MNIK is Bollywood’s first global blockbuster

As 2010 draws to an end, Karan Johar — whose February release My Name Is Khan has been Bollywood’s first global blockbuster, is sitting op top of the world and says proudly, “I am overwhelmed, the film was made by Dharma Productions with a global perspective to connect with audiences in India and overseas in a way that no film has ever done before. And it has exceeded expectations and broken box office records in most markets.” Of this, there is no doubt; not after MNIK released in 70 countries over nine months and across 2,600 screens, to also become the first Indian film to make inroads in China and Italy. In China, its theatrical release in over 350 screens in Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Guangzhou and Dalian since its launch on November 30, is a landmark achievement. And Shah Rukh Khan as Rizvaan Khan – a man affected by Asperger’s syndrome, made his way into the hearts of the Chinese. Of Fox Star Studios’ phased distribution strategy, its CEO Vijay Singh explains, “This is in unique contrast to existing Bollywood practices where the theatrical life of a film is limited to four weeks. MNIK has opened many new territories for Bollywood. This success would not have been possible without the amazing connect of global audiences with SRK and Karan, coupled with our worldwide distribution strength.” It is true, MNIK is the first Bollywood film to have a theatrical release in Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Puerto Rico, Russia, Dominican Republic, Syria, Taiwan and South Korea. Apart from doing film festival circuits in Berlin and Rome. Veteran trade analyst Taran Adarsh says, “I think the universal theme connected with audiences across the world and then you have Shah Rukh’s enviable international fan following. But credit must also go to the distributors who pushed it into new markets. The film was dubbed in several foreign languages (Spanish, German, Russian, Italian and Chinese) too, which meant that people across the globe were watching it in their own mother tongue. That’s quite an advantage for any film.”

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