Chennai

Box office trackers spark a Twitter war over collections

Ongoing clash: Stills from Petta and Viswasam .

Ongoing clash: Stills from Petta and Viswasam .  

Unreliable numbers call into question films’ success

The simultaneous release of Rajinikanth’s Petta and Ajith Kumar’s Viswasam on January 10 has resulted in a war of words on Twitter between so-called box office trackers, production houses — Sun Pictures and KJR Studios (distributors of Viswasam) — and fans on the vexatious question: who reigned supreme at the box office?

With independent box office trackers claiming that KJR Studios had done a tremendous job of distributing Viswasam and that it had received a historic opening, Sun Pictures chided the trackers stating that it was not possible to know box office figures within days.

Ajith in "Viswasam".

Ajith in "Viswasam".  

 

Sun Pictures tweeted on January 14: “So-called trackers, we fail to understand how you are so confidently tweeting #Petta’s BO numbers, as we ourselves are yet to receive the official numbers from 600+ theatres in TN. Fans, enjoy Pongal with both your favourite heroes’ movies and don’t fall prey to fake propaganda.”

Recently, distributor Tiruppur Subramaniam said that Petta would cross ₹100 crore in 11 days, prompting a response from a distributor of Viswasam who claimed that the film had earned ₹125 crore in 8 days. This back and forth between the two parties even resulted in Sun Pictures and KJR Studios putting out funny and enjoyable memes.

Many in the industry acknowledge that these numbers cannot be verified and these are just put out to satiate the ego of fans and the stars in question. All the ‘tamasha’ pointed to the serious issue of how unreliable box office numbers have had an adverse impact on the film business itself.

In fact, Tamil Film Producers Council president Vishal has been insistent that a ‘centralised’ ticketing system be established in Tamil Nadu to know the box office figures, which form the basis for an actor’s remuneration and the film’s budget. Producer G. Dhananjayan, who has been writing about the film industry, said that the Tamil film industry should get a third-party auditor to track the box office numbers, like in the Hindi film industry.

“Currently, we are only doing a guesstimate of the actor's salary and budget of the film based on BO numbers currently available,” he said. A producer who did not want to be named said that reliable box office numbers would result in increased efficiency in business practices and more taxes accruing to the State.

Why you should pay for quality journalism - Click to know more

Recommended for you
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Feb 26, 2020 12:14:06 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/box-office-trackers-spark-a-twitter-war-over-collections/article26031725.ece

Next Story