Jan 9, 2009

Entertainment - 'Ghajini' first Hindi movie to cross Rs 200cr mark

Meena Iyer

MUMBAI: Bollywood has shot to a new high, thanks to Ghajini.

When booking for the movie opened at a theatre in the UK on Wednesday, the film became the first to gross Rs 200 crore at the worldwide box office. What's more, the mark has been achieved in little less than two weeks. It has grossed Rs 162 crore in the domestic market and Rs 39 crore has come from overseas till Thursday.

An ecstatic Madhu Mantena, the Ghajini producer, admits to being "overawed'' by the record but trade consultant Amod Mehra is apparently not surprised. "The film was very strong from Day 1. It has been galloping like a one-horse race and, in my estimate, it will cross the Rs-250-crore (gross) mark very easily,'' Mehra said.

Bollywood producer Punkej Kharbanda is also not surprised that a Hindi film has broken all previous box-office records. "In the last year alone, there has been a 40% increase in cinema screens and also a rise in the cinema-going population, especially in the age group of 18-35. With most of the theatres recording good numbers on Ghajini, the Rs-200-crore mark is hardly a surprise,'' Kharbanda said.

Ghajini released with the maximum number of prints in India (1,200 digital and analog versions) and it made inroads into even provincial towns where films never get released on the same day as the rest of the world. A trade source said, "The film is set to take over the mantle of the highest domestic Bollywood earner from Anil Sharma's Gadar-Ek Prem Katha.''

In the overseas market, the film is, till now, second only to Karan Johar's Kabhie Alvida Na Kehna.

Ghajini has also reportedly earned Rs 4 crore from gaming rights (a first for a Bollywood film), Rs 21 crore for satellite rights for India and overseas and something to the tune of Rs 10 crore for home video and music.




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