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3 Idiots also make a wise move on DVDs
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<img style="float:left; margin: 0px 10px 0px 0px ;" src="http://www.business-standard.com/newsimgfiles/2010/august/09082010/080910_08.jpg"/>Aamir Khan-starrer 3 Idiots is set to create another record. This time in the home video market.

The film has sold 75,000 to 80,000 copies in just two weeks since its premium DVD pack hit the stores across the country. Reliance BIG Home Video (RBHV), which has the rights, has already generated revenue of Rs 3-4 crore, say industry experts. This is at par with what hit movies on the home video circuit make in six months to a year. And, 65-80 per cent of this premium video stock has already been liquidated, even at the steep price of Rs 499, about 66 per cent more expensive than normal DVDs in the market.

The movie has already broken the domestic box office record, becoming the largest grosser in Hindi film history. Sources close to RBHV, a division of the Reliance-Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group, said the film is expected to make Rs 7 crore in revenues in the next four months, possibly a new record for the industry. While other movies might have had higher unit sales because DVDs were sold at rock-bottom prices of Rs 29, the sale of 3 Idiots stands out because of the premium pricing and, therefore, higher revenues.

Top sellers in the home video market such as Jodha Akbar, they said, have not made more than Rs 4-6 crore as revenues from their home video market and that after many months of sales.

While there is no independent agency tracking video sales in the country, music retail stores agree. “3 Idiots will surely top the list of DVDs in terms of sales this year. We expect it to overtake the sales of My Name Is Khan very soon,” said Mehmood Karmali of Rhythm House, a popular music and home video outlet in Mumbai.

“This year, 3 Idiots has been the highest seller. We have already sold more than 50 copies,” said a PlanetM store manager in a south Delhi outlet.

RBHV is launching various products in phases. “We have a marketing plan spread out for three to four months, under which we have created SKUs (stock-keeping units, a jargon for unique product identification) for different markets,” said Sweta Agnihotri, chief operating officer of RBHV. “Our idea was to begin with a premium product and charge much more than normal DVDs. We are also pushing it through various promotional schemes.”

Within the next two weeks, it will launch a no-frills DVD, as well as the VCD of the movie, at Rs 299 and Rs 199, respectively. This will be followed by the release of a Blu-Ray disc (a next-generation optical disc with five times the storage of a standard DVD) at Rs 899. Plans are also being worked out to create a super-premium DVD product after two to three months, to contain unscreened cuts from the movie and other value-added features. The product is expected to be on offer at a 50 per cent premium over the Rs 499 price.

While Agnihotri declined to comment on the numbers, industry experts say the company will be able to mop up more than half its revenues from the premium DVD pack.

Agnihotri said the company had been pushing sales through some aggressive marketing. Apart from advertising the DVD on TV channels, it has also tied up with travel agency Cox and Kings for a contest in which prizes include a visit to Australia. It is also promoting the home video with ITC Ltd, which has just launched its ‘Classmate’ brand of stationery. And, while radio channel 92.7 FM is promoting the video, a tie-up with Magna Publishers ensures its publicity for the release of the video. Even music store PlanetM had been roped in, which offered pre-booking for the video and received over 1,000 enquiries before the launch of the product.
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