MUMBAI: Even as Slumdog Millionaire continues to create waves across the globe and readies for the Oscars, the movie has picked up pace at the Indian box office after a medium start. At the end of its second week run, Slumdog has grossed Rs 215 million (Rs 21.50 crores) in India.
Fox Star Studios expects Slumdog to gross approximately Rs 300 million (Rs 30 crores) from India. "Honestly speaking, the movie’s performance has exceeded our expectations. Going by the demand, we expect it to gross at least Rs 300 million at the box office. Moreover, it is also very gratifying from the cinema point of view as it shows that at least the audience is willing to go and watch different genre of films," Fox Star Studios CEO Vijay Singh tells Businessofcinema.com.
Slumdog Millionaire’s worldwide box office collections till date stand at Rs 5.30 billion (Rs 530 crores) and India’s Rs 215 million contributes about four per cent to it.
What’s more, post the debacle that was Victory, which released last week, theatres upped its demand for Slumdog and Raaz – The Mystery Continues. As a result, while Slumdog was playing across 351 screens in its first week run, in the second week the number of screens was increased to 363. Moreover, in its third week, the movie is running across 350 screens, which is incidentally similar to that of the first week.
In its third week run, the movie has between two – five shows at multiplexes despite a slew of new Hindi and English movies that have released over the last two weeks.
Fox Star Studios released the movie in English and Hindi. The Hindi version – Slumdog Crorepati – has contributed 30 per cent higher revenues at the box office than the English version. In fact, as per Fox Star Studios, Slumdog Crorepati has seen demand in B&C class cinemas and the number of screens in the CP circuit has increased from 13 to 34 in week three. Singh says, "With the demand for Hindi prints increasing in the second week, the contribution is bound to go up."
In its opening weekend, the movie grossed Rs 135 million (Rs 13.50 crores), which is better than that of Hindi movies like Rock on and Jab We Met (Rs 120 million). On the other hand, Raaz – The Mystery Continues, which released alongside Slumdog, grossed Rs 211.80 million (Rs 21.18 crores) at the box office in India in its opening weekend. Pertinent to note here is that Slumdog Millionaire’s per screen average stood at Rs 5.92 lakhs in its second week, which is higher than most other Hindi films as the latter are released across more screens and with more prints.
Singh adds, "It is unfair to compare the performance of Slumdog with that of Ghajini or Singh Is Kinng as it’s not a mainstream Bollywood movie."
With Slumdog Millionaire, Fox Star Studios has firmed its footing in the Indian market. "It has been a great start for us in India. We have set up our distribution and marketing teams and it’s not just about having a hit, it is also about having all the supporting functions in place," he signs off.