The box-office is in for a Rs 400 crore party. And that too hosted by the big daddies of Bollywood. Aamir Khan’s 3 Idiots, which is slated for a December 25 release, is closely followed by Hrithik Roshan’s Kites on January 15, Salman Khan’s Veer on January 29 and Shah Rukh Khan’s My Name is Khan on February 12. So much so that over Rs 400 crore are said to be riding on an investment of Rs 275 crore, within a span of 42 days!
While the movie buffs wait for cinematic feast, industry pundits claim it’s one of the best times for Bollywood. “There couldn’t have been a better opening for the new year,” says Munish Sharma of Satyam Cinemas. Agrees filmmaker Anil Sharma, who is set to release his costume-drama Veer, “The 3-month-long strike here was a huge setback. Now, beginning with Paa, the next five months are perfect.”
What makes these Fridays even more exciting is the line-up of biggies endorsing them. “Aamir, Hrithik, Salman and Shah Rukh are marketing geniuses. As they outdo each other in publicity and distribution, it would lead to better returns at the box-office,” says trade analyst Taran Adarsh.
Adds Manish Porwal of Percept Pictures, “December and January is a good period, especially in North India. Christmas, New Year, Lohri and the Valentine’s Day are occasions when people step out together to celebrate.”
While the filmmakers refrain from sharing their details of prints and distribution strategies, insiders claim that Big Pictures has huge plans for 3 Idiots. “They have bought the rights of 3 Idiots for Rs 150 crore, and they plan to distribute it massively. Aamir has jumped the count of his earlier releases by sending out as many as 4,000 prints. And to capitalise on the Christmas euphoria, the film will open on Wednesday, instead of Friday,” says a source from a prominent studio.
“Reportedly My Name is Khan has been bought by Fox Star Studios for Rs 100 crore. While they will put their international experience to capture the widest market, SRK won’t leave any stone unturned,” says trade analyst Indu Mirani.