Bollywood superstar Salman Khan is about to make a comeback of sorts when his latest film, Kick, opens worldwide on July 25. That’s the Friday that falls just ahead of the beginning of the Eid al Fitr holiday, generally one of the most profitable periods for Bollywood titles locally and abroad. Beginning in 2008, films toplined by Khan staked a claim on Eid which celebrates the end of Ramadan. They have included big hits Wanted, Dabaang, Bodyguard and Ek Tha Tiger — the latter the 4th highest-grossing Bollywood film of all time worldwide. But in 2013, it was rival Shah Rukh Khan‘s romancer Chennai Express that grabbed the Eid date and went on to leave a trail of broken records behind it. (Both Chennai and Kick hail from distributor UTV Motion Pictures in which Disney has a strategic stake.) With the recent success of Bollywood films abroad, Kick is set up to do strong business this weekend. (See trailer below.)
Some history: In June 2013, Yeh Jawaani Hai Dawaani, starring Ranbir Kapoor and Deepika Padukone auspiciously broke into the North American Top 10 on its first weekend with an opening gross of $1.3M. Then Chennai, also starring Padukone, debuted last August in North America and became the biggest Bollywood opener of all time, besting Shah Rukh Khan’s own 2010 My Name Is Khan, with $2.225M on 196 screens (at home Rohit Shetty’s love story cum road movie became the fastest local … Read More »
BT Sport Scores NBA Games In Multi-Year Deal
Britain’s aggressive BT Sport has closed a multi-year, multi-platform deal with the NBA for up to 200 games a season including regular and playoff action. Although BT has been facing off with rival Sky, which previously had the NBA games under a short-term deal, I understand the News Corp-controlled company did not bid on rights for the coming basketball seasons. BT will broadcast up to seven live games per week in the UK and Ireland starting with the Pacers at the Clippers on December 1st. Sunday games will air in UK primetime. Also included in the partnership will be several magazine shows like NBA Action, NBA Inside Stuff, NBA Tonight and NBA Countdown, while some games will stream live online.
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Graeme Mason Tapped As Screen Australia CEO
National film body Screen Australia has named Graeme Mason as its new CEO. Mason has over 20 years of international experience in film, television and multimedia. He was formerly the CEO of the New Zealand Film Commission and was selected from a field of over 250 international candidates. He begins his tenure in November as former CEO Ruth Harley’s five-year term comes to an end.
Despicable Me 2 Release Barred By Chinese Government
Universal’s Despicable Me 2 has been denied release in China. The film, which has made $592M, will not be seeing the inside the country’s theaters. However, it’s worth noting that the original Despicable Me was not released in China either. There’s a feeling that China is wary of Hollywood animation taking too big a chunk out of the local box office; in June, DreamWorks Animation’s The Croods was pulled from release two weeks ahead of its scheduled stop date. Universal has also had four other films approved for release in the territory this year. Read More »
Two More Seasons For ‘The Night Patrol’ In Norway As Format Eyes US
Hot reality show The Night Patrol was created by Finland’s Aito Media. It’s been acquired in Sweden and Norway, with the latter’s SBS Discovery now ordering two more seasons after its first doubled the time slot average in that country. ITV Studios Norway will produce the 96 episodes. There is also interest in the U.S., where LA- and London-based format sales company Small World IFT is working with CAA. Billed as the antithesis of Cops, The Night Patrol follows policemen as they make their rounds each evening and focuses on the humor and relationship between the officers. Each episode is set in one city on one night. The series has run for four years on Finland’s Channel JIM, where it’s estimated that one in five TV viewers watches it regularly.
Delayed Releases Send India’s Eros International To Profit Decline
India’s Eros International has reported a drop in full-year profits. The distributor, which is listed on London’s AIM exchange, had a 4% increase in revenues but suffered from delays to planned releases of big titles such as Kochadaiyaan, starring Tamil superstar Rajnikanth, Financial Times reported. Eros recently released Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani in India; the film also crept into the top 10 at the U.S. box office when it debuted this month. In March, the company launched two premium channels in India in collaboration with HBO and “the early response from subscribers signals a positive outlook for the year ahead,” the company said, per FT. Eros still is seeking a listing on the New York Stock Exchange later this year. Read More »