There’s still a month to go before Prakash Jha’s Raajneeti opens in the theatres. Another big ticket movie, Kites, toplining Hrithik Roshan and Barbara Mori, releases two weeks before this political drama featuring an ensemble cast. Yet, Raajneeti has generated a lot of heat in the trade.
UTV, which has the distribution rights to the movie, is selling off territories at unheard of prices, even though it could have made a killing at the box-office by releasing the movie all over India under their own distribution rights.
According to trade know-alls, the film has sold for Rs 2 crore in Bihar, an unprecedented for the territory.
Veteran trade analyst Amod Mehra believes that the production-distribution major will even get Rs 2 crore for the CP (Central Province) territory. “The Mysore territory has also fetched a record price and for Delhi-UP, they are demanding between Rs 6-8 crore and refuse to negotiate,” he adds.
In Bihar, Veer sold for Rs 1.5 crore and managed to break even. “At the end of two weeks, one will know if distributors have recovered the Rs 1.75 crore that they invested in Housefull,” says Mehra.
Siddharth Roy Kapoor, CEO, UTV Motion Pictures, believes that this is one film that should appeal to not just the multiplex crowd in the metros, but also to the masses in the heartland .
“The tremendous buzz the promos have sparked off proves that it has managed to cut across stratas. We were being offered unprecedented prices, so we decided to sub-sell some territories,” he reasons.
He conceeds that initially, they had intended to distribute Raajneeti themselves. “But the response has been so phenomenal that we changed our strategy. But we will be retaining some of the major territories.”
Prakash Jha’s films are mostly set in Bihar. So there’s a lot of curiosity value for them in Bihar and up North, in centres like Delhi, UP, Punjab, CP.
“It remains to be seen how viable a proposition the film turns out to be down south where people are more focussed on local politics,” says a source.
The film releases on June 4.