This is no joke! It was part of a very serious conversation that I was having on Monday evening with a top notch distributor, while discussing the weekend business of PEEPLI [LIVE]. The distributor in question, who is associated with one of the leading distribution companies of the country and is not remotely connected with PEEPLI [LIVE], was discussing the weekend figures of the film and he said something that made me smile wide.
Let me quote him verbatim: "I was telling my colleague this morning that we need to frame a pic of Aamir in our office. Perhaps, by touching his pic, the Midas Touch would rub on us and our films would fare equally well." That speaks for Brand Aamir Khan, which has emerged the most powerful name in Bollywood today.
Even if Aamir isn't associated with the film in the capacity of an actor, his name in the producers' credits is enough to ensure ample excitement towards the film. JAANE TU YA JAANE NA and PEEPLI [LIVE] have proved it. In fact, had it not been for Aamir, PEEPLI [LIVE] wouldn't have generated the buzz that it has or attracted as many footfalls at plexes. Sure, it's a fantastic film, but art house cinema is yet to find a solid foothold in India. Even internationally, films like PEEPLI [LIVE] never get released in theatres and if they do, the prints are limited to a mere 2/3/4. That's it!
That Aamir is a super actor is known to all and sundry. But Aamir is a super businessman as well. The cost of production of PEEPLI [LIVE] was close to Rs. 6 cr. and the actor had recovered Rs. 8 cr. from Satellite and Rs. 2 cr. from Music Rights prior to the release of the film. The weekend business in India has fetched approx. Rs. 16 cr. nett, which means that the distributors' share is close to Rs. 8.5 cr. Now let's await the Monday to Thursday figures.
The film hasn't opened in U.K., but has fared wonderfully well in U.S., Gulf [despite Ramzan] and Australia [Overseas Boxoffice]. As things stand today, it's difficult to put a figure on the kind of money Aamir and UTV would make as profits, but one this is certain. Aamir has struck Gold yet again.