Anurag Basu’s new Bollywood offering “Kites” opened in America this week to a somewhat lackluster response. Reliance Big Media had pushed out all the stops, with the Hrithik Roshan starrer opening across 208 screens in North America, however, although the film posted decent numbers it didn't quite soar to the heights expected.
Kites had the largest worldwide release for a Hindi film, screening on 2300 screens in total, 500 of them outside of the Indian subcontinent. The movie took $1,035,000 gross, averaging $4,976; far less than other recent efforts to bring Hindi films to America.
Earlier this year, My Name Is Khan debuted on 120 screens in the U.S. care of Fox Searchlight. It grossed $1,944,027, averaging a somewhat stunning $16,200. While in December 2009, 3 Idiots, which was also released by Reliance Big Pictures, debut on 119 screens and grossed $1,645,502, averaging $13,828.
The version released across America this weekend was the original cut. However, a second, English version will be released next weekend care of director Brett Ratner (X-men, Rush Hour), who “recognized its potential for mass U.S. appeal. ” Ratner gave it the Hollywood makeover resulting in a 90 minute “remix” version, which will be released next week.
Let’s see if Kites just needs a dash of Hollywood to soar.