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Demand for Slumdog prints soars after Golden Globe triumph

Ashish Sinha  |  New Delhi 

Demand for of Slumdog Millionaire, releasing in January 23, has increased after the Hollywood film, a rags-to-riches tale of an Indian teenager growing up in Mumbai’s slums, bagged four awards yesterday.

Released by Fox Star Studios in India, the film was originally supposed to release about 200 The numbers, however, have already cross 250 so far, company sources said. Music director bagged his first for the Slumdog score.

“We are releasing the film in English as and in Hindi as Slumdog Crorepati. At least 250 will be released, though the demand is increasing by the day,” said Vijay Singh, chief executive of Fox Star Studios that holds the cable and satellite rights for the film as well.

Trade experts are anticipating brisk business for the film in “If the show runs a packed house across 200-plus theatres in the first week, it will easily be able to gross Rs 4 crore to Rs 5 crore, better than most Hollywood releases in India,” reckoned an industry expert.

In India, a Hollywood release tends to gross Rs 1 crore to Rs 2 crore across first two weeks. Only James Bond, Spiderman, and Batman movies managed to gross more than Rs 4 crore from first week release, sources said.

So far, has grossed about Rs 200 crore from the US and UK box-office, where it was released early November. In the US, the movie managed to gross over $350,000 in its first weekend across the 10 theatres in which it was released, the most for any film, trade sources said. It is amongst the top 10 film grossers in the last few weeks in the US.

In the film will be released by Fox Star Studios, the first major release since its inception a couple of years ago. Fox Star Studios is the Indian-film arm of Rupert Murdoch’s Star group. The company is expecting it to become a big-grosser in as well.

Komal Nahata, a senior film trade analyst, said traditionally Hollywood releases in and especially those that win awards tend to bomb at the box-office. This movie, he added was, different.

“There is a craze for Slumdog Crorepati now that its promos are all over the TV channels. I expect the film to attract viewers to the theatres. After all, it is not an art film but an out-and-out Bollywood entertainer,” Nahata told Business Standard. Exhibitors are expecting the Hindi version to do well too. Said Utpal Acharya, vice-president, programming, INOX, which runs multiplex chains, “We are expecting the Hindi version to do well as the main actors speak in Hindi and, therefore, unlike most other English films there is no dubbing. That will add to its USP”.

has been produced by Fox Searchlight and directed by Danny Boyle, acclaimed Hollywood director of films like The Beach. It is scripted by another Hollywood name, Simon Beaufoy, and is based on a novel ‘Q and A’ by an Indian diplomat Vikas Swarup.

Boyle and Beaufoy won the awards for “best director” and “best screenplay”.

The film features Bollywood actors Anil Kapoor and Irrfan Khan and a newcomer, non-resident Indian Dev Patel in the lead role of the 18-year-old orphan who grows up in the slums of Mumbai and knows all the answers on the television game show Kaun Banega Crorepati.

First Published: Tue, January 13 2009. 00:00 IST