With traditional moviemaking economics undergoing a sea change due to satellite channels, overseas market and the DVD boom, theatrical revenues account for a very minuscule portion of the booty.
"Everybody is making money, even the distributors who are crying horse. Showing the film to less people at Rs.120 is more profitable than screening it full house for Rs.20," says producer Vashu Bhagnani.
According to Shyam Shroff, Adlabs Films chairman: "There is a lack of transparency. When I don't know the cost of a film or how much it really made on the turnstiles, I cannot say whether it was a hit or a flop".
Trade analysts say the answer to the golden hit-or-flop question depends on who is asking. Clearly, the industry is seeking new deciding parameters.
The week ahead, with its string of three divergent films - the patriotic "Tango Charlie", "My Brother Nikhil" and "Zeher - will in fact increase the need for a better definition.
Critics have given a thumbs-up for "Tango Charlie", starring Ajay Devagan and Bobby Deol, and "My..." starring Sanjay Suri, Victor Bannerjee, Juhi Chawla and Lillete Dubey.
"My...", newcomer Onirban's well-told tale of a HIV positive youth's struggle to lead a life of dignity, released Friday, is likely to rope in a wider audience owing to its deft handling.
"Distributors are finally at ease. Over 10 films are awaiting release by March-end, and exhibitors, who were earlier apprehensive, say the time is ripe for new films," Taran said.