Christopher Nolan’s Memento (2000) was made into the Bollywood blockbuster hit, Ghajini in 2008, but the director was neither given credit nor royalty. With Inception, Nolan has literally snatched his due from Bollywood as the film registered a 70 per cent collection over the opening weekend, say trade pundits.
The Leonardo DiCaprio starrer has reportedly opened better than all three Bollywood films that released over the weekend put together — Lamhaa, Tere Bin Laden and Udaan. "The only Hindi film that stands a chance of recovering its money this weekend is Abhishek Sharma’s Tere Bin Laden, as it has already sold its satellite rights for over Rs 3.5 crore," says Vikas Mohan, editor, film trade journal, Super Cinema.
Inception will hold
Exhibitors too are confident the film will continue to hold good in its second and third week. "Inception has done exceptionally well. It saw a 65 to 75 per cent occupancy over the weekend, while Bollywood saw about 40 per cent footfall," says Devang Sampat, president, sales and marketing, Cinemax. Vishal Kapur, CEO, Fun Cinemas agrees, "It will continue to attract audiences, but that does not mean the other films are not doing well at all."
Even without any publicity blitzkrieg, trade pundits feel it is the concept of Nolan’s film that is attracting audiences. "The collections prove it. In comparison to Inception’s 70 per cent opening figure, Lamhaa picked up 35 per cent, Tere Bin Laden, about 25 per cent, and Udaan attracted 10 per cent occupancy in its first weekend," says Amod Mehra, film tradesmith.
Nolan’s film deals with a world where technology allows the invasion of the human mind through dreams. The film raked in over $60 million in its opening weekend in North America.
This box-office trend of Hollywood pipping Bollywood to the post is not new. "2012 (2009) and Avatar (2009) are recent Hollywood films that have done better than Bollywood films," says Sampat. Last week, Tom Cruise-starrer Knight And Day also reported a higher collection than the Shahid and Kareena Kapoor starrer Milenge Milenge, informs Mehra.
The release of three "not-so-bad" Bollywood films on one weekend also remained a trending topic on Twitter, but celeb tweeple clearly voted in favour of Inception. Filmmaker Ram Gopal Varma says, "Inception is the kind of film that can make any director in the world feel like an idiot." Actor Shahid Kapoor agrees, "Nolan knows it all. Still dreaming about dreaming about the film. Christopher Nolan, you’re the man! Inception, outstanding!"
Recent Hollywood hits in India
Angels and Demons
Harry Potter and The Half Blood Prince