Bollywood received its latest boost at the UK box office this week with the Yash Raj Films release of the most expensive Indian film ever: Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham (K3G) to record figures.
Scoring the biggest opening for an Indian release in the UK with $687,017 (£473,355) the film landed in third place in the weekend chart - behind Warner Bros' Harry Potter And The Philosopher's Stone and Momentum Pictures' The 51st State. K3G is the first Bollywood title to achieve such a position in the UK chart.
K3G (English translation: Sometime Happiness Sometimes Sorrow) opened at 41 venues to record a site average of $16,757. The film saw receipts of $37,774 (£26,026) from just two sites in London's West End.
The figures crushed the previous record holder for Indian openings in the territory, 2000's Mohabbatein also distributed by Yash Raj, which grossed $357,573 (£246,368) from 26 sites for an opening weekend per-screen average of $13,753. This stands K3G in good stead for becoming the biggest Bollywood release in the UK. To achieve this it would have to surpass Yash Raj's Kuch Kuch Hota Hai which grossed $2.5m (£1.75m) in 1998.
The success also bodes well for FilmFour International/Eros International's January release of Monsoon Wedding. India's entry for next year's foreign-film Academy Award opens in London on Jan 4 and goes wider on Jan 18. FilmFour are to distribute English-language copies of the film with Eros handling Hindi-language prints.