'T-3' gets a smashing rise out of the box office

MUMBAI: This is news that should make Bollywood producers experiencing one relentless flop after another turn green with envy! After a gap of 12 years Arnold Schwarzenegger returned as the terminator with Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (T-3) and Indian action film buffs took to it in a huge way.



The film T-3 earned Rs 47 million over the period 25-27 July from 228 screens (207 prints) across the country. This represents the biggest opening for a foreign language film in India for the year so far. It also the biggest opening for a Schwarzenegger film in India. This was the third biggest opening for a foreign language film in India behind Spiderman and Titanic.

An official release informs that the massive integrated marketing and communication campaign put together by Columbia TriStar team helped spread the word. The campaign focussed on reinforcing the Terminator brand and simultaneously creating a mass appeal for the Terminator's character, since the third version was coming after a huge gap.

The challenge was to create a huge "must see" factor for the film and make it stand out as the "first choice" in a very cluttered period at the box office.

The 28 July afternoon figures were also very encouraging. Nearly 65-75 per cent levels of houseful capacity were reported. This goes against the grain as action films generally register a significant drop on Monday. It also helped that the there was not much delay between the film's release in India and its US release. Sometimes, foreign films take years to reach Indian shores the latest example being Woody Allen's The Curse Of The Jade Scorpion. In other cases trailers of films are shown but for some reason the release is inordinately delayed a case in point being Gangs of New York.

Columbia TriStar Films of India MD Uday Singh made the following remarks about T3's success: "This majestic opening was possible because we were able to optimise the film's strong franchise and Arnold's enormous brand equity at the box office. By going with a wide screen count and dubbing the film in various languages, we were able to reach out to the youth across India. The box office numbers vindicate our strategy."

Pre release research results showed that T3 was tracking at unprecedented levels in terms of consumer interest with a total awareness of 98 per cent. Almost 81 per cent of the audience also indicated that they would be definitely interested in watching the film. Post release research has also indicated that audiences are reacting very positively to the action sequences as well as the storyline of the film and this should enable T3 to have a very successful and extended run at the box office.

It remains to be seen whether other foreign films that are scheduled to be released soon after their US release like Pirates of The Carribean come close to T3's success.

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