Season of flops: Small budget films like Aazam, Chidiakhana, Jogira Sara Ra Ra, 8 Am Metro stand no chance in front of behemoths like Jawan and Pathaan

by Anna Munhin Jun 3, 2023 News
Season of flops: Small budget films like Aazam, Chidiakhana, Jogira Sara Ra Ra, 8 Am Metro stand no chance in front of behemoths like Jawan and Pathaan

Bollywood is associated with large-than-life productions. There is a parallel narrative unfolding in the industry of big budget films with A-list stars. Small budget films that lack star power and financial backing have a hard time at the box office. Small movies are left to fight for limited release options in an industry where big budgets secure the best release dates. The film industry was shocked when Jawan was moved from June 2 to September 7. Dozens of smaller films were forced to release in late-May or early- June because of the late August and early September release dates. All the films didn't have time to build up a promotional strategy. Many recent releases have failed at the box office in the last fifteen days. The voices of industry experts and independent producers are highlighted in the Big Story this week.

There is no time for marketing and release strategies.

The rescheduling of release dates is one of the biggest challenges faced by small films. Smaller movies are forced to change their schedules when big budget films change their release dates. Reducing screen availability and clashing with other films affect their box office prospects. Jawan moved from June 2 to August and then to September 7, forcing many small and mid-budget movies to be changed. The pre-release promotions for this week's Zara Hatke were very low. Adding to the budget of small films is the need for new marketing campaigns. Producers and industry experts agree that spacing release dates well in advance is important.

Rescheduling a big film can ruin the process of small films. Things go topsy-turvy. Not just small films, even big films were affected by the re-scheduling of 'Jawan'. All the films are affected when Jawan moves to another day.


Regardless of the film's budget, the big screen is still attractive to filmmakers. The theatrical release has the potential to make a lot of money. The theatrical route is often chosen by small filmmakers. The filmmakers hope that their creation will be successful on the stage. This approach can be challenging in the changing landscape of the industry. It took almost a year for Himanshu's theatrical release to see an OTT release. The success of South Indian films caused many OTT platforms to not focus on Hindi films. There was a lack of interest in Hindi films due to the popularity of South Indian movies. It was difficult for independent films like ours to gain traction because of the success of films from the other states. The launch of the cinema was delayed after we were acquired by the company. Initially, it was planned for March or April of the following year. It's difficult to get noticed for an independent film. As an independent producer, you face challenges and persist.

In response to the challenges faced by small films, the director suggests a combination of star power and great content as the key to success. Success based on content is hard to achieve, while big stars with strong content face failures. I think it's important to give more access to theaters by lowering entry fees so that films can find a bigger audience and perform better at the box office.


Smaller films play a crucial role in the industry, according to independent producer Kushan Nandy. It is the smaller films that keep a significant chunk of the industry going. These films are often competing with larger productions on the same ticket prices and popcorn rates. The need to level the playing field was raised by Nandy.


Alternative distribution channels have the potential to succeed.

While small budget films face challenges in the release market, alternative distribution channels such as OTT platforms offer opportunities for a wider audience reach. Strong content, positive word-of-mouth, and targeted marketing strategies can still be used to achieve success. The rise of digital platforms has allowed small films to reach viewers who may have missed them in theaters.

Is postponing a film'srelease date a wise move?

There are solutions for individual and small scale producers.

The trade and film industry experts came to a conclusion on how to overcome challenges faced by smaller films.

Small producers should focus on targeted marketing. They can create awareness and generate interest in their films if they identify their key demographic and interests. Online advertising and grassroots promotion can help reach the intended audience. The biggest success of the year is 'TheKerala Story'. Through several pre-release communication efforts and strategies, the movie was able to reach their intended audience and earn over 200 million dollars.

Exposure and recognition for small films can be provided by participating in the festival circuit. The films can be showcased to industry professionals and potential distributors at these events. Positive reviews from festivals can help get distribution deals. It is the best example. The film is a small-budget production, but it has managed to create curiosity through its showcase at the recently concluded CANA Film Festival.

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Collaboration with OTT platforms can provide additional avenues for distribution and revenue. There are opportunities for small films to reach a global audience on platforms. Small producers can maximize their film's exposure and revenue potential by negotiating deals with OTT platforms. Sirf Ek Bandaa Kaafi Hai created a massive impact on OTT first and has now made a slow but steady transition to theaters.

Small films need careful selection of release dates. They can improve their chances by avoiding clashing with major releases. The release calendar should be studied by small producers to find periods where they can have better screen availability and less competition. The film's box office performance can be impacted by a well- planned release strategy. The best example of this strategy is the release of 'The Kerala Story' in the first week of May, which brought female audiences to the theatre.

A hundred thousand dollars

The most important factor in determining the film's success is its strong content. Compelling and unique stories should be the focus of small producers. By studying the audience's access to international content, filmmakers can tailor their films to meet the changing preferences of viewers. Small films can benefit from great content and strong marketing strategies.

Big releases need to outsmart small films.

Bollywood films with small budgets face many disadvantages when competing against larger productions. It is difficult for small films to attract a wide audience due to limited marketing budgets and star power issues. Strong content, targeted marketing, and strategic planning can still help achieve success. Small films are able to reach a global audience thanks to the rise of OTT platforms. Small producers can increase their chances of success by using innovative marketing strategies and collaborating with OTT platforms. Small films play a vital role in keeping the creative landscape diverse and vibrant and it is essential for the industry as a whole to recognize the importance of supporting and nurturing them.

The economics of movie ticket pricing in India is discussed in this story.