UTV Motion Pictures sets the field for 2007

MUMBAI: UTV Motion Pictures is on a roll. While the Shah Rukh Khan starrer Don, which is being distributed by UTV, is slated for a Diwali release; the company has now acquired the distribution rights of Priyadarshan’s film Bhagam Bhaag for the Delhi-U.P. and C.P. Berar territories.


The film stars Akshay Kumar, Govinda, Jackie Shroff, Moushumi Udeshi and Rajpal Yadav and is produced by Shree Ashtavinayak Cine Vision in association with Popcorn and K Sera Sera. Bhagam Bhaag is slated to release on 22 December.


What’s more, after a dream run in 2006, UTV is now wringing its hands in anticipation for 2007 with around eight to 12 productions beginning with Metro, which is being directed by Anurag Basu. The film stars Shiney Ahuja, Shilpa Shetty, Konkona Sen Sharma, Irfan Khan, Kay Kay Menon and Kangna Ranaut. “Metro is slated for a January release with 400 prints all over India,” says UTV senior vice president marketing and communications Siddharth Roy Kapur.


Hat-Trick starring Nana Patekar, Naseeruddin Shah, Hema Malini, Paresh Rawal, Kunal Kapoor, Sharman Joshi and Rimi Sen will be released in February. The film is being directed by Milan Luthria.


Mira Nair’s Namesake starring Abhishek Bachchan and Konkona Sen Sharma will hit theatres in March; whereas Ashutosh Gowariker’s Jodha Akbar, which is being presented by UTV, will release in October next year. The film stars Hrithik Roshan and Aishwarya Rai.


John Abraham-Priyanka Chopra starrer Goal will be released in Diwali 2007, which will be followed by Rockstar and Delhi-6.


Apart from that three international co-productions are also lined up, of which two are with Hollywood actor Will Smith. “The first film is an action one budgeted at $20 million and the other one is animation at $10 million. The third one is with Chris Rock and is titled I think I Love My Wife, which is budgeted at around $14 million,” adds Kapur.


The year 2006 has been exceptionally good for the Ronnie Screwvala promoted UTV. Rang De Basanti has been nominated as India’s official entry to the Oscars in the Best Foreign Film category.


What’s more, apart from Rang De Basanti, movie like Taxi No. 9211, Chup Chup Ke and Khosla Ka Ghosla also did relatively well at the box office.


“We want to enter the distribution arena in a big way in order to have a strong chain. Hence we thought of having a couple of more films, apart from Don, in the distribution sector too. We have inked a good deal for Bhagam Bhaag for Delhi-U.P. and C.P., however it is too early to talk about the number of prints,” adds Kapur.


UTV will be releasing Don this Diwali in the overseas with a record number of 300 plus prints and a total of 1500 prints worldwide, which is the highest ever in the history of Bollywood. “Don will be the biggest grosser in the overseas. We are spending $1.75 million in marketing the film and we are also dubbing it in five foreign languages – French, Malay, Indonesian, Arabic and Dutch,” says Kapur.

Ashok Anchan

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