Author: Shabana Ansari
Experts feel that Order of the Phoenix will earn double of what the last film, the Goblet of Fire, did.
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, which opened in theatres on Friday, is on its way to becoming a money-spinner in India. Cinema halls across the country reported a houseful weekend and trade pundits estimate the film will do big business over the next few days.
"We were sold out in almost every city during the weekend and are expecting a good response throughout the week," said Shunali Shroff, head of corporate communications, Fame Cinemas. With nearly 250 prints in English and several Indian languages, Order of the Phoenix is doing good business even in non-traditional markets.
"The Hindi version is a great hit in smaller markets like Pimpri, Surat and Aurangabad," Shroff said. All Potter films made decent money in the Indian market and despite the mixed reviews for the fifth, movie tickets have been sold out till the middle of next week in most theatres.
"Considering the way it goes, the film will earn double of what the last Potter film did,'' says Ranjan Singh, general manager, sales and marketing, PVR Cinemas.
However, industry watchers feel the interest in Order of the Phoenix will dwindle by the end of the week, thanks to the Bollywood onslaught. "The Salman Khan-Govinda starrer Partner releasing this Friday will eat into the business of Harry Potter," said Devang Sampat, vice president, marketing and programming, Cinemax Cinemas. "Hollywood has never been able to match up to the huge reach of Hindi cinema," Sampat said. Mainstream Hindi films collect anywhere between Rs30 and Rs50 crore in India alone.
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