Thursday, September 13, 2007

Rajnikanth Rocks - Business Standard

FILMS: Having tasted success, Sivaji's producers are planning its Japanese and Malay versions
 
Having struck gold at the box office in India and abroad with Rajnikanth starrer Sivaji: The Boss, AVM Productions is trying to work out another foreign release in Malay and Chinese as dubbed versions. But, playing it safe, S C Babu, CEO, AVM Productions insists that it is too early to make an announcement as the talks with foreign counterparts are still in early stages.
 
The movie is likely to be screened at the Tokyo International Film Festival in the first week of October and discussions are on to release the movie in Japan with Japanese subtitles.
 
Rajnikanth has a strong fan base in Japan and the local demand is backed by local fan following and not just Indians living in Japan. According to Babu, the universal appeal of the music scored by A R Rahman along with the strong visual attraction (all those stunning sets created by Thota Tharrani) are strong drivers for the demand for this movie in foreign countries.
 
The background score for the movie was recorded in Prague, Czech Republic, using local musicians by an American music conductor.
 
Shivaji has already been released in Malaysia in its original form (Tamil) and it has created history by beating the highest Malay grosser in the country.
 
Back home, the movie will complete its 100 days on September 23. �The estimates of box office collections so far would be available only by the end of the month, � says Babu. Rough estimates reported in the media so far range between Rs 200-450 crore, a number that the production house insists is inaccurate.
 
The dubbed Hindi version of the movie is also under production. �Though there have been rumours about a Diwali release, we feel the festival would not be the right time for the release of the Hindi version. The reason being that the deadline is too short and also, we would look at a less competitive timing for the release. After all, the original Tamil version has already been released and tasted great success in the so-called northern markets,� says Babu.
 
Sivaji has been a great success in markets like Julandhar, Lucknow and Jaipur apart from metropolitan cities like Mumbai and Delhi.
 
For the Hindi dubbed version, certain parts of the movie will need to be reshot to make it relevant to the Hindi audience. Mumbai writer and lyricist Swanand Kirkire, who wrote the dialogues for movies like Eklavya and Chameli, is writing the Hindi version of Sivaji).
 
The television rights for the movie were recently bought by Kalaignar TV � the yet to be launched DMK party backed TV Channel � for an undisclosed price. While Babu refused to discuss the subject, industry sources said that the TV rights have been sold for Rs 3-4 crore. Under the contract, the buyers reportedly cannot broadcast movie for three years.
 
Despite tight controls over the prints, Sivaji has already become a victim among movie pirates.
 
�As long as the film is in the analog version, there is very little we can do to control piracy. With 800 prints in circulation, curbing piracy is a logistic nightmare,� says Babu.
 


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