Fenil and Bollywood

Posts Tagged ‘publicity

BHARATI DUBEY Times News Network (THE TIMES OF INDIA; January 2, 2010)

New Delhi: Three Idiots may be creating box-office history. But all’s certainly not well between Chetan Bhagat, the author of the book Five Point Someone from which the movie has been adapted, and its hero Aamir Khan, producer Vidhu Vinod Chopra and director Rajkumar Hirani.
An ‘idiotic’ controversy has broken out over accusations of credit poaching. The film credits the story to Abhijat Joshi and Hirani. Bhagat’s name appears at the film’s end.
Bhagat is miffed that the film does not give him due credit, but Khan claims that Bhagat is trying to take away credit from Joshi, the film’s scriptwriter. Agencies have quoted the actor as saying that he has advised Chopra and Hirani to file a case against Bhagat as he has defamed them with “false’’ allegations.
Reacting to this, Bhagat told a news agency, “For the past two years, I have trusted Hirani, Vidhu Vinod Chopra and Aamir blindly and this is what I get in return. Now I am being threatened with legal action, but I am ready for it.’’
Chopra too jumped into the fray on Friday. When the controversy was brought up by journalists at a press meet in Noida, he thundered, “Have you read the book? I have read the book, so shut up!’’ He also charged Bhagat with trying to gain publicity for his book.
But Bhagat was quick to retort that he didn’t need this kind of fame and he couldn’t help it if millions of people who had read his Five Point Someone had spotted the issue.
The row erupted on Thursday, when Bhagat blogged, “Pre-release, the makers made press statements like the movie is only ‘very loosely’, ‘2%-5% inspired by the book’. After the release, those who have read the book and seen the movie (and frankly, I think those are the only people who have the right to comment) find the film to be an adaptation of Five Point Someone.’’

‘3 Idiots’ not an original story: Author Bhagat
New Delhi: Irked at the makers of ‘3 Idiots’ not giving him due credit, Chetan Bhagat, whose book Five Point Someone on which the film is based, has blogged, “The setting, characters, plotline, dramatic twists and turns, one-liners, theme, message—almost all aspects that make up the story are from FPS. Yes, there are some changes, any adaptation requires that—but it is no way an original story. Leading movie critics have admitted to me that the film is 70% the book. Still, don’t take my word for it—go read the book, watch the film.’’
But Aamir Khan’s thoughts are different. At a press meet on Thursday, he said, “It is unfortunate that Chetan is behaving in this manner.’’ The actor said scriptwriter Abhijat Joshi and director Rajkumar Hirani had “abided by the contract’’ entered into with Bhagat and the author had been given due credit as per the contract. “For three years, Joshi has been working on the script. It is unfortunate that Chetan is trying to take away the credit from someone not as famous as he is,’’ Aamir said. He also mentioned how Bhagat had dropped in on the sets of ‘3 Idiots’ one day. “During the course of the conversation, I told him that I was still to read FPS and I intended doing it sometime soon. Chetan then told me that Abhijat’s script is different and I need not necessarily read the book,’’ he said. In his blog, Bhagat has also said that “crores was poured into publicity on shutting me out and cementing the fact that ‘3 Idiots’ is not based on FPS. Bhagat added, “I wanted to see the final script—it was never shown to me. I wanted to see the film before release—it was not shown to me.” TNN
Ghaziabad theatre in dock for pirated DVDs
Reliance Big Pictures filed a police complaint against Galaxy Cinema suspecting it of helping in making pirated DVDs of the film 3 Idiots in Ghaziabad on Thursday. “The pirated DVDs of the film were available in the market from December 24 and it was from those prints that we got hold of the cap code marking which matched with this cinema hall. We then lodged an FIR against the hall,’’ Ghaziabad station road SHO Rashid Ali told TOI. It is learnt that the DVDs of the film were found in Delhi and UP which was tracked by Reliance. Kamal Gianchandani, COO (distribution) of Reliance Big Pictures, clarified, “The sleeves of the DVDs were available in the market but some of them did not have DVDs of the movie inside. Our enforcement team with the local authorities spoke to the local pirates and asked them not to sell the DVD for the first three weeks and also the MSOs asking them not to screen it for the first three weeks. Most of them honoured the commitment.’’ Nearly 2,000 DVDs were confiscated in raids conducted in Chandni Chowk, Delhi, and Sirsa in Haryana.

