Fenil and Bollywood

Posts Tagged ‘box office

Rani Mukerji to work with filmmaker Deepa Mehta in the screen adaptation of Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children

By Subhash K Jha (MUMBAI MIRROR; January 04, 2010)


Last month, Rani Mukerji had a secret, productive and extremely encouraging meeting with author Salman Rushdie and director Deepa Mehta in Toronto. Rushdie and Mehta are coming together for a screen adaptation of the former’s celebrated Booker-winning novel Midnight’s Children. According to reliable sources, Rani met the author and the filmmaker for a good two hours and is now part of the screen adaptation. The buzz is Rushdie took a great fancy to her.

Rani Mukerji

Deepa is evasive about confirming Rani’s presence in Midnight’s Children. She says, “Yes, Salman Rushdie and I met her informally in Toronto, but nothing has been finalised.”

However, reliable sources insist Rani is part of the coveted project which already has Shabana Azmi, Seema Biswas and Nandita Das in its cast.

Hinting at the possibility of working with Rani, Deepa says, “I don’t know about Rani’s current box-office status but I have always wanted to work with her. I saw her work in Hey Ram, Black, Bunty Aur Babli and Veer-Zaara and loved it. She is among the best talent in India today. Whether it is Preity Zinta (Heaven On Earth), Shabana Azmi (Fire) or Seema Biswas (Water), I have always enjoyed working with strong, female actors.”

Rani too is on the lookout for a challenge that will take her beyond the roles she has done in Hindi cinema so far. Interestingly, she has never worked with a female director in her entire career. She came close to working with Mira Nair in The Namesake. She lost the prized role to Tabu because she didn’t want to play Abhishek Bachchan’s mother. Later, Abhishek too opted out of the project.

Deepa Mehta Salman Rushdie

Aamir Khan’s dog, Shah Rukh, who had created such a furore in both the Khans’ lives, no longer lives at Aamir’s Panchgani home

By Vickey Lalwani (MUMBAI MIRROR; January 04, 2010)


Shah Rukh Khan can heave a sigh of relief. Remember the dog in Aamir Khan’s life, Shah Rukh, who made headlines last year? Well, that dog is not a part of Aamir’s life anymore.

Recently, the dog Shah Rukh moved out of Aamir’s Panchgani bungalow because his master, Aamir’s caretaker, moved out, taking his dog with him.

A source says, “Since the old caretaker is out, there was no point keeping the dog Shah Rukh. The dog had to go with the caretaker.”

The dog Shah Rukh had played a big role in widening the rift between the two Khans. After Aamir had written on his blog, “Shah Rukh is licking my feet and I am feeding him biscuits every now and then. What more can I ask for?” and “Shah Rukh is smelling too much, I think he needs a bath,” the already hot competition between the two had been further fuelled.

While both were battling it out for supremacy at the box-office this sort of banter had only made them more competitive.

Evidently, after a while Aamir & Co had changed the dog’s name. After calling him Shah Rukh for sometime, they had started calling him Shahki.

There is an explanation for the dog’s name too. Said the source, “The old caretaker is a big fan of Shah Rukh Khan. Since Shah Rukh was shooting in Panchgani when the dog was born, he had named him Shah Rukh. Later, he himself started calling him Shahki and the others, in and around Aamir’s Panchgani property, followed suit.”

Anyway, things seem to be a lot better between the two Khans now. In April 2009, they came together on the same platform to support the producers in their fight against the multiplex owners. Recently, Shah Rukh attended the premiere of 3 Idiots. Who knows, with the exit of the dog, Shah Rukh, from Aamir’s life, their interpersonal equation may greatly improve too.

MOVING ON: Ravi Kapoor
One doesn’t necessarily taste success in his first attempt. Failures are a part of growing up. Ask multi-faceted debutante Ravi Kapoor who though may not have had a success with his maiden venture World Cupp 2011, but is surely hopeful of making it big. The writer-director-actor who stirred many controversies in 2009 is gearing up to win the hearts of people in the coming year. “I have some interesting films lined up for the next year and I am hoping with those films I manage to win back my audience,” says Ravi. Talking about World Cupp 2011, Ravi says, “I am not like other filmmakers who would fake their film’s performance. Though my film didn’t go good at the box-office it attained its purpose of unearthing the behind the scenes action in the game of cricket. Many people said my acting suffered as I had my fingers in too many pies. I am learning from my mistakes and will give up direction for a while.” Adding further he says, “Acting and directing is like marrying two ladies. You can’t keep both of them happy. So from here on, I will only focus on my acting career, and have already signed a couple of great films.”

