Slumdog Millionaire or Chandni Chowk to China?

January 14th, 2009 - 2:09 pm ICT by Amrit Rashmisrisethi  

Slumdog MillionaireThe award-winning film ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ with the British director Danny Boyle’s Indian foray paid off and now the Warner Bros Pictures hopes its debut Bollywood film will reap some US box office success.

Time Warner Inc’s Warner Bros says ‘Chandni Chowk to China’ is the first ever Bollywood kung fu comedy which will be releasing in India on 16 January,2008 as well as releasing on more than 125 screens in the United States and Canada known as the largest Bollywood release in North America.

‘Chandni Chowk to China,’ starring a Bollywood star Akshay Kumar who has made more than 120 films, tells the tale of a poor cook who travels to China to become a kung fu hero.

The film, whose title refers to the bustling Chandni Chowk market of Delhi, is the studio’s first Indian production.

‘There have been lots of Bollywood films in the past which had have the potential of crossing over, but could not cross over mainly because they did not have a studio backing it with a strong distribution network,’ said director Nikhil Advani.

Bollywood, as the Indian film industry centred in Mumbai is called, churns out about 1,000 movies a year and is known for its colorful sets, extravagant costumes and elaborate song-and-dance sequences.

The new film, which Kumar said cost about US$8 million (S$11.9 million), is being released in 30 other countries, but Richard Fox, executive vice-president Warner Bros international, said the studio doesn’t have grand expectations.

Advani and Mr Fox said Fox Searchlight’s Golden Globe Award winning ‘Slumdog Millionaire’. This film story is of a boy searching for love on a quiz show which pays tribute to Bollywood with a dance number.

‘It’s great that they’re both in the marketplace because one is a pure Bollywood film and the other one is a really brilliant film that takes place in India, in Mumbai. They complement each other,’ Mr Fox said.

Advani, who met Boyle when they were filming their movies on sound stages next to each other in Mumbai, said that while Bollywood is attracting more international directors it would be difficult for foreign directors to make a Bollywood film.

The Bollywood industry has, in recent years, been moving from a notoriously inefficient family-based business to a more corporate structure in finance, production and distribution, modeling itself after Hollywood.

That has brought more investors, including Hollywood studios, such as Warner Bros, Walt Disney, Fox Searchlight, NBC Universal, Viacom and Sony Pictures.

While Hollywood is easily the No. 1 film industry in the world, Bollywood is one of the fastest growing with some experts forecasting it could double in size by 2012.

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