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|August 17, 2001||
Dil Chahta Hai or Yeh Raaste Hain Pyaar Ke?
Arthur J Pais and Aseem Chhabra
While Yaadein sank like the Titanic in the third week of its run in North America and United Kingdom, two newcomers fought for the numero uno spot last weekend. But by eating into each other's box office, both films seem to have suffered.
The $110,000 weekend opening for YRHPK in North America is certainly a disappointment considering it features Preity Zinta and Madhuri Dixit, apart from Ajay Devgan.
Across the Atlantic, it did marginally better than Dil Chahta Hai but its $100,000 gross over there was not earth shattering. Both films were listed on the top 15 box office grossers of the week.
The list was led by Cats & Dogs, which grossed $3.2 million last week on 453 screens in its second week. In America, the box office champion, American Pie baked a very tasty $45 million cake, in its opening week, in more than 3,500 theaters.
Kishore Dadlaney, whose Video Sound distributed YRHPK in North America, said that it is hard for the audience to accept two new films in the same weekend.
Dadlaney also said that for most Indian films in North America, it is a 'three-day game'. By Monday DVDs and videocassettes are out -- in many cases, they are pirated. But recently, distributors have started releasing authorized DVDs the same week the film is released, hoping to fend off illegal videos.
Dadlaney said his company released DVDs of YRHPK on Monday. "Otherwise the pirates would gain from the film", he said.
Nevertheless, the pirated DVD of Dil Chahta Hai was out by Saturday.
Rippy Sethi, the distributor of Dil Chahta Hai said despite video piracy, the film was doing well. The evening shows at Cineplaza, North Bergan were sold out on Saturday, and they had to add two more shows.
"It is a very contemporary film, which is appealing to the metro and the overseas markets," Sethi added. It is also shaping as a favourite date film for the desis. He believed the film will continue to do fairly well in the next two weekends, as no films were releasing till then. The release dates for both Nayak (originally scheduled for August 24) and Lajja (originally scheduled for August 31) have been postponed to September.
Though Yaadein lost its box office by 72 per cent in the second week, and by about 60 per cent in the third week, it has still made about $1.1 million in North America. But it is clearly a disappointment to its distributors, especially in light of the huge $600,000 plus gross the first weekend in North America.
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