BOMBAY TIMES (December 30, 2009)

- By Taran Adarsh, December 29, 2009 – 10:55 IST

Yeh kya ho raha hain? 3 IDIOTS continues to shock the industry. The film, already on a winning spree, is smashing records left, right and centre. As per early indications, the business of the film on Monday was bigger than Saturday. Sources say it’s in Rs. 12 crore range, which means that the film has crossed Rs. 50 crore mark [nett] in barely 4.5 days. Unbelievable, but true!

BOLLYWOOD HUNGAMA.COM

WHO AM I? Shah Rukh Khan as Rizwan Khan


Shah Rukh Khan speaks exclusively to BT about his role in the biggest film of his career

MARK MANUEL Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; December 29, 2009)

Shah Rukh Khan, the pains and failures of 2009 behind him if not entirely forgotten, is looking forward to the New Year because it brings with it the imminent release and promise of the biggest film of his career (his words, not mine) – Karan Johar’s My Name Is Khan. He’s had a bad year starting with the shoulder injury and surgery, then the uninspiring box-office returns for Billu – his only release in 2009, and finally the humiliating decimation of his IPL team in South Africa. But, as the poet T. S. Eliot famously wrote, “For last year’s words belong to last year’s language and next year’s words await another voice”… and SRK, suspect, is secretly hoping that the next voice cinema audiences will listen to is going to be his in 2010. Or rather Rizwan Khan’s, the autistic character he plays in My Name Is Khan, which is slated for a grand bi-lingual worldwide release in February. Actually, the character in this ambitious film suffers from asperger’s syndrome, an autistic disorder whose main symptom is a difficulty in social interaction. It is a role that Shah Rukh, who is notoriously among Bollywood’s least social people, must have slipped into with consummate ease. Over a glass of tea in his vanity van one night late at Mehboob Studios, I asked him whether audiences were ready for another challenged hero after Bachchan with progeria in Paa and, before that, Aamir with dyslexia in Taare Zameen Par. Shah Rukh replied, “Audiences understand what you tell them. People like a good story. And this is a joyous film with a new romantic thought, the journey of an ordinary man. It is a love story with an epic feel. All love stories have obstacles, but the obstacle in My Name Is Khan is real, it happens in everyday life. For me, the film was an opportunity to play a challenged character… bahut maaza aaya!” What he was saying was contrary to public belief that the film is based on terrorism. Shah Rukh scowled. “I don’t know where you got that idea,” he said in exasperation, “yes, it is set in the aftermath of 9/11, and it is heroic without the fighting and screaming, but My Name Is Khan is a heartening and even funny film… even though we didn’t try to make a funny film! I am excited about it as I am about all my films. But this one I’m very proud of. Mainly because I’ve co-produced it with Karan. Also because Kajol and I are acting together after eight years.” He’s not seen a trial of the film as yet to voice an opinion on how well it will do at the box-office. That Shah Rukh never does. Not for his own films nor anybody else’s. In fact, he said he’s hardly seen any of his films completely. “Trials mean analysis,” he explained, “but trial reactions are different from theatre reactions. I don’t make a film for myself, I make it for the story. Besides, I’m shy of myself on screen, I’m not vain, it’s just that I’m not fond of my face or physique. Maybe that’s why I’m an actor – so that I can play someone else.”
Perhaps, he was still in character for the film. Or, maybe, interacting with people is as much a problem for Shah Rukh Khan in real life as it is for Rizwan Khan in reel. “I’m not antisocial,” he protested, “I’m a quiet person, strangely reclusive, I’m not as confident as you think I am. I have issues. I’m thankful to Allah… to be not so gifted and have all this. It may sound pompous, but I’m great enough to be humble, I’m very happy when people say ‘SRK’s the best’… there is a sense of achievement, I’m happy by what I’ve done, but humble enough to know it’s not because of me. Yet put me on stage, say, at Salt Lake Stadium before a million people and I will comfortably entertain you for an hour. As long as I’m an entertainer, I have no problems. It’s when I’m Shah Rukh Khan that the problems arise. I’m a fun guy… yet my kids enjoy their mother’s company more.”
The 3D movie Avatar may have raked in millions at the box-office worldwide, but the quality of 3D glasses in city multiplexes is getting worse by the day

By Kunal Guha (MUMBAI MIRROR; December 23, 2009)


The cash registers are ringing in merry money – a good Rs 22 crore in box office receipts in India alone for the opening weekend – and Avatar is turning out to be one of those word-of-mouth monster hits. But movie-goers are complaining about the kaaniya quality of the 3D spectacles being provided at theatres.

