'Jodhaa' expands release on March 6

Bollywood epic “Jodhaa Akbar,” banned in two Indian states, should have an easier rollout into Southern India on March 6.

The film has already grossed $13.2 million in India, according to its producer and distributor UTV Motion Pictures, despite the ban in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, where a predominant group, the Rajputs, object to its version of history.

These predominantly Hindu regions were expected to be big markets for the Hindi-language, multiethnic film.

“Jodhaa Akbar” is a 16th century love story about a political marriage between Mughal Emperor Akbar and Jodhaa, a Rajput princess.

Rajputs disagree with historians and claim the marriage never happened. They have even complained about the film censor board, which approved the pic.

UTV tried to overturn the Madhya Pradesh ruling in court, but had not succeeded by early Tuesday. Execs said they planned to appeal to the Indian Supreme Court if unsuccessful at the state level.

Pic will be shown on 150 screens in Tamil- and Telegu-language versions in Southern India. UTV reports that the Aishwarya Rai Bachchan/Hrithik Roshan starrer has cumed $18.5 million worldwide in its first 10 days of release. That includes $2.51 million from the 100 Rentrak-monitored screens in North America, $1.38 million from the U.K. and $800,000 from the Gulf region.

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