Fenil and Bollywood

Posts Tagged ‘Eros International

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.

Salman will wrestle with a (real) lion in Veer. Some men will go to any lengths to rescue the damsel in distress
By Vickey Lalwani (MUMBAI MIRROR; July 18, 2009)

Salman Khan in Veer

Salman Khan is taking his image of an alpha-male to an art form. He is ready to roll up his sleeves, thump his clean-shaven chest and get down to the business of wrestling with a lion. After all, it’s for a good cause – he plans to rescue the damsel in distress in Veer. It’s too bad that grappling with wild beasts doesn’t involve Salman in a loin cloth, we will see the lion-hearted actor in full warrior regalia.

Salman, of course, is following a popular trend by doing a Dharmendra, who single-handedly took on a tiger in Maa (1976) and Kartavya (1979). However, Salman is not in the least bit daunted by the thought of living up to such formidable expectations and is ready to get down and dirty with the beast.

Is Salman not scared? “Not at all.  Salman is Veer in true sense. Besides, the lion which will be utilised for the shoot will be trained,” a top official from the unit of Veer said.

Liza Lararus

Producer Vijay Galani confirmed the story and explained, “The scene is a rescue act. Liza Lazarus (Miss UK Universe 2008) is on a hunting spree in the jungle. Suddenly, a lion attacks her. Salman spots her in trouble and fights the lion to save her.”

The scene in question will be shot abroad next month. Why not shoot the Salman-lion fight in India, we asked? Galani replied, “We have not decided on the foreign location, but it will surely not be shot in India. We don’t have very good facilities to shoot such scenes here.”

Galani points out that since Salman has been involved in many creative aspects of the film, he was more than enthusiastic to execute the scene. “The scene was always there in the original script but we had reserved the shooting for the end. We will need three days to film the scene with the lion. Salman is very excited about this. Ditto for Liza.”

Veer which is presented by Eros International and directed by Anil Sharma also stars Mithun Chakraborty, Sohail Khan, Jackie Shroff, Neena Gupta, Aryan Vaid and Bharat Dabholkar.

BOOKED: Film buffs queue up at a multiplex counter to book advance tickets of the Akshay-Kareena starrer; (below) Sajid Nadiadwala
Sajid Nadiadwala opened advance booking on Sunday… his Akshay-Kareena entertainer’s sold out already!


Ordinarily, the advance booking for Sajid Nadiadwala’s Kambakkht Ishq would have opened today. But the filmmaker, who believes that an outand-out entertainer made with conviction will always generate euphoria amongst viewers, had the booking office windows thrown open on Sunday itself. The result? Serpentine queues at multiplexes. It was as if the film by Eros International had taken Bollywood back to the 70s and 80s, when fanatical film buffs would excitedly crowd around the ticket window waiting for the counter to open.

A trade analyst called up Nadiadwala within an hour on Sunday of the booking opening, to complain that he couldn’t get tickets… all shows for the
entire weekend were sold out at the PVR cinema, Juhu. “That,” chuckled a delighted Nadiadwala whose brand of cinema has mastered the art of catering to popular palates, “was expected.” Perhaps it was, because the hype surrounding this film since the day it was launched has been unprecedented in Bollywood.

Consider what audiences have to look forward to: Akshay Kumar and Kareena Kapoor on screen, both sizzling hot entertainers, and this time
kissing as well; Akshay’s stunts and Kareena’s oomph; the God-like presence and action of Hollywood legend Sylvester Stallone; the roles of Brandon ‘Superman’ Routh and former Bond girl Denise Richards (whom also Akshay gets to kiss, lucky man!), the chartbusting music…

Added to this hype was the sixweek long wait caused by the produc
ers versus multiplexes strike. And you have audiences thirsting for a real entertainer after this drought-like situation. Nadiadwala, whose earlier releases include hits like Jeet, Judwaa, Har Dil Jo Pyar Karega, Mujhse Shaadi Karogi and Heyy Babyy, has always gone beyond past achievements. “The audience expects this. After all, they too are growing with time and technology. I feel only if we respect our audience’s expectations to be entertained convincingly, can we connect with them completely in the cinema halls.”

And so, Kambakkht Ishq opens on 2,030 screens worldwide this Friday, July 3. That is almost 20 per cent more than the screens that played Ghajini. Trade pundits calculate that even at an average of Rs 5 lakh per cinema collections, the film has the potential to gross more than Rs 100 crores worldwide in its very first week. That’s a kambakkht hit!

