March 17, 2010

Fox Entertainment rejoices Avatar, MNIK success

Last year, Fox Entertainment was celebrating the success of Slumdog Millionaire. This year it's toasting to the record breaking Avatar and has also broken new ground with its bollywood foray My Name is Khan (MNIK).
In an entertainment with CNBC-TV18, Jim Gianopulos, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Fox Entertainment, spoke about the relationship with Karan Johar's Dharma Productions and Shahrukh Khan's Red Chillies Entertainment.
Below is a verbatim transcript of an exclusive entertainment with Jim Gianopulos on CNBC-TV18. Also watch the accompanying video.

Q: What is your relationship with Red Chillies Entertainment?
A: It materialized as a partnership and the film was expensive because so much of it was shot in the US and in multiple locations. The film is about a journey across the country. So those multiple locations and the cost of making that film certainly pushed the budget up higher than a normal bollywood film. It wasn’t one of this–here is the money, see you in a long time. We wouldn’t have done that they didn’t want that. There were many number of people who they could have sold the film to. They made arrangements for every one of their films.
Both of us wanted to try the relationship, improve that there could be a great partnership and the benefit of the synergies of coupling great talent and worldwide marketing and distribution. From the very beginning it was viewed as a partnership enterprise. There was deference, to the extent that we deferred to Karan and Sharukh in terms of how it was handled and how I was positioned here in India. They deferred completely to us in the rest of the world and particularly the US. This didn’t mean it wasn’t collaborative in every corner of the world that it was released.

Q: Are you happy with the collections?
A: Yes, very happy.

Q: When you look at the India Theatrical collection, while it opened really well, it kept falling by more than half in all the following or consecutive weeks, was that disappointing?
A: No because this was a movie which was intentionally looking to change the form and test the limits of the form. It wasn’t a conventional bollywood film and we heard it in some of the smaller markets and some part of the country where people said, I don’t get what is Shahrukh Khan doing in that role and why is the film in that sort of a narrative form. The fact that it didn’t play in some of the smaller markets in the country was really not a surprise because it wasn’t conventional and it wasn’t intended to be.

Q: So now movies are now going to be before Avatar and after Avatar, isn’t it?
A: That’s what they said about Titanic.

Q: Are you used to it?
A: I won’t go that far. It’s a very unique experience and a thrilling one.

Q: Have you already derived USD 2.5 billion?
A: We have derived USD 2.7 billion.

Q: Give us an idea of what it means because on one hand we are talking about MNIK which is some USD 40 million and you have USD 2.7 billion on the other hand?
A: Someone once said to me that the business transactions were quite substantial. We said the difference is that there are more zeroes. This is the difference between those two films. So this is an incredible experience that we have been involved. We have the very much the same pride with My Name is Khan because that doesn’t happen every day.
To be able to take great talents like Kajol and Sharukh and expose them to the rest of the world is really a great source of pride. There was one moment when we had the biggest local movie in China and the biggest in the world with Avatar. The only place that we weren’t number one that weekend was in the US.



Pardesi said...

I am not even going to think about whether that $40 million is net or gross or what it means, but having it from FOX Entertainment CEO himself, and in the Western media should end some speculations about the film's performance.

Post a Comment