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Full throttle at the box office

By Anusha S in Mumbai
July 04, 2003 12:21 IST

They are back and, this time round, on full throttle and 'Moore' action. Charlie's Angels get into the groove in India just a week after the US premiere.

Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle is being released in Indian theatres today. It is the first Hollywood film to get such an early release in India.

"It is an unprecedented attempt and a unique release strategy, and we expect it to generate a lot of excitement and make a successful impact among the movie fans across India," says Uday Singh, managing director, Columbia TriStar Films of India.

Last year CTI released Spiderman in India within three weeks of its release in the US. At the time, it was the closest Indian audiences could watch a Hollywood film to its US release.

CTI will be opening the film with more than 150 prints across 25 cities and towns. There will also be dubbed versions in Hindi, Tamil and Telugu.

In its Hindi version, the film is called Charlie's Angels: Haseenon Ka Hungama. Apart from Mumbai, the company is targeting Pune, Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Coimbatore, Ahmedabad, and Chandigarh amongst others.

Vikramjit Roy, head, publicity and acquisitions, CTI says that their company had been planning to have what is called a day-dated release or simultaneous release of a Hollywood film in the US and India.

"But this was not possible earlier. Now, the information & broadcasting ministry has done away with the 'Variety check'. Previously, we had to submit the (trade magazine) Variety's review of a Hollywood film to the censor board," he adds.

The censor board would then allow one print of the film to be imported.

Only after the issuance of a censor certificate would bulk imports of prints be allowed for theatrical release. This process meant a gap of at least three to four weeks, if not more.

Another reason for early releases is to check piracy. According to Singh, CTI on an average loses about 30-40 per cent due to piracy, depending on when the film is released here in India.

Full Throttle is backed by a mega marketing campaign with promotional partners like Seagrams, Airtel, Radio Mirchi, Cox and Kings, Cafe Coffee Day, MTV and others. The entire marketing and promotional budget is in the region of Rs 2 crore (Rs 20 million).

International box office data shows that Full Throttle top scored in nine of its first 11 offshore markets.

During the last weekend when it was released in the US it grossed revenues of $38 million at the box office.

Talks are now on for quick releases for Terminator 3 and Pirates Of The Caribbean. Terminator 3 releases July 3 in the US. It is likely to be released July 25 in India.

Anusha S in Mumbai