HITLIST (Mid-Day; January 1, 2010)

The writer has plenty to say about the movie being touted as being different from his book Five Point Someone

Chetan Bhagat is peeved that he has not been given his due credit in Rajkumar Hirani’s 3 Idiots. The film is based on his novel Five Point Someone. The writer has vented his ire ‘A book, a film and the truth’ on his blog (http://www.chetanbhagat.com/).

Here’s an extract….

“The 3 Idiots story credit issue has been making some noise now… and I think it is important I clarify a few things. Clearly, the makers of the film have been unfair and thousands of my readers have been saying so.This is not an issue that has ‘just come up’. I’ve been grappling with it for two years, but kept silent about it.

Wrong claims

The only reason it has surfaced after the movie’s release is because Five Point Someone has a few million readers, and when you copy a popular story claiming it as ‘original’ and ‘completely different’, people are going to find out.

The case is as simple as the makers claiming the story as their own, and clearly it is not. Pre-release, the makers made  statements like  the movie is only ‘very loosely’ inspired by the book….

After release, those who have read the book and seen the movie (and frankly, I think those are the only people who have the right to comment) find the film to be an adaptation of Five Point Someone. Almost all aspects that make up the story are from FPS. Yes, there are some changes, any adaptation requires that — but it is no way an original story. Leading movie critics have privately admitted to me that the film is 70 per cent the book. Still, don’t take my word for it — go read the book, watch the film.

I, frankly, was shocked to see this. This is because I was also fed ‘this is an original movie’ line a lot. I wanted to see the final script — it was never shown to me. I wanted to see the film before release — it was not shown to me (even though trials had been done for  people).  What’s more, the makers had called me to their office and pressured me several times to withdraw my ‘Based on a novel by’ credit, which was by contract. They told me they’d replace it with something like ‘initiated by’ — a credit that doesn’t exist anywhere in the world. I still told them that if the film is indeed original, I’ll happily withdraw the credit, but somehow the promos don’t tell me so. I asked them to show me the film and they fell silent.

Soon, they started doing media promotions for the film, and kept me completely out of it (you’ll never find me in an interview with them). Crores was poured into publicity on shutting me out and cementing the fact that 3 Idiots is not based on Five Point Someone. Ten days before the release, I was called into their office. They said ‘we should be friends now’. I said I am always up for friendship, and the success of the film is good for me as well. They also said, and I quote verbatim ‘even though this is an original film, we have given you a great credit, right upfront. After all, we love writers and a king should treat another king with respect. You are family’. I believed them.

Then I went for the premiere. My family sat in the theatre shocked, as sequence after sequence came from the book. Two per cent means three minutes or so, and I had told my family to look for the few FPS moments and note them. However, there were so many that it became impossible to keep track. The plot was same — people meet at ragging, the first class with definition of machine, the friends separate, Alok (Raju) moves with Venkat (Chatur), Ryan (Rancho) helps Alok’s father, Alok rejoins group, etc, etc. From Alok  (Raju) jumping to stealing the papers and calling out from Cherian (Virus’) office — the book came alive on screen.

However, my family had not spotted my credit in the beginning (there was none) and they were feeling let down. A screenplay associate credit to VVC had a prominent upfront placement. The story credit was not shared with me. And yes, all the office talk of a ‘king treated like king’ was a white lie. I knew they had played with me, and that ‘based on a novel by’ credit, which they were legally bound to give would be hushed away at the end — with the clear intention of making sure people miss it. And indeed, it came after the junior artistes and still photographer of the movie. My mother missed seeing my name, and for that she cried after seeing the film. I told her it doesn’t matter, as people know FPS. But yes, that hurt me a lot.”

