Blue has released and all eyes are set on this mega budget film to strike gold at the box office. Stakes are quite high, not just for the actors in the film but also the makers Shree Ashtavinayak. Since the film is touted to be the costliest film ever made in Bollywood, expectations are bound to be humungous. Joginder Tuteja catches up with Dhilin Mehta and Dhaval Mehta from Shree Ashtavinayak who comment on the expectations from Blue, the film’s budget, release strategy, extraordinary promotional campaign, competition from All The Best and Main Aurr Mrs Khanna and production house’s future projects.
Finally arrives, a two year old dream in the form of Blue. For Shree Ashtavinayak, this is indeed the biggest project since its establishment, right?
Yes its one of the unique and special project for the company and one of the best in terms of production value, style of making, concept, location etc. This multi-starrer is indeed big in terms of budget but the backbone of this film is the script & whatever is been done is according to the requirement of the story.
Yes its one of the unique and special project for the company
This film is pretty much being looked as the kind that would get at least 100 crores back in revenue for Bollywood. Confident about such figure being achieved?
We have worked hard for this project. Especially with the kind of response we are getting, we are hoping for the best that some of the records can be surpassed in the film; it does very well and is accepted by audience globally. We can’t comment on the numerical figure of the revenue because it is too early a stage to talk about.
Talking about money, there have been speculations ever since the film came on floors. Numbers like 60 crores, 80 crores, 100 crores or 125 crores are being thrown around randomly. Do you wish to state the correct budget on the records that would help bring things in the right perspective?
Whatever is been done is as per the requirement of the movie. And as a company policy we generally don’t declare the budget of the film. Whatever speculation is there in the industry, we cannot control that.
I am sure by means of sponsorship, endorsements, music rights etc. and other pre-release deals, you must have recovered a chunk of your investment. Do you wish to share details?
Yes to some extent we have recovered through selling of many rights like music and theatrical rights. We have pre- release tie-ups for endorsements, sponsorships etc. But details are something that we would share at a later stage.
There have also been talks that you are releasing the film on a commission basis. Is that true?
We are releasing in Mumbai and Overseas
There have also been talks about A.R. Rahman’s music for Blue being released in Tamil and Telugu as well. Can you please confirm and also the kind of price on which the rights have been sold?
The price on which the rights have been sold would be kept as a trade secret but yes we don’t deny that significant of revenue has come from music.
Is the film also releasing in Tamil and Telugu?
Yes its also releasing in Telugu being a new market to be exploited we have dubbed in Telugu and releasing it simultaneous.
What’s the kind of release strategy you have in mind for the film? You may talk about number of prints, global release, number of shows, film’s duration.
We are releasing this film in around 2200 screens globally. It will be a mixture of print & digital format.
It is being widely stated that Kidnap and Luck have been massive setbacks for Shree Ashtavinayak. Is that really the case or have you been able to keep the production house sail smoothly?
As far as Kidnap and Luck is concerned, we pre- sold all the rights and recovered the cost and made a significant margin which is reflected in financials of the company.
Meanwhile, what happens to your under production Mr. Fraud, Run Bhola Run and Mudh Mudh Ke Na Dekkh Mudh Mudh Ke?
Apart from all these films we are also making 10-15 projects in the upcoming year
and all these projects are under different stages of production.
The days have gone when a single film was releasing on Friday, the chance of success have increased and we are capitalizing to that
Is Bond really happening with Sanjay Dutt?
Yes, it’s on the cards.
Coming back to Blue, there seems to have been some path breaking promotional campaign for the film. How much is after all too much for a movie of this grandeur, scale and budget?
We don’t deny that we spent a little higher compared to other production house on sales promotion activities because we wanted to pull audience to theatres. Yes the strategies & style of promoting the film is totally different in case of Blue.
With the kind of promotional campaign that you have embarked on, are you satisfied with the hype, buzz and curiosity?
Yes, the hype and buzz along with the awareness amongst the public is high and hope we live up to the expectations. On Diwali, All The Best along with Main Aurr Mrs. Khanna is also arriving.
Which according to you is a bigger competition?
Competition is there in each and every business. If the product is good then it will do well & if all the products are good, all will fare better. The days have gone when a single film
was releasing on Friday, due to the revenue stream & multiplexes, the chance of success have increased and we are capitalizing to that.