Bollywood distribs

Shingles make studio links

Since Labor Day 2007, 10 Bollywood pics crossed the $1 million mark, matching a similar record set over the same frame a year prior.

While the target audience for Bollywood pics remains Southeast Asian crowds, some of these pics are getting wider play. “Six years ago, a film would be released on 65 prints, but a film like ‘Jodhaa Akbar’ went out on 138,” says Lokesh Dhar, head of UTV’s U.S. distribution. “The theaters where these films are playing are better, making a more compelling reason to see them on the bigscreen.”

Studio 18 domestic head Behram Shahparast points to the breakout success of its summer comedy “Singh Is Kinng” ($2.5 million Stateside, $25 million overseas).

Eros Entertainment had the highest grosser among U.S.-operating Bollywood distribs with “Om Shanti Om” ($3.6 million) as well as the highest overall take of the group this year. The label recently formed a joint venture with Lionsgate, a two-way deal that encompasses co-productions, vid distribution and Hindi remakes of such pics as “Dirty Dancing.”

UTV also is aggressively pursuing English co-productions, partnering with Will Smith’s Overbrook shingle and recently finishing production on the Heather Graham dark comedy “The Exterminators.”

Though Yash Raj’s domestic B.O. for the 12-month frame fell 53%, the distrib has high hopes for its first animated co-production with Disney, “Roadside Romeo,” about a spoiled dog stranded on the streets of Mumbai.

Eros Entertainment

B.O.: $9 million

TOP PIC: “Om Shanti Om” ($3.6 million)

UP NEXT: “Drona” (Oct. 2), “Hashar: A Love Story” (TBA)

Studio 18

B.O.: $2.5 million

TOP PIC: “Singh Is Kinng” ($2.5 million)

UP NEXT: “Kidnap” (Oct. 2)

UTV Communications

B.O.: $7 million

TOP PIC: “Jodhaa Akbar”($3.4 million)

UP NEXT: “A Wednesday” (Sept. 5), “Welcome to Sajjanpur” (Sept. 19), “Fashion” (Oct. 10), “Delhi 6” (Feb. 13)

Yash Raj Films USA

B.O.: $2.7 million

TOP PIC: “Laaga chunari mein daag” ($675,102)

UP NEXT: “Roadside Romeo” (Oct. 24), “Dostana” (Nov. 14), “Rab ne bana di jodi” (Dec. 12)