Kabir Khan, the director of New York, would be a happy man seeing his film release across India. His last film, Kabul Express, was not released in north India due to a fallout between Yash Raj Films Pvt. Ltd and multiplexes.
Good opening: New York’s reviews were decent, though not unanimous in their praise. The cost of the film, which was made with a budget of almost Rs28 crore, will be recovered through returns from its theatrical run.
But he is back with a bang with a bigger, slicker and more mainstream film in New York, which got a cracker of an opening in India. This would have made the Yash Raj team happy, not to speak of the Indian film industry, desperately in search of a hit.
Yash Raj Films released the film confidently with 330 prints and in almost 730 cinemas across India. Even in the overseas market, they went with 180 prints, which is considered a wide release.
The reviews were decent, though not unanimous in their praise for the film. But then again, the reviews hardly mattered because the film clocked a distributor share of almost Rs10 crore in the first three days and the first week closed at a share of almost Rs15 crore. New York, which was made with a budget of almost Rs28 crore, including prints and publicity, is now confirmed as the first bona fide hit of 2009. It’s expected to do Indian box office business of almost Rs23-25 crore, and its overseas business is expected to be around Rs5-7 crore across its entire run. The cost of the film will be entirely recovered through returns from its theatrical run.
Also Read Ashish Saksena’s earlier columns
Terminator Salvation has been the most expensive independent film production ever in the history of movies. The film was released in almost 450 screens across India.
Directed by McG (of Charlie’s Angels fame) and starring Christian Bale, it was expected to be a huge success because the franchise has always done well in India.
The opening was good but the reviews were not. Earlier scheduled for a simultaneous worldwide release in India, the film had to be deferred by four weeks due to the producer-multiplex stand-off. The kind of opening that the film took on Friday, did prove that the delayed release did not affect its opening at all. However, the film dipped sharply from Monday onwards.
The film closed its first week at a distributor share of almost Rs2.50 crore and its run is expected to close at Rs3.50 crore distributor share at best.
UTV Motion Pictures Plc., which entered into a new distribution deal with Walt Disney Co. to distribute its films in India, released Bolt. An animation film, voiced by Miley Cyrus?and?John Travolta,?it?was the first film to be conceived and produced by Disney in 3D (three dimensional).
The release date of Bolt in India was pushed from January to May to, finally, 26 June. Thanks to the success of the TV show Hannah Montana, its lead actor Miley Cyrus, was expected to lead the brigade of young girls to the cinemas to watch this much-awaited film. Considering that the film released in India seven months after its US release, UTV-Disney went out intelligently with a reasonable release of 47 prints across 85 cinemas in India. Bolt is expected to close its run at a distributor share of Rs35-40 lakh, which is decent for its limited release, but it had the potential to do better if the film had been released earlier, during the summer vacation.
Finally, The Hangover, which was released by Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. It was at the No. 1 spot in the US Top 10 for two consecutive weeks and is well on its way to becoming the highest grossing R-rated film ever in the US (R-rated films contain some adult material in the view of the rating board). Not surprisingly, the film came to India with huge expectations and impeccable credentials.
The film was released in India in 45 cinemas in Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore, Mangalore and Pune. It got uniformly good reviews and despite a slightly slow start, it picked up from Saturday and sustained admirably from Monday, second only to New York.
The Hangover closed at a distributor share of Rs50 lakh in the first week. Considering the way the film is holding up, it is poised to close with a total business of Rs60-65 lakh, which is great considering that the film did not boast of any known star presence.
Two big releases are lined up for Friday across the world: Kambakkht Ishq and Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs. The latter is a simultaneous worldwide release in English and Hindi and in 3D at select theatres. The excitement continues with another impending clash between an English and a Hindi film.
Ashish Saksena is an executive with extensive experience in India’s entertainment sector and was previously CEO of PVR Pictures. His column will look at the business side of Bollywood releases.
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