Contrary to the expectations of Fox Star Studio India, the distributor of the Oscar-nominated Hollywood film Slumdog Millionaire, the Hindi version has not made a dent in the box office.
Slumdog Crorepati, the Hindi version, had a 35 per cent occupancy in most cinema halls, whereas the original movie in English saw occupancies of around 70-75 per cent during the weekend.
Slumdog Millionaire was released both in English and Hindi on January 23 along with the Hindi mystery-thriller flick Raaz, which has outperformed all other films released this month, in terms of weekend box office collections.
Slumdog Millionaire (in English and Hindi) is said to have managed to gross about Rs 8-9 crore, of which only about 30-35 per cent collections have come from the Hindi version, said exhibitors and trade analysts.
Fox Star Studios released about 350 prints of the films, out of which 60 per cent were the Hindi version, sources said.
Raaz, produced by film-maker Mahesh Bhatt, got the biggest weekend collections within January, grossing over Rs 12.5 crore in the first three days of its release, ahead of some of the other releases in January so far, said film trade experts.
The mystery-thriller is playing in the maximum shows across most multiplexes and recorded nearly 80 per cent collections in the first three days of its release. “Raaz should end its first week run with at least Rs 20-22 crore in collections from the 950 screens,” said trade analysts.
Different exhibitors had different strategies on Slumdog.... “We anticipated more demand for English. Therefore, we are playing more shows for the English version of the movie, including the late night show after 11 pm,” said a senior marketing executive of the leading multiplex chain, PVR cinemas, Gurgaon.
However, other multiplexes like DT Cinemas and Big Cinemas are playing more shows of Slumdog Crorepati than Slumdog Millionaire.
Speaking to Business Standard before the release of Slumdog Millionaire in India, Fox Star Studio chief executive Vijay Singh had said the company would release more prints in Hindi in order to take the film to maximum viewers.
The trade pundits do not expect Slumdog Millionaire to make more than Rs 15 crore in its first week, which will decline gradually in the second week as Farhan Akhtar’s Luck By Chance and a cricket-based film Victory hit the screens on January 30.
The characters of Slumdog Millionaire tend to converse in both Hindi and English in the film that is said to have more than recovered its investment of $15 million. The film features Bollywood stars like Anil Kapoor, Irrfan Khan, Mahesh Manjrekar and non-resident Indian actor Dev Patel in the lead role.