HAPPY SHAHRUKH DAY!!!!!! HAPPY FAN RELEASE DAY!!!! I only have to wait 8 more hours! (stupid job) In the meantime, there is some early interesting information I can share.
Koimoi is reporting a good occupancy for morning shows, 40-50% especially in urban areas. Obviously, those numbers are expected to increase greatly in the evening and over the weekend. It’s a lower occupancy than for Dilwale, but then that was a holiday release. And it was actually on fewer screens than Fan (because of needing to share with Bajirao), Fan is getting around 3500 in India whereas Dilwale only got 3000. That might be another test of the Fan release strategy, along with the two I talked about yesterday, if an off-holiday release strategy is ultimately more successful, because of the lack of competition for screens and audience.
More interesting, Taran Adarsh is reporting that Fan is being released globally in 3 phases. I wonder if they are moving prints out of one market and into another in order to cut down costs? Or if they are trying to build buzz? Or just working around local release dates? Anyway, what’s really interesting is how wide the global market is that they are going for.
Phase 1: In addition to America, Australia, the UK, all the standard places, it is also opening in Romania, Poland, Spain, and GAS (Germany, Austria, Switzerland). Dilwale did wonderfully in Germany, as did My Name is Khan, and basically every Shahrukh movie of the past decade. But I am interested that they are expanding into the other markets in Europe. Of course, a lot of the film was filmed there, but perhaps that is part of it? They decided to use European filming locations in order to help reach that audience once the film released?
Phase 2: Morocco, Egypt, Caribbean Islands, and Peru. Egypt and Morocco, of course, have been a market for a long time, since Amitabh’s heyday. And the Caribbean Islands would be part of the greater colonial Empire, just like Kenya and New Zealand, where British-Indian immigration lead to an awareness of Indian film (anecdotal evidence, but a family friend who was in the peace core in Jamaica in the 70s remembers Indian films playing regularly there). But Peru? Chennai Express and Dilwale opened there as well. And I think I have seen things on the internet from a Peruvian Shahrukh fan club. I wonder why that is? Is there some immigration pattern, or international connection, that I don’t know about?
Phase 3: China, Japan, Turkey, Vietnam, and Korea. Oh yeah! This is exciting! These are markets that have always been open to Indian film but, more importantly, they are markets that only recently started opening to Hollywood, and Hollywood has been going after them HARD. And now India is getting in the race. I LOVE this! Can you imagine if all of the Hollywood investment and encouragement of theater building and updating technology and openness to different kinds of film in these countries, just served to pave the way for Indian film to expand their existing foothold and take over these markets?