As expected Hrithik Roshan – Barbara Mori starrer Kites opened to a splendid response at the box office across the country. Reliance BIG Pictures ensured that the film had the widest release ever for an Indian film with 2,000 screens in India and across 500 screens overseas. Kites which was marketed aggressively worldwide has created a stupendous amount of excitement and curiosity and Reliance BIG Pictures is therefore leaving no stones unturned in ensuring that Kites reaches every avid film watcher through 10,000 shows in India. Multiplexes have as many as 30 or more shows lined up in a day with Kites taking as good as all shows in most of the cinema halls.
The hype for the film was humungous which resulted in a bumper opening though the critical as well as audience response was quite mixed. Many did not like the film for its outdated story (or lack of it), predictable plot, average music and a tragic end. Nevertheless the curiosity factor was so strong that the film grossed over 21crores on the opening day itself, the second highest opening in India ever ( 3 Idiots being the first, also distributed by Reliance BIG Pictures). The film has opened to full houses in 30 countries, again an unprecedented task.
Interestingly the critical reception in the international market was quite in contrast to the Indian media with several international critics rating the film high. Like Hrithik says, “ Kites is pasta and not biryani ’ meaning it was targeted largely towards the foreign audience as compared to the Indian counterpart. And Kites seems to have met its target audience being one of the widest reviewed films in the international media, bagging much more coverage and exposure as compared to any Indian film.
It opened at number 5 on the UK box-office and while many Hindi films have made it to the UK Top 10 list, Kites is the first Bollywood film to make it to the US Top 10 list in its debut weekend opening at the number 10 spot. It is just one rank behind the ninth-place film ‘ How to Train Your Dragon ’.
Meanwhile the response is not really positive in India and trade experts predict that the business will go down from Monday onwards by when the hype settles down. Even though there is no big release on the coming Friday and Kites has absolutely no competition at the box office, it needs to be seen whether the business would be steady for Kites in its second week. Considering its high pricing, the box-office fate of Kites will be decided by its second week collections in India and revenues from the foreign territory.
The film’s international version “ Kites Remix ” presented by Hollywood’s top director Brett Ratner (of X-Men, Rush Hour 3 fame), will open worldwide the coming Friday. It’s to be seen whether the foreign audiences respond more positively to the version of the Kites specially edited for them by a foreign filmmaker.