Rangeela? or Dil Chahta Hai? or any other good film?

or do you wonder why the number of days are never spoken about anymore? Because only GOOD films last LONGER. Marketing can’t get a film beyond the first week. Only content can.

So try not to get fooled by NUMBERs because in a funny way, in the case of films with poor stories and below average content its the producers telling you how much of a fool they’ve made of you by getting you to come see a bad film and spend 300-400 rupees of your hard earned money.

[box_info]This post was originally posted on www.adityakripalani.com. Aditya is a bestselling Indian author of Back seat and has come up with a sequel Front Seat.  Aditya is an FTII Alumni and has films like Tahaan to his credit during his stint at Idream production and Percept Picture company.  You can buy Back seat & Front seat on flipkart.com[/box_info]