In 2006, Mukta Arts Ltd produced a successful comedy called Apna Sapna Money Money. In 2007, Paritosh Painter wrote the hit comedy Dhamaal. In 2009, the two decided to come together for Paying Guests, a film of a comparable genre, hoping to recreate the magic of both these films.
Not to mention, a dream debut for Painter as its director.
Healthy business: Wolverine opening in English was good and above average in Hindi. It will end up with a first week distributor share of about Rs2.5 crore and an overall business of Rs3.5 crore in Hindi and English.Paying Guests was released with around 225 prints and in 600 cinemas across the country on 19 June. The opening was about average. The film proved to be a disappointment for all concerned because of its poor reviews and the audiences not taking very kindly to jokes that bordered on vulgarity. The film was made on a budget of Rs9 crore (and an additional Rs2 crore for print and publicity).
The film will wind up with an all India theatrical distributor share of Rs4 crore at best. Overseas rights were sold to Venus on a minimum guarantee of Rs40 lakh. The music was released by Mukta Music on their own label, in association with Junglee Music. The sale of satellite and home video rights are pending and will be monetized by Mukta internally.
Keeping all these factors in mind, it appears that Paying Guests will end up losing Rs3-4 crore for Mukta Arts in the first cycle.
X-Men Origins: Wolverine was another major movie released last week. It opened in India in English and Hindi with 250 prints and on almost 300 screens.
Much like Fox Broadcasting Co.’s earlier film Slumdog Millionaire, Wolverine was plagued with the problem of pirated VCDs and DVDs. The film reached DVD viewers much before the film’s theatrical release in India.
Yet Wolverine opened to fair reviews and sprang a surprise. The film’s opening in English was good and above average in Hindi. It will end up with a first week distributor share of about Rs2.5 crore and an overall business of Rs3.5 crore in Hindi and English, across its entire run.
However, Fox is yet to release the film in the south in the dubbed versions.
Though the release date of the Tamil version is not yet finalized, the film in Tamil has already been sold for about Rs1 crore by Fox. The Telugu version will be released on 31 July. Across its entire run, the film will end up doing a business of close to Rs5 crore—an achievement for Fox.
The other three releases of last week, Let’s Dance, Hum Phirr Milenge and Raftaar barely passed muster. They were discontinued mid-week from a lot of cinemas and will all be counted as washouts.
We have an interesting slate of films being released on Friday: Yash Raj Films Pvt. Ltd, which desperately needs a hit, releases New York.
There’s Terminator Salvation (in English and Hindi) and Bolt (a 3D film in select theatres; in English and Hindi), The Hangover and Runway.
Will English films dominate yet again or will New York hold its own and mark a successful stint for Yash Raj in 2009? Watch this space for the answer.
Ashish Saksena, an executive with extensive experience in India’s entertainment sector, was previously CEO of PVR Pictures. His column will look at the business side of Bollywood releases.Respond to this column at email@example.com