The complaints are many: from slipping off the nose to the fingerprints of the spectator’s former avatar. Thirty-three-year-old software professional Sameer Gharat narrates his experience of watching Avatar at Imax, Wadala: “The 3D glasses offered to me ruined my movie-watching experience to say the least. They were uncomfortable to wear as they only had a one-size-fits-all.

A still from the movie Avatar

Also, I was required to take off my own spectacles to wear the 3D glasses as they wouldn’t sit atop my own. Being a bit big in size, they would sit very low on the nose, while most people prefer the bridge of the specs to be at the top of the nose. Also, you generally tend to focus on the middle part of the screen. But if you look to the corner of the screen, your line of vision strays out of the frame, ruining the 3D experience.”

With the number of 3D movies that have released this year, one would expect multiplexes to be better equipped to nip such issues in the bud. But glasses slipping off and the uncomfortable experience are not the only issues.

Nandita Singh, a 26-year-old software professional who watched Avatar at the same theatre, suffered from the problem of lack of clarity. “I was forced to tilt my head to either side and this got my vision blurred and felt like I wasn’t wearing 3D glasses at all. Also, the 3D glasses weren’t hygienic and I had to clean the dirty fingerprints smeared all over its film.”

A 3D movie offers much more than an average movie with respect to overall viewing experience. But the pleasure of this experience can be hampered if the 3D glasses are of sub-standard quality or aren’t maintained regularly.

Twenty-nine-year-old training manager Mala Banerji, who saw the extravagant 3D movie at Big Cinemas at R City Mall, Ghatkopar, shares her woes, “The 3D glasses they gave were too big and were slipping off my face and I had to hold on to them throughout the movie.

Also, I could see through the gap between the glasses from either side, so it was distracting. This killed the movie for me as I couldn’t concentrate and you need to be totally engrossed in a movie like this to truly enjoy it.”

However, a source from 20th Century Fox, who did not wish to be named, rubbished the claims. “Our responsibility is restricted to delivering a clean finished product, which is what Avatar is. The 3D glasses and 3D projector is something that the exhibitors hire. It is their responsibility and they should take care to maintain them. Glasses need to be cleaned.

Defective glasses need to be replaced. If these precautions are not taken, you will have the odd complaint,” said the source.

Ashutosh Gowariker and Madhur Bhandarkar are friends again
By Vickey Lalwani (MUMBAI MIRROR; December 11, 2009)


Ashutosh Gowariker rubbed Madhur Bhandarkar the wrong way when he took digs at Priyanka Chopra at an awards function not so long ago. She was starring in Fashion then and the director Madhur Bhandarkar hadn’t taken too kindly to the remarks. However, when the wives are close friends, the animosity is bound to not last long.

As predicted, the two are friends again after having made up. No one knows who extended the olive branch, but the two have reconciled.

The patch-up happened a few days ago. A source reveals, “The relationship between the two families was too strong to be broken. Madhur’s wife Renu and Ashutosh’s wife Sunita, in particular, were very friendly . They are back to being thick friends again. None of them will tell you who took the initiative to patch up. All’s well that ends well.”

When asked to confirm that all was well between the two families now, Sunita Gowariker maintained, “It always was,” and added, “There was never a fall out for a patch-up to happen.”

Both sides take the same stand. Renu Bhandarkar said, “Everything is fine between Madhur and Ashutosh. Sunita and I meet up frequently. There is no problem.”

