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Entertainment – Fox Star’s Avatar hopes to break record for Hollywood movies in India

Varada Bhat

Mumbai, Dec. 14

James Cameron is back. Come this Friday, the director of Titanic is ready to take us to the world we have never imagined, redefining our cinema-going experience with bleeding-edge special effects.

Its presenter, Fox Star Studios, will be splashing it across 700 screens in the country in 2D and 3D formats, making it the biggest release for any Hollywood movie in India so far, said Mr Vivek Krishnani, Head, Marketing, Distribution and Syndication, Fox Star Studios.

“ Avatar is a visual spectacle,” he said. The movie will be released in Hindi, English, Tamil and Telugu.

Fox Star Studios is leaving no stone unturned for its marketing campaign including a larger than life 10,000 square feet hoarding of Avatar at Andheri, a suburb in Mumbai. It has tied up with and Big TV and will also leverage the Star network for its promotion.

Trade analysts believe that Avatar could break all previous records for Hollywood movies in India, currently led by another Cameron movie Titanic (1998) which grossed $11 million.

Riding on a huge budget of over $300 million, Avatar is a computer-effects-heavy 3-D space fantasy set 125 years in the future. It is the story of a disabled US Marine, Jake Sully (played by Sam Worthington), who is sent to Pandora, a moon of the distant Centauri star system, to find supplies of ‘unobtainium,’ an energy-rich mineral. Upon arrival, Jake discovers a world populated by 10-foot-tall, blue-skinned beings called the Na’vi.

It is believed that Cameron hatched the story 14 years ago, but found that technology needed for the movie did not exist. The new digital 3D system solved the problem and took him four years to make this “sci-fi optical candy.”

Most production houses and industry insiders are predicting that the look of the movie is so immersive that the technology showcases what the future of movies could be.

Even multiplex operators are cashing on Avatar and feel it is the right time to upgrade their infrastructure especially with the Hollywood fetish for 3D movies like Monster Vs Aliens, Ice Age 3, Final Destination, Up and Christmas Carol which did well here.

According to a source, when Ice Age was released in July, there were only 12 3D screens which has since grown to nearly 60 across multiplexes in Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Coimbatore.

“Since the film is being released in 3D format, we are cashing on the hype and buzz. We have installed 24 screens across India and have invested an additional Rs 50 lakh in them,” said Mr Devang Sampat, Senior Vice-President, Cinemax India.

Even single screen movie halls such as Center Plaza in Mumbai and the 900-seater Urvashi in Bangalore are gearing up for Avatar and upgrading infrastructure.

December 16, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized |

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