What a bad start! 2019 January gave nightmares to USA distributors. Except one film, all other releases this month left buyers in deep losses; some have lost more than 80 percent on their investment, some 50 percent.
Such massive losses were never witnessed in a single month in the recent memory.
Trade was so optimistic on Sankranthi releases at USA box-office given the fact all seemed perfect entertainers that it invested heavily on them.
NTR Kathanayakudu - 50 Percent Loss
Before the release, "NTR Kathanayakudu" seemed best bet. It is a biopic of a legendary actor. Kamma community dominates among the Telugu NRI's.
NT Rama Rao being icon for the Kamma community, the trade felt it, all their community members would watch it twice at least and expected that it would take minimum of $2 to $3 Million gross.
Moreover, it is directed by Krish whose previous movie "Satakarni" was a huge hit. Based on these calculations the distributor paid whopping Rs 10 Cr for overseas rights.
The film grossed $927k so far. It has almost ended its total run at US Box-office. The distributor would be incurring losses up to Rs 5Cr, which is half the investment.
Vinaya Vidheya Rama - 90 Percent Losses
Ram Charan's previous film "Rangasthalam" grossed whopping $3.5 million dollars and his "Dhruva" too collected nearly 1.5 million dollars.
Despite the fact that no one cares in USA to watch Boyapati's movies, the distributor bought "Vinaya Vidheya Rama" based on the performance of Ram Charan's last two movies for Rs 8 Cr.
However, the distributor realised his mistake in the nick of the time and paid only Rs 6.5 Cr to the producer thus saving some money. The movie grossed mere $253,608 in its entire run.
"Vinaya Vidheya Rama" has turned out to be baap of disasters. All the investment went into the drain.
F2: Profits 3 times
The one film that had not much expectations was Venkatesh and Varun Tej's "F2".
As Dil Raju's films were not performing well in the recent times and director Anil Ravipudi is not a big name, it was sold for paltry Rs 3 Cr for USA rights. Now it has become biggest hit.
With $2 million plus gross, the distributor will be having around Rs 8 Cr profit.
Mr.Majnu - 80 Percent loss
The bad phase continued. Akhil's "Mr.Majnu" which was bought for Rs 3.5 Cr is looking at 90 % losses. The film grossed $200k in its opening weekend and it may not add much further.