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Industry goes gaga over Varun Dhawan-Anushka starrer, Sui Dhaaga

Never mind the moderate opening, the entire Bollywood fraternity is going gaga over the Varun Dhawan-Anushka Sharma starrer, Sui Dhaaga on social media.  Director Ali Abbas Zafar who is currently busy with the under-production of the Salman Khan starrer, Bharat, has described it as a beautiful film with brilliant performances, calling director Sharad Katariya as the real hero, “To keep it simple is the toughest, @sharadkatariya is the real hero. Sach mein “made in India”, ” @aliabbaszafar  tweet reads.

Filmmaker Karan Johar is eager to catch up on the film and has described it as a possible winner with the positive things he has been hearing about the film, “Such terrific feedback on #SuiDhaaga!! Can’t wait to see it.!!! This one’s a WINNER!”, his tweet reads.

Director Shashank Khaitan who recently gave the super-hit Dhadak, found the writing and the performances noteworthy, “#SuiDhaga is a simple adorable film with a very strong message…its honest and absolutely lovable…the writing and performances are outstanding…superb job,” he tweeted.

Noted casting director Mukesh Chhabra, has upheld the film as a great choice of script by Varun Dhawan and Anushka Sharma, “What an amazing choice of script by @Varun_Dhawan and @AnushkaSharma. A striking topic and a brilliantly made film. Superb performances by both the leading actors and the supporting cast. In theatres today. A must watch @yrf,” his tweet reads.

Meanwhile the distributors of the film are hoping that the film picks up on business with the way it has struck the right chord among audiences. According to veteran distributor Raj Bansal, the word of mouth is likely to work for the film, “It is essentially an India-centric film that is connecting to the hearts of the audiences in a big way. It also relates to our honourable PM Narendra Modi’s ‘Make In India’ vision of entrepreneurship.  Behind the simplicity of the film, there is a strong underlying inspirational message that has got people talking about it,” Bansal reveals.

According to the distributor, films that tell stories around the heartland of India have invariably made their mark in the past, “My father used to tell me that jis film mein Hindustan ki mitti ki khushboo hai, woh box-office pe apni jagah bana leti hai. (A film that resonates with the fragrance of Indian soil makes it place at the box-office).

Exhibitor Akshaye Rathi  has wished good luck to the Sui Dhaga team and is confident that the film will make its mark, “Mamta (Anushka Sharma) and Mauji (Varun Dhawan) look adorable & I’m sure they’ll win millions of hearts today,” he posted on his twitter account.

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BOX-OFFICE NEWS

YRF readies for massive Russia release of Tiger Zinda Hai after assessing huge potential for Salman Khan starrers

By Manishaa R

We are looking at Tiger Zinda Hai receiving a huge response in Russia, says Avtar Panesar, International Distribution Head, Yash Raj Films

The Salman Khan-Katrina Kaif starrer, Tiger Zinda Hai, which set the box-office on fire in India, will be the first Hindi movie to have the widest ever release in Russia in an unprecedented 70 prints. According to Avtar Panesar, Vice President, International Operations, Yash Raj Films, the decision to line up a massive Russia release was made after assessing the huge potential for Salman Khan starrers in the otherwise untapped market in Russia, “Last year, we decided to test new waters and released Sultan across a few screens in Russia. The movie received a phenomenal response from audiences. That’s when we decided to up the ante with Tiger Zinda Hai,” Panesar revealed.

Yashraj is counting on the film receiving an exceptional response in Russia, “The response to the trailer has been excellent and we believe the movie will be loved by audiences across Russia. Also the movie has been dubbed in Russian and will release with the voiceovers, so it can connect excellently with the native people there,” Panesar said.

With Russia, Yash Raj Films is now set to explore the second phase of the film’s international business in non-traditional markets. “The movie has done fantastic business in Phase 1 in the traditional markets. Phase II begins with Russia and we are hoping the movie connects universally with non-Indian diaspora,” Panesar added.

