'2012' kills in India

6:47 AM PST 11/18/2009 by Nyay Bhushan, AP

Disaster pick scores well in Bollywood-dominated market

NEW DELHI -- Roland Emmerich's disaster epic “2012” raked in the second-highest weekend opening for any Hollywood film in India collecting $4.16 million (191.5 million rupees), a whisker away from the 191.7 million rupees clocked by the highest opening for any Hollywood film, 2007's “Spiderman 3” according to figures from Sony Pictures Releasing India.
 
“2012”'s opening is commendable when compared to latest Bollywood hit “Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani” ("The Strange and Amazing Story of Love") which collected $5.2 million, according to its banner Tips Films when the film opened November 6, scoring the fourth-highest opening for an Indian film ever.
 
The highest opening for an Indian film was reportedly clocked by 2008 action caper “Ghajini” which collected $6.4 million.
 
“2012” released in English, Hindi, Tamil and Telugu across 715 screens with 676 prints and it remains to be seen if the John Cusack-Amanda Peet starrer can surpass SPRI title “Spider-Man 3”'s total take of $14.25 million – the highest ever for Hollywood - which beat earlier topper "Titanic"'s $13.87 million India gross.
 
Given the pre-release expectations for “2012”, no major domestic releases took on the Hollywood title save for Bollywood drama “Tum Mile” (We Met) for which figures are yet to come in.
 
PVR Cinemas CEO Amitabh Vardhan said that “2012” had a “very strong opening across our cinemas recording 90% occupancy levels compared to 'Tum Mile' which managed about 60%.”
 
“2012” will face competition starting November 20 with the much-anticipated Bollywood terrorism drama “Kurbaan” ("Sacrifice") from top filmmaker Karan Johar's Dharma Productions. Starring current it-couple actor Saif Ali Khan and actress Kareena Kapoor, the Rensil D'Silva film is getting strong buzz especially for its steamy scenes between the lead pair and violence, which garnered the film an “Adult” certificate from India's Censor Board.

Also releasing this weekend is “Twilight,” via a recently concluded deal between Summit Entertainment and PVR Cinemas' film distribution and production banner PVR Pictures.
 
Looking ahead, SPRI MD Kercy Daruwala feels that “2012” “looks unbeatable for the coming weeks in the wake of sustained marketing and strong word-of-mouth. Audiences are accepting that the breathtaking special effects can be enjoyed best in theatres. We expect audiences who were not able to watch the house-full weekend shows to come in now. Moreover, the film has shown high potential for repeat viewing.”
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