Given the moody economy, Anubhav Sindha’s Ra1 loses out to the more successful director Farah Khan’s Happy New Year in terms of priority
By Vickey Lalwani (MUMBAI MIRROR; June 30, 2009)

In times of recession, Eros International is hedging its bets on a money making director — Farah Khan, rather than bank on Anubhav Sinha. Farah’s successful track record has put the brakes on Anubhav’s Ra 1 temporarily. She will begin shooting her film Happy New Year ahead of schedule, while Ra 1 has been pushed from September to next year.

A few days ago, we told you how Farah Khan had to rush with the script of the first half of Happy New Year to San Francisco where Shah Rukh is shooting currently. It was a known fact that Farah was supposed to start her film only early next year. We hear, Eros International insisted that Farah’s film should start this year, by the end of November.

Ra 1 is being presented by Eros International and produced by Red Chillies.  It was slated to go on the floors before Farah’s film, “That’s true,” says the source, “But when Eros studied the project Ra 1, they felt that this film may not derive sufficient returns in today’s economy. They felt that it would be better if the commercial director Farah Khan put her project on the floors first. They wanted to back that first and wait for things to improve on the economy front. They will go with Ra 1 but only at a later date.”

Mumbai Mirror had also reported on June 27 that Shah Rukh has been advised not to indulge in heavy-duty action. This, combined with Farah’s track record, has come in the way of Anubhav Sinha’s film.

Despite repeated calls and text messages, Eros International CEO Sunil Lulla remained unavailable for comment.

Happy New Year stars Shah Rukh Khan in the lead. The remaining cast is yet to be finalised. Farah also has to complete the script of the second half of the film.

Even if the producer-distributor vs multiplex strike were called off this morning, there would still be a pile-up of big releases and not enough weeks to release them
By Vickey Lalwani (MUMBAI MIRROR; May 08, 2009)

3 Idiots


While at least 30 big multi-crore films are due for release, there are just twenty seven Fridays in 2009 to accommodate them.

Do the math and imagine what will happen at the box-office when there are multiple releases. It’s a lose-lose situation.

Including today, there are 34 Fridays remaining this year. But according to conventional film wisdom, major films don’t release during Ramzan, Shraddh, Navratri or Ganpati as those are the periods when the public is otherwise occupied. These account for seven Fridays (The period of Shraddh this year falls during the holy month of Ramzan). This leaves only 27 Fridays.

Surprisingly, producers don’t seem too rattled.

Rakesh Roshan who has his most expensive project till date, Kites, ready, does not deny that there could be a problem. However, he is optimistic. Putting on a brave front, he says, “I don’t think we’ll have a problem. I am not worried about Kites and I am not worried about any other film that is slated to release in 2009. Time heals, this time will be no exception.”

Kambakkht Ishq

Main Aur Mrs Khanna

Sajid Nadiadwala too is not spending sleepless nights. He says, “There will be a problem, there will be a rush. But it will be amicably sorted. Certain companies like Eros International and UTV, which have quite a few films waiting to release this year, won’t release all those films. There is a lot of money involved and a producer has to wait for the distributors to give the green signal. In short, I am saying that all the films, which have been lined up for this year, will not necessarily release. Some of them will definitely be pushed back.”

However, trade analyst Taran Adarsh has many fears.

He says, “It’s going to be a very tough year. There will be Fridays, which will see four to five films releasing. It’s going to be a big circus. The producers will have a very tough time. The writing is on the wall. Lekin har producer sochta hai ki meri film Sholay hai, aur mujhe kya darr hai. Sabko apna beta pyaara hota hai na?”

Ajab Prem Ki Gajab Kahani


He adds, “There are many pluses and minuses, the viewer will have a variety to choose from, but who is going to watch five films a week? The common man has no time, money and inclination to see so many films.”

However, Adarsh too ends on an optimistic note. He says, “Let’s hope that the quality of these films is good and the collections do not suffer drastically.”

Distributor Ramesh Sippy says, “Certain changes in schedule are bound to take place to avoid too much clash. We have worked on that and I don’t think there will be a problem.”

Add to the big films, 40 plus middling ones, and you have over 80 films in all waiting to be accommodated.