Paramount Films India showcases film lineup for 2008

BANGALORE: Distributor of Hollywood films Paramount Films of India Ltd (PFIL) announced the lineup of films slated for release in 2008.

The Universal Studio release lineup includes movies such as Definitely, Maybe, which is the story of a daughter who wants her father to be happy; Wanted by the Russian visualist director Timur Bekmambetov of The Night Watch and The Day Watch fame. Wanted tells the story of one invisible drone’s transformation into a dark avenger; Forgetting Sarah Marshall by the makers of 40 Year Old Virgin is another release expected this year.

Mama Mia, a feature film adaption of the musical, is a story of a girl who wants to make her wedding a prefect one by having her father lead her down the aisle. The problem is that her mother is not sure which of the three men she slept with is the real father – Meryl Streep plays the mother and Pierce Brosnan one of the probable fathers. The movie is inter-spiced with popular ABBA songs such as "Mama Mia," "SOS," "Dancing Queen," "Money, Money Money."

With over 700 VFx shots, Mummy 3 – Tomb of the Dragon Emperor is another release on the cards for 2008. The action shifts to Asia this time, China to be more precise. Brandon Fraser returns as explorer Rick O’Connell to combat the resurrected Han Emperor played by Jet Li, who has been awakened from a 2,000-year old curse and threatens to plunge the world into his merciless, unending service.

In Hellboy II – The Golden Army, the saga of the world’s toughest, kitten-loving hero from Hell continues to unfold. An animated film on, well a heroic mouse - The Tale of Desperaux - is another film on the anvil for a 2008 release.

From the Paramount and Dreamworks stable are Oscar winner No Country for Old Men; a fantasy adventure based on the series of books of the same name comes The Spiderwick Chronicles; Marvel Entertainment’s adaption of Ironman will launch into theaters on 2 May. Owen Wilson stars in (and as) Drillbit Taylor. The movie is slated for release on 21 March. Featuring a Panda who just loves that martial art is Dreamworks animated film Kung Fu Panda.

Dreamworks also brings back all the characters – Alex the lion, Marty the zebra, Melman the giraffe, Gloria the hippo with Madagascar – The Great Escape. An all-new explosive action-packed episode of The Incredible Hulk, will feature Bruce Banner/Hulk struggle to avoid the obsessive pursuit of his nemesis General Ross (William Hurt) and the military machinery that seeks to exploit his power.

On 22 May, Harrison Ford will be back on cinema screens probably for the last time as Indiana Jones in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. The movie also features Cate Blanchett, Karen Allen, Ray Winstone, John Hurt, Jim Broadbent and Shia LeBeouf, who also reteams with Disturba director DJ Caruso in Eagle Eye, also to be relased in 2008.

“Ninety per cent of these films will be released in India. Some of them such as Definitely, Maybe and No Country for Old Men have already been released elsewhere, including in some Asian countries. India is an important market for us,” said Paramount Films Singapore regional director for sales and marketing (Asia) Han Seng Lim, while speaking with on the sidelines of the event.

“With globalisation and rising literacy levels, the demand for international cinema is growing,” says PFIL GM Sarabjit Singh.

“The sound and well-heeled urban Indians, especially from the growing mid- and high-income sections, are rediscovering the magic of cinema in plush multiplexes. Also, the increase of multiplexes in A, B & C class centres has helped us to tap wider and newer markets. This has enabled us to release more titles with increased number of prints. The enhanced acceptability of dubbed films in India has widened the mass appeal for Hollywood films," added Singh.

According to a Paramount release, the Hollywood films market in India is estimated to be around Rs 2 billion. An average of 70 English films, several of them dubbed into regional languages, are released in India every year.

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