Bollywood spelt big bucks overseas in 2006

MUMBAI: 2006 saw a plethora of Bollywood film releases, that told diverse stories, had top notch performances and an even better audience which embraced these films wholeheartedly.

All this resulted in an outstanding box office performances, both in India and overseas.
As per the ‘Top five Bollywood film releases’ in the UK in 2006, Karan Johar’s Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna tops the charts, followed by Farhan Akhtar’s Shah Rukh Khan starrer Don. Yash Raj Films’ Aamir Khan-Kajol starrer Fanaa ranks third on the charts, followed closely by the YRF multi starrer action flick Dhoom:2. BR Films’ Baabul, starring Amitabh Bachchan, Hema Malini, Salman Khan, Rani Mukerjee and John Abraham, ended the year at the fifth position.

Irony lies in the fact that the top two films at the UK box office, namely KANK and Don, did not fare as well in India. The top five films in India in 2006 were Dhoom:2, Krrish, Lage Raho Munnabhai, Vivaah and Fanaa.

But considering the entire overseas collections of films from UK, USA, Canada, UAE and rest of the world, KANK stands first followed by Dhoom:2, Don, Fanaa and Lage Raho Munnabhai.

This clearly puts Yash Raj on the winners’ pedestal, not just as producers, but also as overseas distributors. Besides distributing Fanaa and Dhoom:2, Yash Raj also distributed Johar’s KANK, which became the biggest overseas grosser with a revenue of approximately Rs 320 million (Rs 32 crore). Dhoom:2’s approximate overseas business was Rs 220 million (Rs 22 crore) and that of Fanaa was Rs 170 million (Rs 17 crore).

With Krrish, Adlabs made its foray into the international distribution market for Hindi films in 2006. In the first year itself, Adlabs distributed ten films in the UK, including some big banner and multi starrer films like Krrish, Jaan-E-Mann, Vivaah, Umrao Jaan and Baabul. Of these, Baabul proved the luckiest for Adlabs, grossing £826,000, thus exceeding the collections of other big grossers like Rang De Basanti (£825,000), Lage Raho Munnabhai (£823,000) and Krrish (£684,000).

Fifth in the UK box office position, Baabul surpassed the opening weekend collection compared to Rang De Basanti, Krrish and Lage Raho Munnabhai in the UK. Rang De Basanti garnered £221,226, Krrish – £208,000, Lage Raho Munnabhai – £210,000 and Baabul – £290,000. But the weekend collection of Baabul fell short of that of Don by a few pounds, which opened to £291,462.

What made Baabul special is the fact that it was neither a SRK starrer and nor had it been produced by Yash Raj, but still managed to top the charts. No other film without SRK or the Yash Raj banner has seen such stupendous success in the UK so far.

“In its maiden year of distributing films internationally, Adlabs has released 10 films theatrically in the UK, collectively grossing £2.93 million. Three of Adlabs’ releases, namely Baabul (at number five), Krrish (at number seven) and Jaan-E-Mann (at number nine) are positioned amongst the top 10 Hindi films at the UK box office. Umrao Jaan stands at the twelfth position, while Vivaah and Dil Apna Punjabi stand at numbers 18 and 19, respectively,” informs Adlabs Films COO film distribution Sunir Khetrapal.

UTV distributed Family, Humko Deewana Kar Gaye, Rang De Basanti, Taxi No 9211 and Chup Chup Ke and Don in the UK territory, of which Don proved to be the biggest money spinner for the company, and was second only to KANK at the UK box office. In its opening weekend, Don garnered £291,462 and its overall business from the UK theatrical release is £1,416,620. UTV’s home production Rang De Basanti brought in £825,198 from the UK.

While the 2006 UK box office proved very lucky for some and not so good for the others, 2007 seems promising, looking at the acquisitions. The year has started off with Adlabs distributing Guru in the UK, which will be followed by Eros’ worldwide release of Salaam-e-Ishq and Eklavya.

Rohini Bhandari

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