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Eega 'flies high' at box office

K Rajani Kanth & Varada Bhat  |  Hyderabad/Mumbai 

Eega (housefly in Telugu), a techno-graphical extravaganza which hit 1,200 screens globally on Friday, is setting the box office on fire. The unconventional revenge drama starring a fly in the lead has garnered Rs 46.2 crore worldwide in the first three days.

Besides Telugu, the movie was released in Tamil as ‘Naan Ee’ and dubbed in Malayalam as ‘Eecha’. It is expected to be dubbed in Hindi and released in the next two weeks.

The story of Eega is about the protagonist (played by Telugu actor Nani) who gets killed by a character played by well-known Kannada actor Sudeep. After this, he takes a rebirth as a housefly to take revenge on the villain in his reincarnated form.

“We are seeing a mad rush for the movie overseas too. Eega has collected a gross of Rs 13.2 crore in the US and Europe, where it was released with 100 prints, in the first three days,” an official from Suresh Productions told Business Standard, requesting anonymity. The movie will be dubbed in Hindi as Makhi and released in 3D by the year-end.

The movie is also being released in other parts of the country with English subtitles in spite of clashing with Rohit Shetty’s multi-starrer Bol Bachchan, which is being released over 2,600 screens. Bol Bachchan netted Rs 43.1 crore in its opening weekend at the box office.

“Due to the buzz around the film (Eega), we have around two shows each in Mumbai, Ahmedabad and Pune with subtitles,” said Ashish Saksena, chief operating officer (south and west), Big Cinemas.

Writer and director of Eega, S S Rajamouli, is ecstatic about the rave reviews his film is receiving from critics and its collections at the Box Office. He tweeted: “Wanted to stay off twitter for a few days. But ppl kept telling me the Feedback on eega and am forced to sign in...:) And since mrng am just ...”

Produced by Sai Korrapati and D Suresh Babu of Suresh Productions, the film initially went on floors with a shoe-string budget of Rs 7 crore. After over-a-year-and-a-half in the making, courtesy 90 of the total 137-minute footage being high-end animation, it shot up to Rs 35 crore.

The revenge saga has close to 2,234 VFX shots, second only to ShahRukh Khan’s ‘Ra.One’ with 3,500, the highest for any Indian movie. Rajnikant-starrer ‘Enthiran’ around 2,100 VFX shots.

“Eega could set a new benchmark for VFX in Indian cinema with an unusual story line coupled with comic relief,” said Suniel Wadhwa, an independent film distributor.

Eega created a lot of buzz and raised curiosity levels like never before much before its release. Bollywood director Ramgopal Varma tweeted on June 22: “I think 'Eega' will b first film to start the 100 crore club in Telugu othr words I mean it will collect 100 cr in Telugu alone.”

Eega has already set records in terms of distribution and satellite rights. The film’s distribution rights have been sold for Rs 34 crore in Telugu and distribution rights for the Tamil version were sold for Rs 5 crore to PVP Cinema. Its satellite rights in Tamil Nadu were bagged by Sun TV for Rs 3.35 crore, which Telugu film trade analyst Veerababu says “is a new record and the highest price for any satellite rights for a film made by a Telugu director.”

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First Published: Tue, July 10 2012. 12:22 IST