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|September 8, 2001||
Arthur J Pais
Rajkumar Santoshi has his first big hit out of the Indian shores.
Lajja held its head high in North America and United Kingdom last weekend. Trade publication Variety reported the film had grossed $376,000 on 38 screens in North America last weekend.
The full week's collection is expected at $425,000. The film ranked 31 on the top 100 box-office chart of Variety, which was led by the $15 million weekend gross for the horror film, Jeepers Creepers.
In the UK, Lajja walked away proudly with $200,000 on just 15 screens. Its full week gross could reach $250,000.
It ranked 14th on the British box-office chart, according to the International Movie Data Base (IMDB).
What's Cooking? which baked about $60,000 in 22 movie houses.
Though Chadha's drama centering on women and set against the Thanksgiving Day received good reviews in America, it made about $1 million. But the film has not fared well in France, Britain and several other countries.
Audiences were not drawn to it because some thought the theme was too American -- and the film had no big names in the cast. The film was made for about $3.5 million. It could eventually recoup the investments because of ancillary market.
If Lajja follows the tradition of desi films losing -- on average - 50 per cent of the box- office clout in the second week, it could end its run with $700,000. Across the Atlantic, it could earn about $500,000.
The strong opening of Lajja is noteworthy especially since its lead actresses -- Manisha Koirala and Madhuri Dixit -- haven't fared well in over a year with desis.
Ajay Devgan hasn't had a hit in North America but he got plenty of applause at many screenings in New York and San Francisco.
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