‘Peepli Live’ strikes gold at box office on opening day

August 14th, 2010 - 12:34 am ICT by IANS  

Aamir Khan Mumbai, Aug 13 (IANS) Aamir Khan’s Midas touch continues with his production venture “Peepli Live”, a non commercial film about farmer suicides, doing well on its opening day, taking the actor pleasantly by surprise, and raking up about Rs.70 million and still counting.
“Initially, we had planned to open with 200 screens. But the reaction to the promos and trailers has been most encouraging. We are trying to react to the perceived demand to the film,” said Aamir in a statement.

Journalist-turned-director Anusha Rizvi’s direcotrial debut, “Peepli Live” was made on a budget of approximately Rs.100 million (including marketing costs) and recovered its investment even before its release by selling its satellite rights for Rs.100 million and music rights for Rs.40 million.

“‘Peepli Live’ has opened extremely well. What is surprising is the reaction from single screens - it opened to almost 90 to 95 percent in single screens,” said a source close to Aamir.

“As a non-star cast film with A-certificate, trade expected the film to do modest business. However, the film has done bigger business than small films by three times,” added the source.

The cast of the film didn’t have any big names except Naseeruddin Shah. Many actors are tribals from Bhadwai village in Madhya Pradesh, while other cast members are from late playwright Habib Tanvir’s theatre troupe Naya Theatre, including the main lead Omkar Das Manikpuri, who plays Natha.

Other names in the cast are Malaika Shenoy, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Shalini Vatsa, Farrukh Jaffer, Vishal O. Sharma, Aamir Bashir, Sitaram Panchal and Yugal Kishore.

“Peepli Live” had the widest film release ever for a non star cast Hindi film. It hit 600 screens in India and 100 in overseas markets, except Britain Friday.

This is the fourth film from Aamir Khan Productions Ltd. after “Lagaan: Once Upon A Time In India” (2001), “Taare Zameen Par” (2007) and “Jaane Tu…Ya Jaane Na” (2008).

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