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December 8, 1999
Thakshak Numbers Withheld
Was Govind Nihalani able to convince the audiences in North America that with Thakshak he was capable of making a mainstream movie? Was A R Rahman's haunting score persuasive enough to give the movie a big box-office lead?
Does the opening of Thakshak starring Ajay Devgan (with Tabu) hold a promise of a hit for Video Sound?
Five days after the release of the much-publicized Thakshak, its box-office figures are not forthcoming.
Kishor Dadlaney, a spokesperson for Video Sound, said his company was moving away from the practice of announcing the opening weekend's box office receipts.
"The opening weekend's numbers do not always reflect the film's box office trends," Dadlaney said. "All we can say is that the film is doing well."
Asked if the film, which is on 28 screens, has grossed $ 100,000, he said "it has made more than that." If one were to assume the movie made $ 150,000 in three days, one could conclude -- given the usual weekly 35 per cent depletion rate for Indian movies --- that it would gross about $ 400,000, a decent, but not spectacular, figure.
Dadlaney said Video Sound would release the gross receipts next week.
Video Sound earlier made a fortune with Devgan's Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, which grossed about $ 450,000 in its first weekend, shot into Variety's top 20 weekly list and ended up with $ 1.4 million.
Meanwhile, like a well-oiled machine, Rajshri Productions's latest blockbuster, Hum Saath-Saath Hain keeps chugging along. In the 31 days after the film was released, it has earned approximately $ 2.68 million in North America and the United Kingdom.
According to figures released by the Hollywood trade publication, Daily Variety, during the weekend December 3 to 5, Hum Saath... held the 43rd position among films showing in North America, down from last week's standing of 38. The weekend $ 73,000 gross was down 44 per cent from that of the previous weekend.
Currently the film is showing on 34 screens across North America. In North America,Hum Saath... is distributed by Eros International. The $ 2 million gross seems possible for the film but it will not be able to march past that Rajshri champ, Hum Aapke Hain Kaun! which earned about $ 2.5 million.
In the United Kingdom,Hum Saath... is still among the top 15 films. It was number 14 for the weekend of December 3 to 5. According to box office figures released by AC Nielsen EDI, Inc, the film is showing on 26 screens in the UK. This weekend's receipts were down 14 per cent.
Also distributed by Eros, Sunny Deol's Dillagi was ranked 59th among the films showing in North America. In the first 17 days of its release, it earned approximately a modest $ 400,000 in North America, making it a bigger earner than Deol's recent releases. Currently showing on 36 screens in North America, the movie could end its run with about $ 450,000.
Box office figures were also not available for Sanjay Chhel's Khoobsurat with film stars Sanjay Dutt and Urmila Matondkar and distributed in North America by the Worldwide Entertainment Group.
Om Puri's powerhouse performance in East Is East is helping the movie continue its box-office march across England. With nearly $ 1 million grossed on 260 screens, it finally reached $ 8 million. Given the low rate of depletion, it could end its profitable run with $ 12 million, far more if it garners top nominations for British awards.
Manoj Night Shyamalan's The Sixth Sense earned about $ 2.2 million in Britain last weekend, making its total earnings $ 26.4 million. Next week, it will overtake Tarzan, which, with about $ 27.5 million, is one of the year's biggest hits. Both films were released by Disney's distribution arm.
Arthur J Pais contributed to the report.
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