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SRK vs. Salman-Akshay overseas

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Friday, October 13, 2006
New Delhi (UNI): As the aura of the 'king khan' Shahrukh in Farhan Akhtar's Don- The Chase Begins Again confronts the magic of Salman Khan and the charisma of Akshay Kumar in Sajid Nadiadwala's Jaan-e-Mann this Diwali, the scene of the battle, for once, would be the overseas markets and the not the domestic territories. When Don and Jaan-e-Mann release on Diwali, all eyes will be on which film comes out trumps in the overseas stakes. While Shahrukh is the acclaimed Badhshah of Bollywood on the overseas scene, he has to contend with the combined magic of Salman Khan as well as the rising popularity of Akshay Kumar among the overseas audience. Given the huge popularity of Shahrukh, Salman and Akshay on the overseas circuit, the producers of Don and Jaan-E-Mann are leaving no stone unturned to ensure a huge success for their films in the foreign markets, which have of late become an important factor in the success of a film.

In order to cash in on the huge popularity of Shahrukh overseas, the producers of the film are going in for a huge release for the film abroad. So, Farhan Akhtar's Don will release across 325 screens in 28 countries across the globe, making it the highest ever-print release for a Bollywood film in the overseas market. UTV Pictures, which is distributing the film overseas has planned an extensive release for the film across the Globe including in countries like the US, UK, Middle East and SE Asia.

Furthermore, UTV has also launched an extensive publicity blitz for the film in foreign countries. Shot across Malaysia, France and India, 'Don' boasts of some extra ordinary stunts, which the producers feel will leave the overseas audience enthralled and wanting for more. As part of the overseas marketing for Don, catchy promos of the film are also being aired on B4U Music, Zee UK and NDTV. While B4U Music is featuring Shah Rukh Khan as their October 'Artist Of The Month' for Don, ZEE TV is airing a two-part series on the making of 'Don' (1 hour) exclusively in the UK. The first part of the series is to be telecast in UK tomorrow. In addition, ZEE UK is also bringing its viewers a heart-to-heart with Shah Rukh Khan tonight with a repeat telecast of the programme on the day of the film release, next Friday.

Furthermore, NDTV [India] will also showcase the making of Don tomorrow to its viewers in the UK. Not to be left behind, the producers of Jaan-E-Mann are also making extensive efforts to ensure a wide release for their film in the overseas markets. The move is perhaps governed by the huge popularity of both Salman and Akshay on the overseas circuit. While the previous films featuring Salman Khan like Mujhse Shaadi Karogi, No Entry and Lucky-No time for Love have done huge business in market like the United Kingdom, Akshay's starrers over the last few years like Suneil Darshan's Andaaz, Abbas Mastan's Aetraaz, Priyadarshan's Garam Masala, Dharmesh Darshan's Bewafa and Neeraj Vora's Phir Hera Pheri have been hits at the overseas box office. The growing popularity of Akshay overseas can be gauged by the fact that even a film like Suneil Darshan's Dosti-Friends Forever, which met with a lukewarm response in India, was a huge hit in overseas markets.

It is perhaps in keeping with the fact that Sajid Nadiadwala, the producer of Jaan-E-Mann began the promotions of the film overseas, in places like New York and London. That overseas markets form an important part of the promotional strategy of the producers of Jaan-E-Mann is also evident from the fact that the producers are releasing the film in countries like Japan and Hong Kong, besides the traditional markets of UK, US and Dubai. In fact, trade sources say that Jaan-E-Mann will perhaps be the first film to be released in Japan. The film, whose overseas right are held by Adlabs, has been picked up for distribution in Hong Kong, Bangkok and Japan by a new distributor.

The increased focus on overseas markets by Bollywood filmmakers stems from the fact that in recent times, with the rising awareness and popularity of Bollywood films in various countries across the globe, the earnings from the overseas markets, specially those like the US, UK and Dubai, today form a crucial element in the overall box office performance of the film. For example, the huge success of Karan Johar's Kabhi Alvida na Kehna in the overseas markets played an important part in the film's overall box office figure. Out of the over Rs 100 crore grossed by the film till date, the gross from overseas alone is nearly Rs 50 crore. Earlier, last year, Shahrukh Khan's Paheli, while meeting with a half-hearted response in India, proved to be a huge success overseas, specially in the United Kingdom.



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