New Delhi, April 3 (IANS) Come Thursday, and cinema goers in India will be able to relive their "Titanic" moments once again, but in 3D. While fans are excited to watch the epic James Cameron film, theatre owners and distributors here doubt if it will pull in the crowds.
The original "Titanic", a love story with the 1912 sinking of the ship as its backdrop, which was released in 1997 and won 11 Oscars, grossed $1.843-billion worldwide. It made around Rs.500 million (nearly $1 million) in India alone.
The 3D version of the film, to be released in English, Hindi, Tamil and Telugu, is in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic and a special tribute to the tragedy that claimed several lives.
Fans, including Bollywood star Bipasha Basu, are upbeat.
"Looking forward to watching 'Titanic' in 3D! When I first saw 'Titanic', I cried so much, I must have finished a whole tissue box! Ready to do it again," tweeted Bipasha.
For Sandeep Verma, a fashion blogger, "Titanic" is one of the epic films ever made and watching it on 3D will be a different adventure altogether.
"As one of the biggest movies ever made, 'Titanic' is still liked by millions and I am no exception. I still try not to miss it when it is aired on TV," Verma told IANS.
"Watching it in 3D is tempting purely because of the intensity of the story and the aura that all the characters have. I'm sure it will get the same amount of audiences as it did over a decade ago," he said.
This time around, audiences have another reason to look forward to the film -- the censor board has refrained from using its scissors on the sensational scene in which actor Leonardo DiCaprio sketches a nude Kate Winslet.
The movie, which narrates the love story between socialite Rose Bukater and commoner Jack Dawson on board the Titanic, has been passed without any cuts and has received a clear U/A censor rating by the censors in India.
To this, Kunal Rana, a Mumbai-based fan of the film, said: "I'm keen to see the special effects, amazing sounds and the great scene of the sinking ship in the new version. I totally agree with James Cameron, who wants fans to remember 'the wreck and its message.'"
The 3D version will also prove to be a treat for all those who missed "Titanic" on the big screen 15 years back.
"I missed the 2D version in a theatre hall. This time I shall go for the movie in a theatre. I am hoping the 3D effect will be awesome," said Tanya Talwar, a theatre artist from Bangalore.
Though the excitement among fans is palpable, theatre owners feel "Titanic 3D" won't get the expected audience as most fans have watched the film multiple times over the years.
"There is no buzz as people have already seen the movie long time back. Also since there is no action sequence in the movie, except the climax, people will hardly get to feel the 3D effect in the movie," Puneet Sahay of Spice Cinemas told IANS.
"The length of the movie is also a big problem. It's a long movie -- of a duration of three hours and 15 minutes. And if one includes trailers, it will be three hours and 45 minutes long. So we are planning just four shows."
Amit Shah, programming head of DT cinemas, says the fact that the movie is releasing just a day before Akshay Kumar-starrer "Housefull 2" hits the screens, will affect the footfall.
He said: "People are excited to watch 'Titanic 3D', but since the movie is coming a day before 'Housefull 2', we will initially keep five to six shows and then after seeing the response, will increase the shows.
"I hope that word of mouth publicity will help the movie in getting more audience," added Shah.
Delhi-based distributor Joginder Mahajan feels the high ticket price of a 3D film - priced Rs.50 higher than others - and limited screens for it could play spoilsport for the movie's business.
"Since there are limited screens for 3D movies, I'm doubtful that the movie will have any buzz. Also, the ticket rates for 3D movies are higher in India, and this is also one of the drawbacks. Why would somebody pay double the amount for a movie which has already been seen by so many people in India?" Mahajan told IANS.
"I think the production company is expecting too much from the Indian market. Limited people can afford to buy such high priced tickets and that also for an English movie," he added.