Exactly a year back, right after the release of Singh Is Kinng, it was announced amidst much fanfare that Indian Films was in the process of acquiring London Dreams for a never heard before figure of Rs. 120 crores. It was obvious that Vipul Shah, maker of this Salman Khan, Ajay Devgan and Asin Thottumkal starrer, had hit the jackpot with the biggest ever deal for a Bollywood film.
However, as things stand today, the deal is scrapped. Indian Films is no longer associated with London Dreams and Vipul Shah is happy to go back to the old school method of selling the film to various distributors across the country.
"Yes, there is nothing happening with Indian Films as far as London Dreams is concerned. Frankly, I am not dependent on the corporate houses to see my film release in theatres. I have enough distributors across the country who are willing to pick the film and I am more than glad to release the film through them", says Vipul Shah who has announced the release of the film as 30th October and has already begun the promotional campaign.
Looking at the response that the promos are expected to generate, what if a corporate house, including even Indian Films, shows a renewed interest in the project and is willing to renegotiate? Would he be willing to have a discussion?
"See, I am doing business here. Whatever works best for my film, I will do that. But no, I am not waiting for anyone here. There are great offers already and it's a matter of time before they are sealed and announced", Vipul responds.
While the figure quoted by Vipul was Rs. 120 crores at the time of announcement of London Dreams, it is but natural that in today's market scenario, the amount would be much lesser. This is understandable too since the entire recession and slow down did impact consumers as well as the making of the films, something that reflects in the extremely poor success rate that Bollywood had to show for most part of the first half of 2009.
No wonder, while Shahrukh Khan's My Name is Khan is said to have been sold for Rs.98 crores, even Kites and 3 Idiots have not crossed the elusive Rs.100 crores mark.
"These are all big films that you mention and also the most anticipated in the coming months. Hence they also serve as a benchmark for us", says Vipul, "Since London Dreams too pretty much falls in the same bracket, it would be a matter of 5%-10% drift. Our film is not far behind either."