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SRK’s Red Chillies on expansion spree with distribution wing

Shahrukh-Khan

New Delhi: In the 13th year since its inception, Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan’s banner Red Chillies Entertainment Pvt Ltd (RCE) is venturing into the distribution market with the aim of reaching out to its customer base in places far and wide. Their first project under this would be the big-ticket “Dilwale”.

“Ultimately, we have been making films, which is one side of the business. The second side is taking it to the consumers. That’s a significant large piece we wanted to participate in, and that’s why we decided to distribute ‘Dilwale’,” Gaurav Verma, chief revenue officer, RCE, told IANS over phone from Mumbai.

“The idea is to multiply, produce more films, generate more content and the idea is to bring that capability (of taking our film to the consumer) in-house. This is a critical aspect of our business, that’s why we are doing it ourselves,” Verma added.

“Dilwale”, directed by Rohit Shetty and starring onscreen power couple Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol with Varun Dhawan and Kriti Sanon, is a much-awaited project which will release ahead of Christmas this year. There are multiple reasons why the traction for the film is high among exhibitors.

“It’s the return of the Rohit Shetty-SRK combination, which turned out to be a superhit with ‘Chennai Express’. Then, it will see SRK and Kajol together on screen after 2010. Also, Rohit is directing the film, and over the years, he has become a youth icon of sorts,” Verma explained.

He also pointed out how the buzz for the film is so strong that unlike most films which get the distribution partners in various territories locked just about three months before release, “Dilwale” has got a “phenomenal” response much in advance.

According to a source, mostly big films are attached to a studio and they tend to take a call (on the territories) sales two to three months before, and that there isn’t any recent example where local territories have been closed so early, when the film’s release is six to seven months away. That’s a key development for ‘Dilwale’ and it’s a reflection of the excitement around the film.

Another source said that for “Dilwale”, territories including Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Bengal, Bihar, Orissa, Nizam, Rajasthan and CP, have been locked, and “prices are the highest ever in each territory” as the estimated box office collection of the movie has been pegged at Rs.280 crore all over India.

“Dilwale” is being currently shot in Bulgaria, and it will be shot in Hyderabad too.

RCE has earlier produced films like “Happy New Year”, “Chennai Express”, “Student of the Year”, “My Name Is Khan”, “Om Shanti Om”, “Main Hoon Na”, “Chalte Chalte”, “Ra.One”, “Billu”, “Paheli”, “Asoka” and “Phir Bhi Dil Hai Hindustani”.

Film production apart, the visual effects wing of RCE has turned out to be profitable over the years.