'Kites' movie brings together 'Rush Hour' director and Bollywood
An Indian film company hopes to market the 'Kites' movie to American audiences by bringing together a beautiful Mexican actress, Bollywood's biggest hunk, and the director of 'Rush Hour.'
What brings together a beautiful Mexican actress, India's premier silver-screen hunk, and the director of "Rush Hour"?Skip to next paragraph
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Bollywood's most serious bid yet to show it's not just Hollywood that can export films.
India's Reliance Big Pictures today debuts "Kites," a 130-minute story about two lovers on the run who don't speak the same language.
Director Brett Ratner of "Rush Hour" movie fame has edited that original Hindi-language version by dubbing it into English, toning down the soundtrack, removing a dance sequence by the critically acclaimed Indian lead, Hrithik Roshan, and adding a racy scene. Mr. Ratner's 90-minute "Kites: The Remix" premieres in US and international theaters May 28.
"I think this is going to be some sort of a breakthrough ... a first milestone," says Reliance MediaWorks CEO Anil Arjun, explaining that "Kites" is the first time Bollywood has so thoroughly edited a film to appeal to Western viewers.
Bollywood goes international
It's an attempt to capitalize on recent successes that Reliance has seen. Its film "My Name is Khan" grossed $39 million worldwide for a month after its February release, including $17 million outside of India, according to Agence France-Presse. Reliance's film "3 Idiots," which came out on Christmas Day, grossed $6.7 million alone in North America – a record for a Bollywood film, the company says.
Further showing its seriousness about entering the American market, Reliance recently purchased nearly 200 movie theaters across the US – of 525 theaters is owns worldwide – that show both Hollywood and Bollywood films.
But while last year's Oscar-winner "Slumdog Millionaire" stoked optimism that Indian films can find a place with global audiences, not every movie strikes Western fancies: 2009's "Chandni Chowk to China," also an attempted hybrid US-India release, tanked.
Mature movie markets, most notably Hollywood, have long figured out the formula to capitalize on a film in as many countries as possible, says John Lee, dean of the Mumbai-based Whistling Woods International Institute for Film, Television, Animation and Media Arts, and author of "The Producer's Handbook."