LONDON — Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan’s production company Red Chillies Entertainment (RCE) will expand into film distribution with “Dilwale.” Khan toplines the action-comedy-musical, while co-stars include Kajol and Varun Dhawan.
“Dilwale” recently completed principal photography in Bulgaria and is due for release on December 18. The film is a Red Chillies co-production with director Rohit Shetty’s Rohit Shetty Productions. Shetty and Khan teamed for 2013 hit “Chennai Express” that collected $62 million worldwide.
Red Chillies will distribute the film in India. While the company is yet to decide on the number of screens, chief revenue officer Gaurav Verma told Variety, “our aim is to make it the widest release for any Indian film so far.” Red Chillies will also work closely with overseas distributors, Verma said.
Moving into distribution is a logical next step for RCE. Besides film production, Red Chillies has interests in television and commercials production, a VFX house, an equipment leasing division and a 50% stake in Indian Premiere League cricket team Kolkata Knight Riders. It also has an overseas office in New York.
“We understand that monetization is an equally important aspect of film business and so far we have always worked with partners on the monetization and distribution side. But with RCE expanding on the production side, controlling monetization and distribution was a natural extension of this process. We wanted to participate in the process of taking these films to consumers – so here we are,” Verma said.
Next up for Red Chillies is “Raees,” a co-production with Excel Entertainment that stars Khan and Nawazuddin Siddiqui. Red Chillies will distribute the film in India during the Eid holiday frame in July 2016.
Red Chillies has also signed a five-year television distribution deal with Shemaroo Entertainment for 12 Khan blockbusters including “Main Hoon Naa”, “Om Shanti Om” and “Chalte Chalte.”
Khan, who was strangely absent from the recent Forbes list of most wealthy actors, though according to Wealth-X is the world’s second richest performer after Jerry Seinfeld, also stars in Yash Raj Films’ “Fan” which will release on April 15, 2016.