Renu and Madhur Bhandarkar Sunita and Ashutosh Gowariker

The trouble had started brewing when Priyanka won the best actress award for Madhur’s Fashion. Ashutosh compared Priyanka with Aishwarya and expressed his shock for Aishwarya not winning the best actress award as she was also nominated for Jodhaa Akbar in the same category. Madhur had shot back in the press, saying, “Ashutosh’s viewpoint was in a very bad taste, because it was a public podium where you just cannot demean anyone, especially Priyanka Chopra who, besides the fact that she had acted in my film Fashion, is also a dear friend.”

After that, both of them wanted to release their films (What’s Your Rashee? and Jail) on the same day at the box-office. That IMPAA did not permit Madhur to release it on the same day is another story.

At any rate, it’s all in the past now.

ALL SET: Priyanka Chopra

MEENA IYER Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; December 10, 2009)


Life has come a full circle for former Miss World Priyanka Chopra. On December 12, nine years after she picked up her own crown, PC will be on the beauty pageant podium in Johannesburg as a judge for the final round of this year’s Miss World contest. “When Julia Morley, who is in charge of the beauty pageant, invited me to be a judge, I was ecstatic. There I was a teenager all those years ago, nervous as a help on the same platform. Now I’m going in a totally different capacity,” said Priyanka. The actress is happy she could work her busy shooting schedules around to accommodate this contest, which she considers a very prestigious one.


Back home, too, Priyanka is in a very happy place. Kareena Kapoor, Katrina Kaif and she are the top three Bollywood beauties who wield a certain power over the box office. Naturally, the best projects are divided between them. “This was a good year,” said the actress, “and hopefully 2010 will be as good if not better.”


She happily starts the year with Pyaar Impossible in January while also shooting with hotshot Ranbir Kapoor for Sajid Nadiadwala’s Anjaana Anjaani and with Bollywood supremo Shah Rukh Khan for Farhan Akhtar’s Don-2. “Besides these films, I’m scheduled to do a film with my Kaminey director Vishal Bharadwaj,” said the dusky beauty.


The low point of 2009 was when she cried herself to sleep after Ashutosh Gowarikar’s What’s Your Rashee came unstuck at the box office. “When you put blood, sweat and tears into a project and it doesn’t fetch you the kind of box office you hoped for, it hurts,” Priyanka admitted. But she did not rise to the bait when asked what she feels about co-star and ‘ex’ Harman Baweja making his feelings public for her long after they had split. Guess when things are looking up for her the way they are right now, she has every reason to be gracious.

Himesh Reshammiya and Radio producer Ravi Agarwal have been buying tickets in bulk just to show that their film is making money

By Sonal Chawla (MUMBAI MIRROR; December 08, 2009)


Is Himesh Reshammiya his own biggest fan? Buzz is that he is himself buying tickets of his recently released Radio. Though hundreds of tickets have been sold (or bought) there are just a handful of viewers in the cinema halls. Fact is that Radio, which released on December 3, Thursday, is faring abysmally at the box-office.

Manoj Desai of G7 multiplex said, “Someone comes to my theatre and does block booking. Har ek show mein block booking hota hai toh management ko tajjub hota hai aur accha bhi lagta hai ki jaa rahi hai tickets.”

However Himesh emphatically denies the allegation. “It’s a false allegation just to prove that some tickets are being bought by the production house or my people. The tickets can be bought directly from the manager if the production guys want them. Anyway, what difference will a few tickets make in the overall impact of the collection. It’s baseless, that all I can say. The producer has recovered his cost even before the film’s release and it is a target-audience film, where my performance has been appreciated. There is no need to prove any theatre collections to make it a hit. There is no reason to do so by anyone.”

A famous suburban multiplex’s manager revealed, “Radio is a very bakwaas film and if such radio jockeys are born, then all our FM stations will shut down.”

When quizzed about the production house of Radio buying tickets in bulk, the manager said, “They are buying hundreds of tickets every day just to show that the film is doing well but actually, the theatre is empty. About 20 odd tickets are bought by the public and Himesh buys about hundred tickets. For every show, he buys tickets saying he wants to show the film to his relatives and friends. One day Himesh’s men come, the other day someone from the producer’s end comes to buy tickets while on the third day somebody from the actress’s side buys tickets in bulk. No one really comes to watch the film. The theatre is empty as no one (associated with those who are part of the film) comes to see it even for free. They are barely 20-25 people in the theatre.”

