Bollywood boosted by blockbuster weekend for ‘New York’

By Admin - Tue Jun 30, 11:09 pm

News_Bollywood_26MUMBAI :India’s Hindi-language film industry, emerging from a damaging boycott of multiplex cinemas by producers, has been boosted by a successful weekend for the first in a string of planned big releases.

Yash Raj Films said “New York”, its movie about a group of friends in the city at the time of the September 11, 2001 attacks, grossed 350 million rupees (eight million dollars) in the three days after opening worldwide on Friday.

The movie, directed by Kabir Khan and produced by Aditya Chopra, stars John Abraham, Katrina Kaif, Neil Nitin Mukesh and Irfan Khan.

India’s Business Standard newspaper said Tuesday that audiences appeared to be flocking back to cinemas in their droves after a barren two months in April and May that saw no new releases hit screens because of the multiplex dispute.

The row over box office takings is thought to have cost Bollywood 63 million dollars, according to most estimates, although exact figures are difficult to come by as there is no official body monitoring film revenues.

Average occupancy at theatres on Friday, Saturday and Sunday was at its highest since January at between 80 and 85 percent, the financial daily said, quoting industry analysts.

“We were waiting for such a film for the past six months,” the senior vice-president of multiplex chain Cinemax India, Devang Sampat, was quoted as saying.

“With ‘New York’ doing well at the box office, the consumers are looking forward to the Akshay Kumar-Kareena Kapoor starrer ‘Kambakht Ishq’. Bollywood seems to be coming out of the turbulent times,” he added.

“Kambakht Ishq”, about an Indian stuntman who takes Hollywood by storm but is unlucky in love, opens on Friday. It has cameos by a number of US stars, including “Rambo” and “Rocky” actor Sylvester Stallone.

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