Every time a big film comes to the theatres, there is both excitement and nervousness because of the huge investments riding on such films.
Saaho is undergoing the same right now, especially with social media platforms flooded with negative reviews, that have the potential to make or break films.
Take the example of multi-starrer Thugs of Hindostan, that scored a big opening day number at Rs 50 crore but fell the next day due to negative reviews.
However, Saaho is different as Prabhas’ fans are making sure that the film stays strong at the box office – a trend spilling over beyond India.
While film trade experts had initially termed the movie a disaster, the Rs 350 crore-venture, so far, has pocketed Rs 190 crore in India, and its worldwide total has reached Rs 294 crore.
This is good news for the film business, especially when the industry is having a strong year in terms of successful ventures and good revenue at the box office.
Should Indian films be made at such mega budgets?
This question has come to the fore more often since last year, when small and medium-sized films made a mark not just with their compelling storylines but also with their box office revenue.
This year, two films in small to medium range budget left everyone surprised with their business – Uri: The Surgical Strike and The Tashkent Files. Made at a budget of Rs 45 crore Uri minted Rs 245 crore, while The Tashkent Files was made within Rs 4 crore and raked in over Rs 20 crore.
In such scenarios, when a film is made with Rs 300 crore plus investment the concern usually is whether such budgets are justified.
Experts say that it is good to have small-budget films do well but big-budget films are also needed. You need to make investments in resources. If someone is making a Rs 300 crore film, which includes sets and technicians, it is a business he/she is investing in. We cannot stop investing in big businesses.
While Hollywood offers many big-budget spectacles in a year, Bollywood restricts itself to seven or eight such offerings. They are mostly produced by big banners that ensure a balanced mix of small, medium and big-size films. This translates to a mixed bag for them at the end of the year in terms of profits and losses.
There is no denying that films with big budgets are risky. But it is not that small films have lesser risks. The budget may be small but marketing and distributions come at a high cost. Besides, the returns for such films are slow as opening day numbers are not huge.
In addition, there are many small films that go unnoticed.
Hence, small films cannot replace big-budget ventures as both such offerings are required for a healthy film business.
Which is why Saaho’s strong performance is a good sign for the industry, especially when not many big-budget films have tasted huge success.