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Archive \ Indian Film Industry \ Cinema

Indian Film Industry : Index View      |     Contents View      |     

 

How much Black?

Clipping (47kbs) - Filmfare, 17-10-1975. By Anon

Record Number : A0070734

Click to browse by keyword: Cinema Film Exhibition Cinema Film Finance Surveys Polls Market Research

 

How much Black?

ONE may not go to the extent of agreeing with the cynic who said, there's nothing so false as facts, except figures. But one can hardly dispute that statistics are multi-faced and can be made to prove or disprove almost The statistics presented in the Annual Report of the Cinematograph Exhibitors Association of India thus make interesting reading.

When these statistics show that last year the box office revenue of the country as a whole was Rs.. 147 crores, and that the revenue earned by the Central and State Governments was as much Rs. 1.02 cores (20 per cent) and the nett earning of the entire industry as little as Rs. 45 crores (30 per cent) the inequity of the taxation structure of the film industry becomes apparent. As the Report puts it, "In no part of the. world and in no other industry even in this country there exists such a situation in which 70 per cent of the earnings of an industry is appropriated by the government in taxes and impositions." The Central and State Governments may thus be considered "the major partners in the film industry."

But when the figure of Rs. 45 crores, which is the nett earning of the industry, is broken up into its three major sectors, it is seen that exhibitors earn as. much as Rs. 20.25 crores (45 per cc; and distributors a and producers between them earn Rs. 24.75 crores (or 55 per cent). This gives substance to the charge often levelled that exhibitors whose risk is less, yet earn more than distributors and producers. The average earning per film, by the industry is given as Rs. 1.36 lakhs. This appears to be a typographical error as the total nett earning of the industry, 45 crores, divided by the total number of films produced during the year, 434 in all languages, gives the figure of Rs. 10.36 lakhs. This in turn raises a most inconvenient question.

The figure of Rs, 10.36 lakhs as the average earning per film, does not still give a correct picture as it is not exclusive of the share of distributors and exhibitors. But this apart, the total nett income of Rs. 15.75 crores which falls to the share of the production sector, has to be distributed among the 400 and odd pictures produced during the period. The average nett earning per picture therefore works out to about Rs. 3.75 lakhs. This on the face of it is too small an amount to cover the investment of even an average black and white film which today costs about Rs.5 lakhs. It is totally insufficient to cover the investment of even a modest colour film with a star cast which comes to about Rs. 40 lakhs.

How staggering the loss per picture works out to can easily be imagined. Considering the figures in previous years on the same basis, the same dismal picture emerges. It is surprising, to say the least, that with this staggering loss year after year, the industry continues to survive and continues to make annually three to Four hundred pictures. The GEM Report throws no light on this, nor do the reports of the other trade bodies.

Could it be because a lot of black or unaccounted money, which does not feature anywhere in the industry's statistics, finds its way into the industry to keep it going?

The question is-how much black?

 

     

     

     

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