“Last year, we decided to test new waters and released Sultan across a few screens in Russia. The movie received a phenomenal response from audiences” – Avtar Panesar, Vice President, International Operations, Yash Raj Films

It may be recalled that Ali Abbas Zafar’s spy action thriller starring Salman Khan and Katrina Kaif, received an outstanding response in the overseas market. The film also succeeded in creating new records at the box-office, making Salman Khan only the second actor (after Aamir Khan) with three movies reaching the Rs 500 cr mark ($78 million) at the global box-office. The film also made it as the sixth highest Hindi grosser of all time.

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Tiger Zinda Hai heading towards record of being Salman’s highest grossing film, say distributors

The film has also given Salman Khan the unique distinction of being the Christmas week superhero at the box-office, besides the Eid superhero

By Manishaa R

It looks like Tiger Zinda Hai is well on its way to crossing the Rs 300 mark at the box-office. The two-day unrest and the tense situation in Maharashtra, slightly dampened the pace of collections but the film still managed to gross a decent Rs 5.75 cr on its 13th day making the total tally in the range of Rs 287 cr. Distributors and trade analysts who are keenly tracking the progress of the film are confident that it will surpass the business of Salman Khan’s earlier two films, despite the fact that the business in single screens has dropped by 40 percent. According to Raj Bansal, who is the oldest distributor of the Yashraj banner in India with a track record of 32 years and 85 films, there are no two ways about the fact that Tiger Zinda Hai will redefine history at the box-office, “That’s because the repeat audiences are patronising the film in full force especially since the admission rates are now lower than before. Also the audiences who coud not catch up on the film earlier due to New Year celebrations, are doing so now. The biggest factor that could work in favour of the film is the fact that there is no major opposition in the next three weeks. Tiger Zinda Hai has virtually got a free run which is a great occurence,” Bansal says, adding that a majority of exhibitors have now cut down on the screen count to ensure that the film gets its due.

The veteran who has released all Salman starrers released by Yashraj so far, also feels that the film will set a new benchmark for the business of Salman starrers, “I can confidently say that it will be Salman khan’s biggest grosser ever. Salman’s Sultan fetched Rs 302 cr and his Bajrangi Bhaijaan grossed Rs 321 cr but it appears that Tiger Zinda Hai will certain surpass these two films,” Bansal insists.

Will Tiger Zinda Hai also set a record for the highest grossing Christmas release? Going by records, Aamir Khan’s highest grossing film, Dangal had collected Rs 387.38 crore at the India box-office, when it was released on 23rd December 2016. It remains to be seen whether Tiger Zinda Hai beats the record. Bansal however feels that the success of Tiger Zinda Hai has proved that the Eid hero has now taken over the Christmas week, “It was always Aamir Khan who ruled the Christmas week but this year it is the Eid hero who has taken over the Christmas and New Year season. Needless to add the three Khans continue to dominate the box-office in the three big festive seasons of the year, be it Diwali, Christmas or Eid,” he says. Meanwhile the latest tally of figures indicates the box-office collection of Tiger Zinda Hai: at Rs 286.46 crore at the end of Day 13 on January 3.

“Salman’s Sultan fetched Rs 302 cr and his Bajrangi Bhaijaan grossed Rs 321 cr but it is certain that Tiger Zinda Hai will surpass these two films” – Raj Bansal, oldest distributor of YRF Films

Helmed by Ali Abbas Zafar, who had also directed Salman Khan’s earlier film, Sultan, Tiger Zinda Hai is the sequel to the 2012 blockbuster, Ek Tha Tiger. The fast-paced spy thriller starring Salman Khan and Katrina Kaif, is replete with high voltage action about a RAW agent and an ISI agent, who team up on a one of a kind mission to rescue 25 nurses, held hostage by a terrorist organisation.

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It is Salman Khan’s super hero avatar and mind-blowing action moves that are creating a riot at box-office, say exhibitors

Exhibitors analyze the incredible box-office success of Tiger Zinda Hai and how Salman has wooed the audiences with his slick action moves choreographed by Tom Struthers.