The Other Side
3 Idiots director Rajkumar Hirani, producer Vidhu Vinod Chopta and actor Aamir Khan preferred not to comment.
Stills from movies (from top) Love Aaj Kal, Paa, New York, Wanted, Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani and All The Best

…only 4 hits in 2009’s 240-plus films!

MEENA IYER Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; December 23, 2009)

Christmas is round the corner. And Bollywood is sincerely hoping Santa Claus will come to its rescue. Around 240 odd films (including the dubbed titles) have released so far in 2009. But barely four are certified hits. For the No. 1 slot, it is a photofinish between Saif Ali Khan’s Love Aaj Kal and Ramesh Taurani’s Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani. A trade source said, “Love Aaj Kal collected around Rs 60 crore but it was also sold at a higher price. While APKGK was sold at Rs 44 crore with print and publicity and will make a neat profit of at least Rs 10 crore for its producers. So, in a way, it is hard to tell which is the clear No.1.’’ Aditya Chopra’s New York is the second biggest hit, followed closely by Boney Kapoor’s Wanted. There is a mixed view on Amitabh Bachchan’s Paa and Ajay Devgn’s All the Best being in the fourth place. Trade analyst Taran Adarsh feels because AB Corp has curtailed the film’s budget to Rs. 16 crore and Paa is still running in multiplexes, it is a profitable film.
According to reliable market sources, lead actors Amitabh Bachchan and Abhishek Bachchan, and director R Balki, didn’t charge their market price. “It is reported that the Bachchans will get to keep the satellite rights of the film (valued at around Rs 10 crore) against their remuneration,’’ said a trade source. While film editor Komal Nahta feels All the Best has also romped home.
Taran said, “This has been the most unfortunate year for Bollywood. The box-office was crippled by the multiplex strike, swine flu and three four big movies clashing each week after that.’’ Distributor Amod Mehra added, “Many films were liked by the audience… but their price failed them. Raaz, Wake Up Sid and De Dana Dan got a fair share of audience — but the price at which they sold was astronomical, ensuring these films were a loss-making proposition for the main buyer.’’
As far as the critics are concerned, they have had to carry the carcass of the films they praised. Whether it was Kurbaan or Rocket Singh. Filmmaker N R Pachisia said, “Ranbir Kapoor is the future of this industry, Saif Ali Khan did himself a good turn with LAK, but the only man who deserves true praise this year is Amitabh Bachchan who with Paa raised the bar of our cinema to an international level.’’
P.S. The one film that everyone is unanimous about is the dubbed version of 2012 that has done as good business as the biggest Bollywood hit this year.

Box Office hits this year!
Love Aaj Kal
Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani
New York
Wanted
All the Best
Paa

By TUSHAR JOSHI (Mid-Day; December 18, 2009)

Koena Mitra was in for a rude shock when someone informed her she was attending an event in Pune on December 19. The actress was puzzled to find her name prominently featured in a Pune newspaper announcing her presence at an event called Toss.

Not approached or in talks
A friend close to the actress says, “Koena was shocked to see an ad in the Pune newspaper and also on some websites announcing her presence at an event named Toss. She was neither approached, nor was in talks with anyone for such a show. After making a few phone calls, it was evident that a local person named Priya Kakre had used her name to make easy money.”

A thousand victims already
The actress found out that the organiser already sold around 1000 passes costing 500 bucks each.  “By using her name, the organisers fooled people into believing that she was performing at the show. They made a quick buck on her name. When we tried to get in touch with Priya she kept giving weird excuses saying she was conned into this by someone else.”