When asked how he knows that the ticket buyers are sent by Himesh, the manager replied, “Unke chamchon ke zabaan pe lagaam nahin hai. Even my booking guys are very smart, they ask for letters if one does bulk booking. That’s when they end up saying that the tickets are being bought for Himesh’s relatives and friends.”

When asked why his staff asks for letters, he said, “We normally don’t do bulk bookings. Samjho 100 aatankwadi aagaye toh the end ho gaya na?”

When we called producer Ravi Agarwal to know the collections of Radio, he said, “The collection is superb. Mumbai has got a good collection almost 75-80 per cent. People thought Himesh was a single theatre hero but he is doing very well in multiplexes too.”

When asked if he has done corporate bookings or bought bulk tickets, Agarwal said, “I have notdone any bookings. We had to give tickets to our media partners.” Are tickets being bought by people from his production house? “I am not that big a producer to make a film and also only buy its tickets. These are rumours,” he said.

When we spoke to another multiplex manager to know the collection of Radio, he said, “Friday saw 54 per cent and Saturday 47 per cent.”

Are the theatres empty, despite tickets being bought in bulk? “People are coming but the number of people coming in is not equal to the number of tickets being sold. Sometimes it happens that the people distribute the tickets but often people don’t turn up. We can’t predict that.”

“We manage to get the collections and whatever tickets are sold out, irrespective of people turning up or not, he is paying us cash and we are earning money. We don’t exactly ask who comes to buy tickets.”

Yusuf M Sheikh, the Mumbai distributor, said, “It is a very decent film and has picked up really well over the weekend. Friday morning was a little slow because there was a Thursday night paid preview. It tends to happen that when one watches a movie on a Thursday night, Fridays are slow. I am not saying it has done an excellent job but has picked up very well on Saturday, Sunday and has got a nice collection.”

When quizzed about theatre being empty and bulk bookings being done by the production house, Sheikh said, “Are you mad? I don’t know who is telling you these stories? What makes you think so? This is not the case at all. Tell me which corporates have bought these tickets. I’ll give them my next film also. If that were the case then Radio would have major collections everywhere. I have visited each and every theatre and this was not the case anywhere.”

Buzz is that the budget of Agent Vinod has been slashed from Rs 65 crore to Rs 40 crore. Are the makers playing safe or is there more to it?

By Vickey Lalwani (MUMBAI MIRROR; December 03, 2009)


Considering the fate of some of the recent films bombing at the box-office and the aftereffects of recession, corporate are entirely rethinking their film financing budgets. Apparently, this is why Eros International, the financers of Agent Vinod starring Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor, has considerably slashed the film’s budget.

The buzz in trade circles, based on a conversation overheard between a leading producer and a couple of distributors is that Eros International is renegotiating their deal with Illuminati Films, producers of Agent Vinod. The budget of the film has been brought down considerably from Rs 65 crore to Rs 40 crore. Illuminati Films is co-owned by Saif Ali Khan and Dinesh Vijan.

Agent Vinod is a spy thriller with Saif and Kareena playing undercover agents. In fact, buzz is that Kareena plays a full-on action star on the same lines as Angelina Jolie as Lara Croft in Tomb Raider.

In today’s time, when having a big star in one’s film does not guarantee money recovery, it is not surprising that Eros is having second thoughts about the budget of the film. Apparently, the dismal performance of the recent Saif-Kareena starrer Kurbaan at the box-office has also played a big role in Eros deciding to cut costs. Incidentally, this is the third time recently that the real life couple failed to set the screen on fire.  They had not too long ago worked together in Roadside Romeo and Tashan.

However, our source insists that the slashed budget of Agent Vinod has nothing to do with the box-office failure of Kurbaan. The source says, “It is a wise business decision which can be termed as a precautionary measure. It has got nothing to do with Saif and Kareena per se. For all you know, Agent Vinod may be a hit and a cut in its cost will benefit Eros and Illuminati all the more.”

Sriram Raghavan, director of Agent Vinod, says that the film will be going on the floors in the next two months. Commenting on the slashed budget, he says, “I don’t know if there is any such development, but I can’t downsize my script. There are a lot of foreign locales and action in the film. So, it’s definitely a high budget film. However, I cannot reveal its budget, producer Dinesh Vijan is the right person to comment on it.”

Eros International and Illuminati Films declined to comment on the story.



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