Director Apoorva Lakhia upset with tepid response to 'Ek Ajnabee'...

Manissha Despaande, Indo-Asian News Service

imageMumbai, Dec 16 (IANS) Director Apoorva Lakhia, who made "Ek Ajnabee" as a tribute to Amitabh Bachchan, is unable to come to terms with the disastrous opening response to the film.

"I am absolutely stunned by the opening. My producer, Bunty Walia, and I have been trying to analyse the reasons that could have led to the film fetching a poor opening, except that there just doesn't seem to be any," said the director.

The fact that the film has since picked up slightly has offered little consolation, reports Bollywood Trade.

"I am told that the word-of-mouth publicity is working for the film but that's definitely not in keeping with our expectations," he said.

According to Lakhia, most distressing was the fact that Bachchan was in hospital when his film was released.

He said it was just a misconception that concern for Bachchan's health would translate into a promising opening for his film.


Comedy is Deepak Tijori's favourite recipe

Having wrapped up the post-production of his film, "Tom Dick And Harry", director Deepak Tijori is in no mood to waste time and has already started work on his next, "Hello Mohabbat".

Written by Sanjay Chhel, this film is also going to be a comedy, reports Bollywood Trade.

"It is a romantic comedy and I am looking at starting the film in February 2006. I quite enjoyed the experience of directing a comedy and I want to do more in this genre," said Deepak.

He has postponed the release of "Tom Dick And Harry" to April 2006.

"There's a mad scramble for theatres in January with more than two films lined up every week. I definitely would not like my film to get lost in the bargain, after what I had experienced in my last two films, 'Fareb' and 'Khamosh'."


McDonald's first Bollywood tie-up

The fantasy film "Vaah! Life Ho Toh Aisi" that targets kids of all ages has been generating a lot of buzz. The film has a tie-up in place with McDonald for retail partnership.

This is the first time McDonald will be tying up with a Hindi film in India, reports Bollywood Trade.

Commenting on the tie-up entered recently, producer Sangeeta Ahir says: "It's an interesting partnership. The tie-up lends itself naturally to the target audience of kids of all ages and their family.

"We are planning to have promos of the film being played out in every television sets in the McDonald outlets. Besides the film, merchandise like CDs, music cassettes, T-shirts, labels, schoolbooks and paper bags will be distributed with the film branding.

"Additionally a McDelivery contest will be held with the contest form branding the film too."

Directed by Mahesh Manjrekar, the film releases on Dec 23 and stars Sanjay Dutt, Shahid Kapur, Amrita Rao, Arshad Warsi and the 'Tiger Team'.