Master of romance Shah Rukh Khan is the man of the moment, thanks to his first ever superhero movie “RA.One”, an ambitious Rs.150 crore ($30 million) project that boasts of world class VFX, mindblowing graphics and his own presence. Billed as a technological masterpiece, it will be unleashed on about 3,500 screens across the globe on Diwali Wednesday.
Shah Rukh’s movie is also set to enter non-traditional markets like South Korea and Hong Kong. On 500 screens, it will be in the 3D format.
The high point of the movie is technology. “Ra.One” reportedly has 3,500 VFX shots and SRK collaborated with Jeffrey Kleiser, co-founder of US-based Synthesian Studios, to supervise the work done by the Indian film star’s RedchilliesVFX team.
Budget, technology and marketing, everything about the film is larger than life. Many feel that sometimes filmmakers use inflated budget to promote films, but sci-films usually cost a lot. For instance, “Avatar” was made at a budget of Rs.1,100 crore ($230 million), while “RA.One”, touted as the most expensive Bollywood film till date, had to pack everything into a meagre budget of about Rs.150 crore.
A co-production of Shah Rukh and Eros Entertainment, the film will enjoy equally extravagant premieres in Dubai, London and Toronto.
Since the conceptualisation stage, the film has been in the news and the buzz heightened once the Bollywood Badshah unleashed the mega marketing campaign by unveiling the first look with a newspaper front page ad Jan 1.
The next giant step was to air its first trailer during the World Cup and later came tie-ups with Champions League T20, UTV Indiagames for online games and iPhone/iPad application for fans, Sony Playstation for video games, Google Plus and Seventymm, a leading DVD rental company for merchandising, as well as with Homeshop18 to sell superhero film merchandise and Youtube, which has a dedicated Ra.One channel and had got 10,897,668 hits till Monday afternoon.
“It is technically incorrect to say that Shah Rukh has spent Rs.52 crore on marketing. He did tie-ups which are worth Rs.52 crore,” Vajir Singh, editor of trade magazine Box Office India, told IANS.
Not to forget the release of “RA.One” dolls, in short the list seems endless. Also, the G.One online store is selling merchandise related to the film.
In past one month, the film’s promotion saw an all time high with Shah Rukh’s eight-city tour to create awareness about it, his back-to-back appearances on the finales of reality shows “India’s Got Talent”, “Just Dance” and “Sa Re Ga Ma Li’l Champs” as well as occupying the hot seat on “Kaun Banega Crorepati”.
In short, it has been Shah Rukh all the way.
Trade analyst Vinod Mirani describes the promotional activity as an “exercise to give the film a good opening and use the media to make it a hit”.
“Usually promotion activity is all about giving a film a good opening and SRK is also doing this. That is the reason he has roped in Amitabh Bachhcan to do the voiceover and Rajinikanth for the cameo. But he is promoting more of himself than his film. But I feel it will get a good opening since SRK is involved,” he told IANS.
Anubhav Sinha has directed the film and Shah Rukh says his character is over the top in the film as he has donned a huge wig to play a nerdy programmer who wants to impress his son by creating a game. But things go out of hand when the game’s villain escapes into the real world.
Reportedly Rs.1.5 crore was the budget for the mould for the G.One action figure.
So far so good. Now all eyes are on the box office collection of the movie and trade pundits say it will have to gross Rs.200 crore to break even.
According to a news report, Shah Rukh Khan has sold the satellite rights for Rs.37 crore, music rights for Rs.8 crore and ancillary rights for Rs.10 crore.
Singh says the distributors are expecting the film to break all records.
“People are expecting the film to break the first day opening records, first opening weekend records and first week earning records,” said Singh.
Film historian M.M. Ausaja added: “It is releasing at the right time and a lot of curiousness has been surrounding the film. People would want to go but it will only survive if the content is substantial.”
News.cinebasti.com: SRK goes larger than life with ‘RA.One’