UTV recovers 'Goal' money even before its release

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Indo-Asian News Service

New Delhi, Nov 19 (IANS) UTV Motion Pictures, the producer of "Dhan Dhana Dhan Goal", has recovered the cost of the film's production even before its release by selling the satellite and music rights, in-film advertising and territory pre-sales.

Directed by Vivek Agnihotri, the sports centric film was made at a budget of Rs.165 million. Starring John Abraham, Bipasha Basu, Arshad Warsi and Boman Irani, the film has its worldwide theatrical release Nov 23. "It surely lessens the burden, but at the same time box office success is important. Because a film is considered a hit only if it does good business at the ticket window," Siddharth Roy Kapoor, UTV EVP marketing, distribution syndicate, told IANS.

The syndication of its satellite and music rights has fetched Rs.110 million. It has garnered fabulous prices for overseas territory pre-sales, totalling Rs.15 million.

"Producers are using different medium to recover money, and it is heartening to know that we have recovered our cost of production," added Kapoor.

On producers catering to the Internet in a big way today, Kapoor said: "Earlier they were not aware of its reach. The web is the cheapest way to promote your film across the world. It reaches out to a wider audience."

In addition, UTV roped in various top-of-the-line brand partners like Reebok, Western Union, Gillette and others to offer media and promotional support to the film, which together added another Rs.30 million to its kitty.

Reebok, which sponsored the clothing line in the film, will retail the "Goal" range across 535 outlets in India. There will also be co-branded window-displays in Reebok showrooms promoting the film collection, which includes apparel and accessories related to football that figure in the movie.

The company has licensed the gaming rights for the film to Indiagames, which has tied up with FIFA to launch the Goal-FIFA challenge on the Games-On-demand platform.

The star cast of the film has gone all out to promote it, including on leading reality talent shows like "Nach Baliye", "Jhalak Dikhla Jaa" and "Amul Voice of India".

ESPN Star Sports will integrate the catch-line of "Goal" - Duniya Goal Hai - to promote English Premier League matches to be telecast on ESPN in November.

John Abraham and Bipasha Basu will promote the line on ESPN Star Sports through November when the channel runs a contest to select five winners who get to watch an English Premier League match in Britain.

The entire cast and crew is expected to grace the film's premiere in Dubai and Mumbai, with a London promotional visit thrown in too.

UTV's next big release is a period love story "Jodhaa-Akbar" and Kapoor says that they will try to recover the cost of the Hrithik Roshan-Aishwarya Rai starrer by using the same resources.