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Krrish giving Superman a tough time

Monday, July 03, 2006
New Delhi (UNI): India's own 'Superhero' is all set to give Hollywood's 'Superman' a run for his money! Hrithik's superhero act in Rakesh Roshan's 'Krrish', which has the Bollywood heartthrob performing breathtaking action sequences like flying atop buildings, climbing mountains and fighting scores of hoodlums single-handedly, akin to the 'Superman', 'Batman' and the 'Spiderman' in the West, has taken the whole of India and the world by storm, promising tough competition to this year's Hollywood release 'Superman Returns', trade sources said.

The film, which presents Hrithik as the first superhero of Indian cinema, has broken box office records at home and abroad in its opening week with cinema halls screening the film witnessing an unprecedented rush among cinegoers to see India's first superhero in action - while one shot has Hrithik hanging in thin air to save the "damsel in distress", another has him climbing atop buildings and flying over moving vehicles in pursuit of the villain while yet another has him taking giant strides to match pace with the gallops of a horse.

Trade analysts say the breathtaking stunts done by Hrithik in the film had endeared him to kids all over the country who have been flocking to the theatres with their parents in huge numbers, which made it almost a foregone conclusion that 'Krrish' was on its way to become a blockbuster. With his well built physique and bulging biceps, Hrithik almost looks like a Greek god who performs stunts never before executed on Indian screen. No wonder, kids all over India have simply adored 'Krrish', a fact that could make the film a bigger blockbuster than 'Fanaa' and provide stiff competition to 'Superman Returns' this week. 'Krrish's screenings during the opening weekend were marked by house full boards almost all over the country with hundreds of cinegoers seen clamouring for tickets outside the cinema halls. The black marketers had a field day with the tickets being sold at four to five times their original price. Even in areas like Punjab and Central India which had not witnessed house full boards in a long time, there was unprecedented rush for the cinema tickets.

In many areas in India, the film had to be screened at additional screens in almost all the multiplexes on the first day when the cinegoers who did not get tickets refused to go home without watching the movie. A "never-before seen" rush on advance booking was witnessed in many parts of the country wherein tickets for almost the entire opening week were sold out in advance with the many shows in its second week too booked already, the sources said. For example, in Delite cinema in Delhi, 'Krrish' broke advance booking records of the last 50 years, the sources said. Similarly, there was a huge clamour for tickets at the multiplexes in metros like Mumbai and Delhi despite the fact that many of them were screening 12 shows of 'Krrish' everyday.

In South India too, where the producers have released the dubbed version of the film in Tamil and Telugu, making 'Krrish' the first Hindi film in recent times to have been dubbed in Tamil and Telugu', the film has evoked an above-average response, trade sources said. What is remarkable about 'Krrish' is that unlike many other hits of recent years which have either done well in multiplexes or single screen cinema halls, the superhero film netted excellent collections from both the single screen theatres as well as multiplexes. The film had an outstanding opening in overseas markets too. In the United Kingdom where 'Krrish' opened on 46 cinema screens, the film figured at number nine in the UK top ten with collections of 210, 499 UK pounds (approximately Rs 1.5 crore) in its opening weekend.

What is more, it had the highest per screen average among the films in the top ten, of 4576 UK pounds (Rs 3.25 lakhs), ahead of such Hollywood films like 'The Omen', 'The Fast and Furious', 'X Men-The Last Stand' and 'The Da Vinci Code'.Trade analysts feel that given the outstanding initial for 'Krrish' in UK, it could out-do Fanaa and become the most successful film in the UK this year. In the US too, the film, released on 67 screens, collected 1,70,000 Dollars on the opening day itself, the best performance by an Indian film in recent years. In Dubai, where the film was released on June 21, 'Krrish' collected 3,90,000 Dirhams on the opening day itself which is a record for any Indian film released in Dubai.

Trade analysts say the record-breaking opening taken by 'Krrish' all over the world, coupled with the huge demand for 'Krrish' dolls, key chains, masks, watches, activity books, rainwear, school bags, T shirts and other items merchandised by the producers in association with Pantaloons will help make 'Krrish' the biggest grossing film in recent times. Some estimates say the film could recover its Rs 50 crore investment in just the opening week, thus surpassing the opening week collections for Kunal Kohli's 'Fanaa' Which collected Rs 32 crore in the opening week. Trade analysts say that 'Krrish' had a slight edge over 'Fanaa' in that while the Aamir Khan Kajol-starrer saw 85 per cent to 90 per cent collections on the opening day, 'Krrish' opened to 100 per cent collections all over the country, a distinction no film has enjoyed in recent years.

Also, the fact that 'Krrish' opened at theatres across the world with a record number of 790 prints, 250 of them in the overseas alone, makes it almost certain that, given the unprecedented craze for the film, it would definitely surpass the collections for 'Fanaa'. It is for the first time that any film is being released with such a large number of film prints. In addition to the film prints, 125 digital discs for 'Krrish' were also released for screening at digital cinemas across the world, thus making for a whopping 925 cinema screens exhibiting the film. Given the tremendous excitement level in India as well as abroad for watching the first Indian Superhero on the Silver screen, 'Krrish' could well give a stiff competition to the Hollywood film 'Superman Returns', which releases all over India today. That 'Krrish' is already posing a challenge to 'Superman' is evident from the fact that the Warner Bros, which is distributing the film in India, has decided to release the film on 300 prints in India, rather than 600 as decided earlier.

Trade analysts say the release of 'Superman Returns' with a fewer number of prints is prompted by the lack of enough screens for the Hollywood film as the Indian superhero film 'Krrish' is being screened on a large number of screens across India. In fact, in most multiplexes 'Krrish' is screened in almost 12 shows a day. The buzz around 'Krish' is evident from the fact that no filmmaker has released his film today or even next week, perhaps to avoid a competition with the 'superhero' film.

The only big release in the coming four weeks is Madhur Bhandarkar's 'Corporate', starring Bipasha Basu and Kay Kay Menon in the lead roles, which releases on July 7, two weeks after. 'Krrish'. The film boasts of "never-before-seen" special effects which have been done by international special affects experts Mark Kolbe and Craig Mumma from the United States, who had also done the special affects for 'Koi Mil Gaya'. ''Krrish is a landmark film in that for the first time audiences in India get to see in an Indian film the kind of special affects only seen in Hollywood films'' says Shashank Jare of Filmcraft India limited, the film's producers.

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