It's India first for Tintin, Bond

By Hindustan Times

Mumbai, June 28 -- Tintin will hit the big screen in India six weeks before he makes his entry in the US. In a bid to capitalise on the Indian fan base, the makers of the Hollywood flick, The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn, have decided to release the film here earlier, even if it means risking global piracy.

Directed by Steven Spielberg, the 3D film releases across 400 screens in India on November 11, while it is slated for a Christmas release in the US. "Tintin is widely popular in India and we get a clear week then as there are no other big releases at the time. Mr Spielberg was willing to give us the date, but, at the same time, we'll have to take utmost care to avoid piracy," says Kercy Daruwala, MD, Sony Pictures India.

It's not just Tintin who is keen on India, even the upcoming Mission Impossible flick is likely to get here before it opens to the rest of the world. "Asia is a very special market for Mission Impossible 4: Ghost Protocol as it has Anil Kapoor and it's been shot in Dubai, so the makers are considering an Indian release well before the world release," says an industry source.

Transformers: Dark of the Moon will also premiere in India 12 hours before its global release. "India is a huge market for the franchise and we will try exploring it further," says Vikram Malhotra, COO, Viacom18 Motion Pictures. The next James Bond flick, venture, is also expected to release here in 2012 a week before it does, elsewhere. Experts say that ever since the success of Avatar, Hollywood studios have recognised India as a big market. "It is a gold mine for them, they've even started releasing blockbusters in regional languages on the same day," he says.

"We're encouraging all our studios to invest in India with co-productions, whether it's films or TV. In fact, we are aiming at occupying 30% of the market here by 2012," says Michael Ellis, MD of Motion Pictures Association (Asia-Pacific). Multiplexes and fans are thrilled. "Twilight released in India after a year! It was terrible. Glad the tables have turned," says Ira Singhal, 22.

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