'Raavan' takes $11.7 mil at opening

Early take considered disappointing for star-studded film

NEW DELHI -- Reliance Big Pictures' “Raavan” collected 530 million rupees ($11.7 million) from its three language versions during its June 18 opening, on 2,200 screens worldwide.

While the Hindi version collected 380 million rupees, the southern Indian language versions in Tamil collected 110 million rupees, while the Telugu version garnered 40 million rupees.

Starring Bollywood's real-life it-couple actor Abhishek Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, along with top southern Indian actor Vikram in his first Hindi film, “Raavan” is helmed by acclaimed director Mani Ratnam and offers a modern-day take on the Indian epic “Ramayana.”

Following a red carpet London premiere, the film received better reviews overseas than from domestic critics, and opened at the 11th position on the U.K. boxoffice charts, collecting £122,284 (US$180,222), while in the U.S. it notched the 15th position collecting $480,703.

But Mumbai-based film journalist and boxoffice analyst Taran Adarsh said that “the tremendous hype and the lavish praises haven't translated into excellent figures. Given the extensive release in the international arena, the opening weekend business is extremely disappointing in the three major oversas markets, U.K., U.S. and Australia.”

Compared to “Raavan,” another major release UTV Motion Pictures' ensemble political drama, “Raajneeti,” saw a better opening weekend, collecting $13.7 million from 2,200 screens worldwide following its June 4 release.

Reliance Big Pictures’ parent Reliance Big Entertainment recently acquired a majority stake in Los Angeles-based sales company IM Global, which has been marketing RBP's recent titles “3 Idiots,” “Kites” and “Raavan,” targeting mainstream audiences beyond the diaspora.
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