By Manishaa R

Even as Tiger Zinda Hai continues to run riot at the India and international box-office after its six-day run, exhibitors and theatre-owners across India have attributed the unprecedented response to Salman Khan’s action super-hero avatar and the conviction with which he has rendered the role. Mumbai distributor-exhibitor Ramesh Sippy, who is screening the film in all shows at three of his prime properties in Mumbai territory, feels that Salman has proved himself in the breath-taking action from the very first frame, “The film showcases Salman at his very best in action. Salman has done hard core action in his earlier films too but this time the action is of an international scale akin to watching a Hollywood movie like a Commando or a Rambo and Salman has lived up to it,” Sippy revealed.

His real push came with Dabanng and Salman is unstoppable ever since, says Ramesh Sippy

The veteran distributor who had last distributed Salman’s action starrer, Wanted, in 2009, feels that Salman’s elevation to one of the most celebrated stars on screen, happened more prominently after Dabanng, “When I released Wanted, it did very good business but not as remarkable, since Salman was yet to prove his credentials as a big commercial star. Wanted no doubt made a big difference but the real push came with Dabangg, which had content, star-value and a great performance from him. After that he is unstoppable,” Sippy says.

The audiences were craving to see Salman in action, they don’t like to see him soft-hearted and tearful on screen

Veteran filmmaker and exhibitor, Mehul Kumar, who has been playing the film to packed houses at his Mehul multiplex in Jamnagar, Gujarat, feels that it is Salman and Katrina Kaif’s slick action moves along with his super-hero image that has worked big time for the film, “He has the image of a superhero and the audience was craving to see him in action. He justified the complex action and the role with his hard work,” Mehul Kumar said.

The veteran who has the sole distinction of working with legendary actor, Raj Kumar in several films including Tirangaa and Krantiveer, feels that it is important that the projection of a star on screen does not digress from his image. He recalls the example of Raj Kumar, who was known for his impeccable dialogue delivery and great screen persona, “That was a different era but I do remember the fact that the audiences were very particular about the way Raj-saab was presented on screen. If you gave him a character that did not exude his larger-than-life image, the film would go unnoticed.”

According to Mehul Kumar, the audiences were disappointed with Tubelight because it showed him in a role that was completely contrary to his image, “Irrespective of the merits of the film, it deviated completely from his image of the invincible hero. The audiences don’t like to see him in the weeping, soft-hearted and rona-dhona scenes. They like to see him doing incredible things on screen,” he said, adding that he was looking at Tiger Zinda Hai, breaking the record of Sultan at his own multiplex.

Ali Abbas Zafar has harnessed Salman Khan’s superstardom like never before

Exhibitor Akshaye Rathi, who has released Tiger Zinda Hai in 17 screens across Maharashtra, Chattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh gives full marks to Ali Abbas Zafar and the way he has unfolded the story on screen, “Ali Abbas Zafar has come up with a brilliant script and screenplay, by harnessing Salman’s superstardom and projecting him exactly the way the audiences would want to see him and that has made the big difference. Add to that the huge production values and the way this film has been mounted, which has made the film a big screen spectacle and a compulsive, cinematic viewing experience,” Rathi says.

Rathi adds that there is a unique psychology at work when it comes to the cinema-viewing audiences, “Today the cost of going for a movie is pretty high so it is important to give the audience something that makes it paisa vasool. A filmmaker needs to entertain and engage the audience and give them their money’s worth, ensuring that the movie contains more than just the face of the star, with its content and story-telling,” Rathi says.

Salman has done hard core action in his earlier films too but this time the action is of an international scale akin to Hollywood movies like Commando and Rambo and Salman has lived up to it- Ramesh Sippy, Veteran distributor and exhibitor

The quality and scale of action is international

Exhibitor Vishek Chauhan has the last word,You rarely find a Hindi film making it as a top grosser in the international market because most of our films don’t confirm to that scale and quality of action. For that you need an action entertainer like Avengers but Tiger Zinda Hai, has the kind of stylized action that can qualify for a universal market. Add to that the fact that it our very own Salman bhai in action in a bigger and better sequel and the mass hysteria is understandable,” Vishek quips.

Meanwhile exhibitors are expecting it to be another eventful week at the box-office. The six-day collection for the film is currently in the range of Rs 191 cr. The first installment Ek Tha Tiger, had a lifetime business of Rs 198.73 cr and the film is expected to go way beyond it going by estimates.