Youngster Vinay Virmani has a reason to smile. In fact not just smile but in fact laugh all the way to the bank. His crossover film Breakaway [released as Speedy Singhs in India three months ago] has struck gold in Canada. The film has not just turned broken records created by quite a few Bollywood films in Canada; it has also turned out to be the highest grossing Canadian film in the year 2011.
Confirms Mark Sloane, the Canadian distributor of the film (which was co-produced by Akshay Kumar), “Breakaway has had tremendous success in Canada and we are very pleased to have been a part of it. We had released the film in 51 theatres across Canada on 30th September this year and the box office returns ever since then have exceeded expectations. The film is now the highest grossing Canadian English language film of 2011.”
Boasting of an opening weekend of $546,866, the film has managed a life span total of $1,881,972 just in Canada. In comparison, the lifespan total of Aamir Khan‘s 3 Idiots in Canada is $1,124,679 whereas other biggies like Akshay’s own Singh Is Kinng [$874,776] and Shah Rukh Khan‘s Veer Zaara [$866,107] have also been left behind.
Water by Deepa Mehta had held the record for being one of the highest grossers cross cultural films in Canada. However that record [$1,806,331] has been quashed too.
Add Sloane, “When compared to some other biggies coming from Bollywood this year, we have done really well. While Bodyguard had ended its run at $579,070, Ra.One too had folded up at $659,729.”
Naturally, Vinay is thrilled with the results. Though he was a tad disappointed with the lukewarm show of the film when released as Speedy Singhs in India, his faith in the film has been reinforced with Breakaway finding audience as well as sustained fans and followers in Canada.
“It was always a risk to release a film with ice hockey as its central theme in India. Its okay though, as the exposure was fantastic. I was noticed in India while out here in Canada, the film has managed to find a cult following for itself”, says Vinay over phone, “Do you know that many ice hockey lovers out here are wearing the T-Shirts with Speedy Singhs written on them? I am glad that the film has managed to make a mark. Its box office success further reaffirms my belief in the film and its subject. It has been a proud journey for us to have made a true crossover affair with an international cast and crew coming together.”
Vinay has definite plans to take things forward in Bollywood as well. “Yes, I am in conversations and there are things progressing well. You would hear a concrete announcement very soon”, promises Vinay.