In the past year, Bollywood became a bit more Hollywood.
While the biggest headlines were generated by Indian media conglom Reliance Big Entertainment’s financial stake in DreamWorks, Oscar winner “Slumdog Millionaire” also raised awareness for Bollywood cinema among Stateside auds.
“Festival authorities are now watching out for film content from our part of the world,” says Big Pictures COO Jawahar Sharma about the ripple effect of “Slumdog’s” success.
In January, Adlabs Films was rebranded Big Pictures, a subsidiary of Reliance. While the distrib hit a high with action-drama “Ghajini,” starring Aamir Khan, the company is focusing more on story-driven fare as other starry projects fizzled at the B.O.
Like last year, Eros remained the leading Bollywood distrib at the domestic B.O. with $6.6 million. Eros North American prexy Ken Naz credits the firm’s success to “an amazing global distribution network” that gives its local offices “autonomous control” in their respective markets.
Yash Raj saw a 50%-plus uptick in its 12-month domestic B.O. thanks to the success of its two musical tentpoles, “Rab ne bana di jodi” ($2.1 million) and “Dostana” ($1.2 million). “Jodi” features India superstar Shah Rukh “King” Khan.
UTV recently had a notable bow with its twin-brothers musical “Kaminey” and was to release an onslaught of seven titles after Labor Day weekend. “Kaminey” had been delayed due to a producer-distributor dispute in India earlier this year.
B.O.: $6.6 million
TOP PIC: “Love aaj kal” ($2.4 million, still in release)
TOPPERS: Kishore Lulla, CEO; Vijay Ahuja, president, intl.; Ken Naz, prexy, North America
UP NEXT: “Wanted” (Sept. 18), “Aladin” (Oct. 16), “De dana dan” (Nov. 25)
YASH RAJ FILMS
B.O.: $4.3 million
TOP PIC: “Rab ne bana di jodi” ($2.1 million)
TOPPERS: Yash Chopra, chairman; Aditya Chopra, vice chair; Avtar Panesar, veep, intl. ops; Vaibhav
Rajput, head of North American ops
UP NEXT: “Dil bole hadippa” (Sept. 18), “Pyaar Impossible” (Nov.), “Rocket Singh” (Dec.) 31
(formerly Adlab Films)
B.O.: $3.7 million
TOP PIC: “Ghajini” ($2.4 million)
TOPPERS: Amit Khanna, chairman; Rajesh Sawhney, prexy; Jawahar Sharma, COO, intl. business
UP NEXT: “Kites” (Oct.), “Samaantar” (Sept.), “Do Knot Disturb” (Oct.), “Paa” (Nov.), “Idiots” (Dec.)
B.O.: $2.4 million
TOP PIC: “Kaminey” ($1.2 million, still in release)
TOPPERS: Ronnie Screwvala, chairman; Siddharth Kapur, CEO; Lokesh Dhar, veep
UP NEXT: “What’s Your Raashee?” (Sept. 25), “Wake Up Sid” (Oct. 2), “Main aur Mrs. Khanna” (Oct. 16), “Qurbaan” (Nov. 25), “Chance pe Dance” (Nov. 6), “Hook ya Crook” (Dec. 11), “Season’s Greetings” (Dec. 31)