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By: Faridoon Shahryar, IndiaFM
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
“Saawariya is our gift to the Indian audience and it has had a Rs 50 crore weekend. The Indian consumer should rejoice that they had the biggest Diwali weekend ever for both OSO as well as Saawariya have done enormously well," an elated Vikramjit Roy, Publicity Head, Sony Pictures revealed to us.
But the general audience reaction hasn't been positive for Saawariya?
“One should focus on glass half full rather than looking at glass half empty. We are very happy with the reactions we've been getting. Music has sold 1 million units. It's a visual splendour. The way people are talking about Ranbir and Sonam is fantastic. I've seen the intensity with which people have come out after watching it. Sanjay Leela Bhansali has memerised with his visual delight."
Alright, in retrospect, do you feel the clash between Saawariya and OSO could have been averted?
“No way. It was absolutely rightly positioned. Our date had been locked a lot earlier. We are very happy. It has become the benchmark of Box Office response, a consumer delight. We also congratulate Mr Shah Rukh Khan and OSO team," Vikramjit says. There have been reports that Salman Khan isn't happy with his role in the film and he wasn't publicized that well. “There's a strategy in promotions like the posters, promos etc. Salman was an integral part of it. I feel there's been a huge amount of negativity about Saawariya."
There's a viewpoint that there's resistance from certain forces to prevent Sony Pictures from finding a foothold in India. Do you agree with that?
“Sony Pictures is the first Hollywood studio to get permission from the Government of India to produce and direct local language films in India. We've been welcomed with open arms by all the film bodies. I would like to say that we are here to stay."
Lets talk about the ongoing controversial rumours (or truths) surrounding Saawariya. Is it true that several exhibitors have replaced Saawariya with Jab We Met?
“Why is this thing being given such importance! I would say give our film a chance. I don't have any data but we are holding on to the prints. There is a drop after the weekend but we've exhibited in 754 locations in India and even the biggest of Hollywood films show a drop," Vikramjit says.
What are the future plans of Sony Pictures?
“We will reveal in time," Vikramjit says. Finally, considering the kind of reviews critics have given to Saawariya, would Sony Pictures like to work with Sanjay Leela Bhansali again? “Of course we will. Saawariya has received a wonderful response all over the world. Cinema has won."