Mumbai: The Kareena Kapoor starrer Heroine, Madhur Bhandarkar ’s movie about the career of a female actor, has recovered about half its total budget and is set to get the widest theatrical release for a woman-centric Indian film.
Produced by UTV Disney, Heroine will release on 21 September across 2,400 screens in India. That wide a release is usually commanded by male-oriented movies starring top stars such as Salman Khan, whose latest movie Ek Tha Tiger was shown on more than 3,000 screens in India and abroad.
Ek Tha Tiger also got the widest release for an Indian movie ever. Other big productions have released across 1,500 to 2,000 screens. When it comes to woman-oriented films, the numbers have been lower. The Vidya Balan starrers The Dirty Picture and Kahaani, in both of which she played the lead to critical acclaim and box office success, were released across nearly 1,600 and 1,000 screens, respectively.
“We have always followed a different strategy with all our films depending on the content and Heroine is no different. The subject of the film demanded a wide release as we want as many people to see the film and hence it made great business sense to go wide,” said Gaurav Verma, director, India theatrical distribution, studios, UTV Disney.
Heroine stars Kapoor alongside Arjun Rampal, Randeep Hooda and Rakesh Bapat. Made on a budget of around Rs.35 crore, including promotional spending, according to trade analysts, the movie’s theatrical distribution rights have been pre-sold in most territories, fetching the production house almost Rs.16 crore.
“The film looks promising. In the last couple of years, the audience has been accepting female-oriented films like Kahaani, The Dirty Picture and No One Killed Jessica,” said film trade analyst Komal Nahta.
That apart, Heroine has set a record of sorts by signing on eight brands for in-film and tie-ups to promote the film—the most for any movie with a female protagonist. They include personal care products Lakme and Head & Shoulders, luxury real estate company Monarch Universal, clothing line Jealous 21, Cocoberry ice cream, Cera sanitaryware Ltd and Sugar Free. Kahaani and The Dirty Picture had no brand associations. Film experts say that in-film branding and other brand associations are usually not monetary deals and therefore do not translate into cash benefits for the filmmakers. In this case, the value of the publicity accruing to the advertisers is estimated at around Rs.25 crore.