MUMBAI: With recession hitting the Indian film industry, line up of films for the year 2009 is looking a bit bleak for most big banners and distributors. Moreover, with the on-going stand-off between producers, distributors and multiplexes, the fate of movies currently is in limbo.
However, production houses have a slew of releases lined up for the year. One such production house is Eros International, which has already released Shah Rukh Khan’s home production Billu and Aa Dekhen Zara this year. The company has at least eight small and big Hindi movies lined up for release this year.
Scheduled for release on 29 May is Kambakkht Ishq starring Akshay Kumar and Kareena Kapoor, which will be followed by Saif Ali Khan’s first home production – Love Aaj Kal starring the actor himself with Deepika Padukone on 26 June. The movie has been directed by Imtiaz Ali.
Come July, Amitabh Bachchan and Sanjay Dutt feature in Sujoy Ghosh’s Aladin. Speaking to Businessofcinema.com, Ghosh said, “It takes nerves to experiment with different genres of film in such times and Eros International has taken the big step to promote local Indian talent amongst technicians for my film.” Aladin also stars Ritesh Deshmukh and Jacqueline Fernandez . The movie is slated to release on 24 July.
Eros International MD Sunil Lulla adds, “Our lineup this year is an exciting mix of big ticket releases as well as some interesting niche cinema. For major studios like ours, we also need the combination of big and talented star cast as we release globally. As for the focus for 2009, we have set very specific goals for making each dollar go further in being more savvy about the selection of projects; talents; stories and to ensure that we are a more process driven organization across the value chain.”
The other releases for this banner include: The Great Indian Butterfly and Pankh with Sanjay Gupta’s White Feather Films, Akshay Kumar starrer De Dhana Dhan with Venus Films, Toonpur Ka Super Hero and Salman Khan’s Veer. Also in the pipeline are films from the regional space like Tamil, Punjabi and Marathi.
Lulla says, “Eros’ vision is to emerge as one of the main consolidators of the rapidly growing Indian entertainment sector. Hindi films are one of the segments within the larger opportunity where Eros has already been a dominant player over the last 30 years. Within the content opportunity, Tamil being the next largest segment was a logical step for Eros. The Ayngaran business model was very similar to the Eros structure. Hence, we ventured into Tamil and soon into Marathi, Punjabi and such other lucrative regional segments.”
While the release dates of some of these movies have been finalised, it remains to be on what terms they will be played at once the industry dispute reaches a conclusion, which is mutually agreed upon.