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Salman flexes box office muscle again

Priyanka Joshi  |  Mumbai 

Salman Khan’s magic has worked wonders yet again. Bodyguard, which released on Wednesday, has netted the highest opening day collection, beating and by a long margin.

Priti Shahani, chief strategy and marketing officer, Reliance Entertainment, said, “The opening day collections will be more than the Rs 14.5 crore earned by (Salman’s release on last year’s Eid) and Rs 13 crore by on the opening day.”

While was released in 2,600 screens across 70 cities, films such as were released in 1,800 screens in the country. The producer of the film has also ensured was released in a 65:35 ratio in favour of single-screen theatres.

Shahani is confident would trump the first-week box office records of (Rs 80 crore) and Dabangg (Rs 81 crore). “We are seeing overseas markets like West Asia recording collections of over $400,000 on day one, which is huge for a Bollywood film.” The diaspora in the US and Europe is expected to further add to the film’s collections.

Bodyguard is produced by Salman’s brother-in-law Atul Agnihotri’s Reel Life and was reportedly bought by for Rs 64 crore, earning the firm co-producer status.

The producers spent a record Rs 20 crore for the film’s marketing, advertising and publicity. By releasing the film on a Wednesday, the producers have given it a 10-day run before competition from other films arrives in theatres.

According to film analysts, the films’ music rights were sold for Rs 6 crore, while the satellite rights went to STAR TV for Rs 27 crore for a period of seven years. While Shahani did not confirm the numbers, she added, “We haven’t yet sold the pay-per-view rights for the DTH platform. We are holding the rights for the same as the film is expected to run in theatres for a longer period. Once the theatre collections dry up, we will negotiate the DTH rights.”

had also procured a ‘John Doe Order’ from the Delhi High Court restraining websites, cable operators and Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and others from infringing or violating Reliance’s copyright by illegal broadcast or streaming of Bodyguard. The company, informed Shahani, has sent close to 2,000 notices to cable operators, websites within and outside India and ISPs, preventing them from hosting the film’s pirated copies on their networks.

“We had procured a similar court order for our last film, Singham, starring and it helped in curbing piracy and securing our theatre revenues.”

First Published: Thu, September 01 2011. 00:10 IST
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