Hollywood trumps Bollywood on Valentine’s weekend
American superhero film 'Deadpool' beat 'Fitoor', the big Bollywood film released last Friday, with its opening weekend box office collections
New Delhi: Although it was released in fewer theatres, the American superhero film Deadpool beat Fitoor, the big Bollywood film released last Friday, with its opening weekend box office collections. Released only in 800 screens across the country, the Hollywood flick made ₹ 14.25 crore within three days, according to trade analyst Taran Adarsh. It opened with ₹ 4.10 crore on Friday and went on to earn ₹ 4.90 crore and ₹ 5.25 crore over the next two days, respectively.
Fitoor, starring Katrina Kaif and Aditya Roy Kapur, on the other hand, managed ₹ 3.61 crore on Friday, ₹ 4.54 crore on Saturday and ₹ 5.96 crore on Sunday, taking its total to ₹ 14.11 crore. It was released in nearly 1,225 cinemas across India.
“Deadpool has found its audience and opened really well," confirmed Adarsh. “Fitoor, on the other hand, seemed too classy somehow and didn’t work for too many people even though it was expected to," he said.
Deadpool, distributed and co-produced by 20th Century Fox, was intended to have a controlled release in India.
“We decided to give it a concise release because we were very sure of healthy occupancy," said Shikha Kapur, chief marketing officer, Fox Star India. “And the weekend numbers have proven that good content backed by a great marketing strategy will always yield figures."
Deadpool was released in Hindi, Tamil and Telugu, besides English. Kapur said that lines were blurring between languages when it came to powerful content. The English version of the film may have brought in 60-65% of the revenue, Hindi another 20-25% but audiences make their decisions based not on language preferences but content and what pulls them to theatres, she said.
To be sure, Fox didn’t skimp in putting the thrills of the film out there. The idea was to speak to a 20+ male target group and convey to them the vitality of the imperfect, foul-mouthed but extremely human anti-hero Deadpool around whom the campaign was centered, the Studio said. To lend the rough edges of the character to the campaign, the team focused on sports platforms that catered to this target group. Thirty-second promotional units from the film were shown throughout the telecast of tournaments like the India-Sri Lanka series, the India-Australia series and the Australian Open over the last month. There was also an effort to encourage popular faces to come up with their own organic, user-generated content originating from the film, such as comedian Suresh Menon’s take on news anchor Arnab Goswami in a Deadpool-related setting. Students of the Sir JJ School of Art also participated in an event where they painted various areas of Mumbai with Deadpool-inspired graffiti.
In what seems like a final guerrilla strategy, the Hollywood film was brought in during a promotional interview for Fitoor. In a conversation with actors Katrina Kaif and Aditya Roy Kapur, MTV VJ Zerxes Wadia was dressed in a red superhero suit, clearly inspired by the Deadpool protagonist.
Analyst Adarsh says that the next four days will be crucial for all of last week’s releases. But according to Kapur, the strongest achievement of their adult film lies in overreaching its target and finding affinity even in a country like India.
Deadpool is directed by Tim Miller and features Ryan Reynolds, Morena Baccarin and Ed Skrein in lead roles.