Monday, November 29, 1999

Harry Potter gives competition to Ash and Akshay

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Mumbai, June 17 -- There will be fireworks this Diwali as Akshay Kumar and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan's Action Replay comes up against Ajay Devgn's Golmaal 3. Two weeks later, on November 19, Kumar's Patiala House takes on Bachchan's Guzaarish. And then there's Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows Part 1 that arrives to wean audiences away from these two big-ticket desi movies. The new Potter movie will unleash with at least 700 prints in regular, Imax and 32 format in English, and also Hindi, Telugu and Tamil dubbed versions. Warner Bros Pictures India will be unleashing at least 700 prints in India. Denzel Diaz, Deputy Managing Director (Theatrical), Warner Bros. Pictures India, says that the number of prints could go up to 1000. "The first Potter film released with around 150 prints. But the fan base since has grown by at least 25 per cent. We're expecting a bigger draw since this is the last chapter in the series and is now in 3D too," says Diaz. Not worried Siddharth Roy Kapoor, CEO, UTV Motion Pictures, that is co-producing and distributing Guzaarish, is not perturbed by the Potter mania: "We'll go with a huge number of prints too, given that this is a Sanjay Leela Bhansali film toplining Hrithik Roshan and Aishwarya Rai. Their earlier film, Jodhaa-Akbar, that we co-produced and distributed too, was a big hit." Vinod Mirani, managing editor, Box Office India, agrees that Potter is a big brand but doesn't think our filmmakers should be worried. "There's always curiosity for new films," he asserts. Fellow trade analyst Amod Mehra however believes that given the huge sale of Potter books, the movie should make a dent in the collections of the two Hindi films, even though the Order Of The Pheonix didn't do too well.Interestingly, Harry Potter And The Half Blood Prince released on the same day as Akshay Kumar's Tashan. It remains to be seen if the Khiladi Kumar will escape The Deathly Hallows this time.

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