Rustom has done better than expected business in overseas market. Typically, Bollywood films that do major business overseas are the ones which have full-on entertaining appeal (read songs, dances, family values, combination of top actor/actress/director/composer). There weren't too many ticks in the box that Rustom was striking though. Well, at least before release. The film was not a light entertainer. It wasn't quite a quintessential entertainer coming from the land of Hindi films. Moreover, from the credentials perspective, it was only Akshay Kumar's name that was the selling point.
"That was the plan," says Girish Johar of Zee, "We had to play smart and give the film a kind of release which warranted audience from 'non-fans' category as well. The kind of fan-base that Akshay Kumar has in India is distinct from the one found in overseas. We had to study the market carefully and then plan accordingly. It couldn't have been a straight-jacket release like any other film."
The results were pretty much evidences from the fact that in 10 days (till Sunday), the film collected $4.8 mil (Rs. 32.2 crore).
"And still counting," smiles Nittin Keni, for whom it is a big win second time around after his Gadar – Ek Prem Katha released alongside Ashutosh Gowariker's Lagaan 15 years ago, "Right through though, we were thinking primarily about our own film. It was never about competing with anyone; it was about being confident of your own product. We never went overboard either in promotion, marketing or release. We went ahead with the right volumes on each of these aspects with a focused approach. Our team at Zee really came together to earn this big winner for all of us."
The idea now is for Zee to collaborate further with KriArj Entertainment, for whom this maiden Rs. 100 crore outing has opened further floodgates.
"Regardless of how big Rustom is doing, we would have in any cases made more films with Zee," says Virendra Arora, "It has been such a fantastic working experience with them and while a success always counts, it is the coming together of minds and thought process that has been the driving force behind this collaboration."
One looks forward to an announcement next!