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May 27, 1999
How Indian-Produced Mainstream Films Fare At The BO
Arthur J Pais
While Anant Singh was busy finalizing the cast and shooting schedule of his $ 50 million screen bio of Nelson Mandela, he also made time to produce smaller, off-beat films. Get Real, a story of young gay seeking his true love, is one of those films.
The $ 5 million film was released recently in the United States through Paramount Classics. Despite good reviews, it has grossed less than $ 400,000 in five weeks, and may end its American run with just about $ 1 million. Unless the movie does well abroad and has a strong video sale, it could lose money.
Get Real is one among several current mainstream films that involves Indians in top positions.
Blast From the Past, the sci-fi film starring Brendan Fraser (whose Mummy is heading for a grand $ 130 million gross in America), is just starting its international run, having ended its American run with a disappointing but not disastrous $ 26 million gross.
The movie was executive-produced by Sunil Perkash for New Line, an associate production company of Warner Bros. At 29, he is the youngest of Indian producers in North America. The film was made for about $ 30 million; if it grosses abroad equal those in the United States and if its video sales are strong, the film will turn a profit.
Perkash, who was paid a fee -- reportedly $1 million -- for producing the film believes it will be a big hit on video, especially since Fraser's reputation has hit the high mark with the strong opening of Mummy, which is one of the biggest surprise hits of recent times.
As Blast From the Past is opening in half a dozen European countries, Elizabeth, directed by Shekhar Kapur has mostly ended its worldwide run with a decent $ 64 million gross. The $ 28 million movie is at the break-even stage now. If the video sales are strong, it will turn a profit in the next few months.
The movie's strongest performance was in the United States where it grossed $ 31 million; in the United Kingdom, it grossed about $ 10 million, followed by $ 3.5 million in Italy and $ 3 million in Germany. The film did not click in France and Spain, but was a medium success in South America. Shakespeare In Love, the multiple Oscar winner, on the other hand is ending its world run with over $ 260 million in the till. The latter was made for $ 40 million.
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