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Home > India > Movies > Bollywood News

Jodhaa Akbar stumbles in India, races ahead abroad

Syed Firdaus Ashraf | February 26, 2008 15:36 IST


A still from Jodhaa Akbar

Ashutosh Gowariker's Jodhaa Akbar would have become a loser at the box office if it had not done brilliantly overseas.

 

Produced at the cost of Rs 40 crores, the film first ran into trouble when a section of the Rajput community banned it in Rajasthan.

 

Gowariker called for a hurried press conference on February 16, a day after the film released, to defend it but the damage was already done. He argued that a character like Jodhaa existed in history and was married to Akbar, but the film still did not get an entry in Rajasthan. The Madhya Pradesh government soon banned the film in the second week of its release.

 

As if that was not enough, multiplexes all over India refused to release the film on February 15, due to a profit-sharing dispute. The film released in multiplxes only the next day.

 

"When the film did not release on the first day of release, Jodhaa Akbar lost out badly. By the time a settlement was reached, the film had lost the precious first day advantage. The exams period, controversy and poor release strategy was almost suicidal for Jodhaa Akbar,Vinod Mirani, trade analyst for rediff.com, says

 

Luckily, the overseas market saved the film.

 

According to a release from Imagesmiths, the public relations firm that was handling Jodhaa Akbar for UTV, the film made Rs 52.70 crores in India in 10 days, and Rs 21.30 crores in the overseas market.

 

The film made a whooping Rs 10 crores on the first day in the US and was among the all-time highest grossers like Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna [Images] and Om Shanti Om. It made Rs 5.60 crores in the UK.

 

In the Gulf region, it did a business of Rs 3.20 crores, in Australia, it grossed Rs 3.20 crores and among other centers, it did a business of Rs 1.15 crores.  

 

Trade analysts, however, say what finally matters is not the gross collections but the net collections. And that, they say, would make Jodhaa Akbar an average to below average film at the box office.

 

"The gross collections of a film does not matter; the net does. The gross includes costs like entertainment tax, show tax and municipal tax. UTV should declare its net collections," Mirani says.

 

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"Jodhaa Akbar will scrape through because of its overseas business. It will also recover its money through satellite rights. But its theatrical business is not exciting for the film," added Mirani.

 

Another trade analyst, Komal Nahta says, "The length of the film (three hours 20 minutes) was the biggest drawback for Jodhaa Akbar. But it will be a loser overall though overseas, it is doing well."

 

He echoes Mirani's thoughts as he says, "The overseas release will not make the film sink to a disaster level."

 

An exhibitor, on condition of anonymity, said that the film was not doing well because it was released at the wrong time, and since it did not appeal to the Indian youth.

 

"The film is better suited for people above 45. Besides that, exams were on in many centers where the film was released. The music was decent but did not catch up in a big way. Thus, these factors affected the prospects of the film," he said.

UNI


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