Strong reactions
Reacting to the incident Koena says, “I am shocked and surprised how people can even think about even making a quick buck like this. Cheating people out of their hard earned money is disgusting. I urge people to be wary of such con artists during this festive season.”

The ad, which Koena Mitra insists is for a fake event, featured in a Pune newspaper

Tanushree Dutta’s name is also featured in the ad. She reacts, “I am not a part of this event, neither was I approached for it. This definitely sounds like a scam or an easy way to fool people and make money. I think its sad that someone’s name is used to get publicity and con people who will look forward to watch you perform.”

Sayali Bhagat’s name features in the ad as well. When asked for her reaction, she says, “This is a scam. I heard about it from someone and was shocked that my name is mentioned in the ad. I have been shooting a film for the last three months and no-one else has my dates. Also, if it is an event, I should have been paid and I haven’t been paid.”

The most-awaited film this year, Kurbaan has turned out to be a turkey. We speak to trade analysts and industry insiders to gauge what went wrong with the film
By Vickey Lalwani (MUMBAI MIRROR; November 24, 2009)


2009 has been a very bad year for UTV. After three films — What’s Your Rashee?, Main Aur Mrs Khanna and Kaminey — failed to set the cash registers ringing, they were heavily banking on Karan Johar’s Kurbaan, directed by Rensil D’Silva.

But their hopes of having a hit were dashed with Kurbaan proving to be a turkey at the box-office.UTV had bought the film from Karan for about Rs 50 crore and released it across 1,700 screens.

One could understand if the audience gave it a thumbs down after watching it. However, the shocker is that the film didn’t even get a good opening when it released on November 20. Despite being a solo release, it barely managed 35 per cent occupancy on the first day. The box-office collections thereafter have been far from encouraging, flattering reviews from film critics notwithstanding.

Endorsing the fact that the film did not register more than 40 per cent collections in its first three days, trade analyst Amod Mehra says, “Shockingly, the collections on Sunday were even less than that on Friday and Saturday. The film is a big blow to Dharma Productions and UTV. “

Mehra adds, “People are not interested in seeing terrorism any longer. New York did fairly well but that’s because it wasn’t publicised as a film based on terrorism. It looked like a very youthful film with fun elements by John and Katrina. The entire publicity of Kurbaan was wrong. If the heroine of Kurbaan doesn’t want her mother to see her steamy scenes with her boyfriend, how can one go with family members to see such a film?”

Distributor Ramesh Sippy says cautiously, “I don’t want to make any assessment. But yes, Kurbaan has not lived up to its expectations.”

We also spoke to some of the theatre officials. Manoj Desai (of Maratha Mandir, Gaiety-Galaxy) says, “I registered 80 per cent collections on the first three days whereas it did not go beyond 40 per cent in other theatres. However, the collections have nosedived since yesterday. Koi picture dekhne ke liye tayyar hi nahin hai. The overall feeling is that it’s a very serious and cruel film.”

An official from Cinemax, Andheri, says, “We had expected that this film would rake in around 85-90 per cent collections. But from day one, we knew that it wouldn’t be a hit. First day, we registered only 40-45 per cent collections. People have not related to the film, it has no repeat value. On Saturday and Sunday, we recorded only 50 per cent ticket sales.”

Vikram Varma, Fun Republic, communications manager, says, “We recorded 35 per cent in the first three days. But today (Monday), we only have 15-20 per cent occupancy. I think that too many films were released in the past few weeks and this has adversely affected Kurbaan.”

We then spoke to the public to find out why they haven’t gone kurbaan over Kurbaan. 23-year old Eka Lakhani from Lokhandwala says, “I was dying to see Kurbaan as I had heard a lot about it. The film started very well, but soon I realised that there was neither any love story nor any terrorism track. Kareena and Saif got lost in the second half and I had to look for their scenes together. The terrorism part wasn’t explained well either.”

