Transformers: Dark Of The Moon will be opening on Wednesday, June 29, instead of the conventional Friday, so it can be crossline with a mega global release. The Hollywood film premieres worldwide on the same day, but Indian fans have a rare chance to see it first in the world if they win passes to a special preview show that will be hosted on Tuesday, June 28.
“The screening will be only for a select audience of 300-400 who have won passes to it through various promotional activities that are underway,” says Vikram Malhotra, COO, Viacom18. “We’re also trying to get Akshay Kumar, who is currently in London filming Rascals, to fly down for a day to be present at the screening. He has dubbed for one of the key characters, Optimus Prime, and his presence should help us cut across to the Hindi audience with the Hindi dubbed version.”
The English film has also been dubbed in Tamil and Telugu since 30-40 per cent of the Indian audience comes from the South. It’s the third film in the franchise, but the first to be shot in real 3D, and will be exhibited in 3D theatres. “We will be coming to India with 500-600 screens, which is a pretty wide release for a Hollywood movie. Transformers is a big brand and of late, Hollywood movies like Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, Hangover Part 2, Kung Fu Panda 2 and more recently, X-Men: First Class have found a following among the urban youth, who have shown a clear preference for innovative storylines, exciting visuals and large scale productions.”
The studio also has another big release next Friday, Bbuddah Hoga Terra Baap. But Malhotra is quick to point out that the Amitabh Bachchan starrer caters to a different eight-80 audience, primarily in the Hindi hinterland, and should not cut into the Transformers Indian market.
However, he admits that Delhi Belly, the other release of the week, caters to the same evolved, under-25, upmarket, metro audience that usually watches Hollywood films. “They’ve done a good job of creating a buzz about the film. And there’s a huge buzz about our film too. We’re bullish because going by the box-office results of the earlier two outings, the franchise is really popular in India,” asserts an upbeat Malhotra.