India’s box office market swings back into action this week with the release of three US films and Yash Raj Films’ New York, the first in a string of big-ticket Hindi films that were delayed by the stand-off between producers and multiplexes.
Directed by Kabir Khan, New York stars Katrina Kaif, John Abraham and Neil Nitin Mukesh as three friends whose lives are affected by 9/11.
It opens on the same day (Friday, June 26) as three US releases – Terminator Salvation, Bolt and The Hangover. Traditionally, foreign action movies fare best in the Indian market and the width of release is expanded by dubbing key films in the regional languages of Hindi, Tamil and Telugu.
Kercy Daruwala, managing director of SPE Films India, says: “We are aggressively promoting Terminator Salvation. Being an action-packed film, and part of the extremely popular Terminator series, we see huge potential for this film which will see a wide release of about 400 prints.”
From this week on, there is at least one major Hindi film release scheduled every week – barring the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan – until the end of the year. Several big-ticket Hollywood films are also scheduled for release.
Producers and multiplexes are hoping to make up some of the revenue lost during the two-month dispute over revenue splits, when no big films were released, although the bunched up release schedule is unlikely to reach its maximum potential. Trade analyst Komal Nahata estimates that the industry lost around $14.5m-$15.5m (Rs700-750m) during the stand-off.
The next big Hindi release, on Friday, July 3, is Eros International’s Kambakkht Ishq, starring Akshay Kumar and with cameos by Sylvester Stallone, Brandon Routh and Denise Richards. Fox’s Ice Age: Dawn Of The Dinosaurs opens the same day. Paramount will release Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen, dubbed into Hindi, Tamil and Telugu, on July 10.
On July 24, action extravaganza Luck, starring Sanjay Dutt and Imran Khan, will hit screens along with Night At The Museum 2. On July 31, actor Saif Ali Khan makes his debut as producer with Love Aaj Kal.
Distributors will then capitalise on the Independence Day weekend (August 14) with horror film Aagyat, Vishal Bhardwaj’s Kaminey and Aladin from Eros International. A lull follows during Ramadan from Aug 21- Sept 17, with the Eid weekend at the end of Ramadan being a big movie release time (see schedule below).
INDIA RELEASE SCHEDULE 2009:
June 26 – New York, Terminator Salvation, Bolt, The Hangover.
July 3 – Kambakkht Ishq, Ice Age: Dawn Of The Dinosaurs.
July 10 – Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen.
July 24 – Luck (cast: Sanjay Dutt, Imran Khan), Night At The Museum 2.
July 31 – Love Aaj Kal (prod: Saif Ali Khan, dir: Imtiaz Ali).
August 14 (Independence Day) – Aagyat (horror film), Vishal Bhardwaj’s Kaminey (cast: Shahid Kapur), Eros International’s Aladin (Amitabh Bachchan, Sanjay Dutt and Riteish Deshmukh).
Sep 17 (Eid weekend) – Wanted Dead Or Alive (dir: Prabhu Deva, cast: Salman Khan), Yash Raj Films’ Dil Bole Hadippa.
Sep 25 – Ashutosh Gowariker’s What’s Your Rashee.
Pre-Diwali – UTV/Dharma Productions’ Wake Up Sid (dir: Ayaan Mukherjee, cast: Ranbir Kapoor).
Diwali – Blue (underwater action film), All The Best Fun Begins (comedy).
Post-Diwali – Vipul Shah’s LondonDreams, Raj Kumar Santoshi’s Ajab Prem Ki Gajab Kahani.
Year-end – 3 Idiots (cast: Aamir Khan), Kites (cast: Hrithik Roshan).