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July 13, 1999
'Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam' Hits $1 Million Spot
Arthur J Pais in New York
Having grossed $ 1 million in five weeks, director Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam could wrap its phenomenal North American run with at least $ 1.5 million. The movie opened on 35 screens -- at least 15 screens more than the average for an Indian film -- but the gamble played big dividends for distributor Video Sound. The movie had created high expectations, and by showing it on a record number of screens, Video Sound helped it gain the visibility of a superhit.
In the first week, it hauled about $ 450,000 and was ranked among the top 20 films in trade publication Variety's 100 films of the week. In the second week, the movie took a reasonable 34 per cent drop, and in the third, a steeper 40 per cent drop, while showing on 31 screens.
But in England, the movie which opened strongly and was ranked the 10th highest grossing movie of the week, Hum Dil... is not doing comparatively strong business. It has grossed about $ 320,000 and could end its run with about $ 450,000 nearly half of what Dil Se made there several months ago.
There are high expectations that Mann, which is showing in some of the best movie houses in America including the state-of-the art Strand in Plainfield, New Jersey will set records and overtake the box-office gross of Hum...
Yash Raj Films, the distributors of Mann, which opened on July 9, have not yet reported the initial grosses but with Aamir Khan appearing in half dozen movie theaters and giving interviews to ethnic television stations, the box-office ought to get a hefty boost the coming weekend.
Among the new releases, the heavily publicized Kajol starrer, Hote Hote Pyar Ho Gaya captured about $ 220,000 in two weeks, and could end up with $ 450,000 in the till. Good but far from spectacular.
Haseena Man Jayegi, another heavily promoted film, ponied about $ 200,000 in two weeks, again a respectable number but hardly the box-office enjoyed by Dil Se, Sarfaroshor Hum Dil... It could end up between $ 350,000 and $ 400,000. The speculations about the film finding hostile response from Pakistanis because it was produced by Smita Thackeray, the daughter-in-law of Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray, did not come true. The movie played on 20 screens in its first week, and kept most of the screens in its second week.
The moderate success of Haseena Man Jaayegi would benefit Sanjay Dutt more than the movie's other stars, Govinda and Karisma Kapoor, for Dutt has not had a hit in America in a long time.
Forthcoming films: Hindustan Ki Kasam is scheduled to open on July 23, followed by Taal. Both films are being released by Eros International, which is also distributing Haseena Man Jayegi and Hote Hote Pyaar Ho Gaya.
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