34-year-old Menka Chandiramani from Seven Bungalows says, “I was quite impressed by Kareena and Vivek’s acting but the film hasn’t stayed with me. It had nothing new to offer. Moreover, I wonder why there was so much brouhaha about Kareena and Saif’s sex scenes. We have seen much more than this in Hindi films.”

The director of Kurbaan, Rensil D’Silva, put up a brave front. He says that people are trying to bring down his film. “That happens with every new film. But you know, I am getting a lot of calls and text messages from people whom I don’t even know saying that they have enjoyed my film. I am basically a creative guy. The best people to talk about this will be the distributors of Kurbaan (UTV).” However, Siddharth Roy Kapoor, CEO of UTV remained unavailable for comment.

Karan’s first film with UTV, Wake Up Sid raked in average returns but failed to be a profit-making proposition. And the audience’s thanda response to Kurbaan has only made things worse for Dharma and UTV.

Om Puri now directs his anger at wife’s publishers

By Subhash K Jha (MUMBAI MIRROR; November 13, 2009)


 

Nandita & Om Puri

Om Puri blasted his wife Nandita through this paper for exposing some of his most private and sexual experiences in her biography, Unlikely Hero: The Story Of Om Puri.

However, Om, now regrets his decision to have spoken out so bitterly against his wife and her book.

“I was very angry and admit that I said things that I shouldn’t have said. I deeply regret my impulsive nature. It has hurt my wife and my son Ishaan.” While Nandita has been angry and grief-stricken, Om, who is still in Chandigarh said, “Nandita has been bombarded with calls, messages and visitors inquiring about what I said.

What’s worse is that my son Ishaan too has come under scrutiny. I’m not in Mumbai to protect them from the damage I’ve caused. I can’t sleep or focus on my work. I don’t want our child to suffer for the mistakes I have made. I therefore sincerely apologise to my wife and to my son for being so rash.”

Om is livid with the book’s publishers and says that they are to be blamed for sending out such sensitive aspects about his sexual encounters to the media. Om said, “My anger should have been projected at the publishers for trying to pre-sell my wife’s book by leaking out only the sexual episodes. My story doesn’t need this kind of publicity.”

It was coincidentally Nandita’s birthday yesterday and Om felt miserable. “My son has been crying over the phone. I beg my wife and son’s forgiveness.” Well Om, your life is certainly an open book now. You and she have said it all indeed.

John Abraham is upset with Blue director Anthony D’souza’s false claims of making two films with him

By Kunal M Shah (MUMBAI MIRROR; October 28, 2009)

 

John Abraham

John Abraham is an angry man at the moment. He is upset with false news doing the rounds that he will star in
Anthony D’Souza’s forthcoming films. What’s upset John even more is that Anthony, who recently directed Blue, has been giving interviews claiming that the actor is expected to be part of  his forthcoming films Blue 2 and Aerial, in which John will star opposite Sonal Chauhan. John says he hasn’t even discussed any film with Anthony.

A source said, “John is an extremely chilled out guy and seldom loses his cool. He was surprised to read reports of him doing Anthony’s next film. Next, he read about what the film was all about. A couple of days later, he read that he will supposedly star in Blue 2, while some reports said that the film’s title is Aerial. The worst part was Anthony’s claim that John will star in both the films.”

John had had enough and decided to confront Anthony. The source said, “John categorically told Anthony that it was not right on his part to announce him being part of his films that too when they had not even discussed anything. John made his displeasure quite evident. Anthony apologised and assured John that he wouldn’t mention the actor’s name in the media again.”

Anthony D’souza

Meanwhile, another source said, “John didn’t intend to be rude with Anthony. He always respects newcomers, but according to him, Anthony chose a wrong way to gain publicity.”

John Abraham confirmed the news and said, “I have immense respect for Anthony and the fact that he wants to work with me. However, I am neither doing any film titled Aerial nor any underwater film. I am also not doing Blue 2.”