Vijay Singh, CEO of Fox Star Studio talks business
We at Fox Star Studio are ecstatic with the performance of My Name Is Khan at the box office, not only in India but across the world. I take pride in announcing that MNIK is the number one Bollywood film overseas. No film has spelt the magic at the box office that this one has. Even in India, as of now, we are at No 3 and we are just one week old.
When we began working on MNIK, we were sure that we would make it India’s first global Bollywood project. And that’s what we have delivered. Karan gave his best to the project as director and, on our part, the marketing and distribution strategy was just perfect.
In the normal course of distribution, every Hindi film has a life of two weeks or at the most three. But in the case of MNIK, this will run into months. On February 12, we released our film in 40 countries and between March and July, we will release it across 25 more countries. We have kept a six-month window for this project.
When we at Fox Studios sat down to discuss how to make this film, the first priority was to make it a global project. We didn’t want to reach out to Asians alone. Our goal was to also connect with people who are not averse to Hindi or Hindi cinema. The goal was to spread the word for the Hindi film industry.
Like in the Middle-East, apart from the Indian audience, we wanted the Arab audience to watch this brilliant piece of cinema.
Similarly, in the UK, apart from the Indian diaspora, the English were our target too. And to do that, we took Shah Rukh on a BBC talk show hosted by Jonathan Ross. This is the biggest talk show in the UK and it helped the superstar connect with the English audience. In the same way, we took Shah Rukh and Kajol to the US too.
We maintain that our film is one of the biggest grossers Indian cinema has ever witnessed. Regardless of what others say, we claim that Fox Star Studios will not only recover our costs but also score much more.
How can anyone doubt the credentials of the box office prospects of MNIK when we all know that this is the biggest hit in Shah Rukh’s life, the biggest hit for Karan Johar, the biggest hit for the magical trio (SRK-Karan-Kajol). It’s weird!
If you look at the business of movies released in February in the last four years, you will realise that due to the examination period, business has been on the lower side. But in the case of MNIK, it has surpassed expectations.
This film has given us the confidence to reach out to a non-English speaking audience. No Indian filmmaker has ever released a film in Poland with more than five prints. We are releasing as many as 50 prints. This will be followed by Germany with a German and Turkish dubbed version.
Our strategy to release MNIK in so many countries has convinced everyone of how big MNIK really is.