Zee TV wins rights to 'Munnabhai MBBS'

MUMBAI: The blockbusters of 2003 are not all being pocketed by Sony Entertainment Television after all.

Of the two blockbusters in the top four list still up for grabs Zee TV has bagged one of them --- Munnabhai MBBS. This was revealed to by Zee TV president Sunil Khanna.

Munnabhai is the only real blockbuster among a list of "smart buy" films that Zee will be launching on its Thursday Premiere slot in the coming months. The films are Pinjar, I - Proud to be Indian, Rudraaksh, Paisa Vasool, Samay, Tum, Fun2shh, Ishk Hein Tumse and Jaal the Trap.

Queried whether Munnabhai would be the big movie of the season for Zee, Khanna commented thus: "Let's just say it's a good movie. See, it is not necessary that a film has to be a blockbuster to work well on TV. In fact, some of the movies which have worked very well on our Thursday Premiere have flopped in theatres. Perhaps that becomes the film's USP because not many people have seen it. Next month we're showing Pinjar, for example."

"If we see the last few months data, it is Mein Madhuri Dixit Banna Chahti Hoon, which was a theatrical flop, that did much better business for us than a big film like Chalte Chalte."

According to Khanna, "If there is a good star cast and good music, and people have not watched it, these kind of movies can do much better than the bigger movies."

With the acquisition of Munnabhai, the only film in the 'A' list for which the bidding for the rights are still open is 2003's number two grosser Kal Ho Na Ho. Though Khanna made no reference to this film in the conversation had with him, industry sources say Zee is definitely in the running for the rights.

The Number 1 and Number 3 grossers for 2003 - Koi Mil Gaya and Baghban respectively - are on SET's roster.

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