'Dev D' strikes gold at box office

Feb 10, 2009 IANS

New Delhi, Feb 10 (IANS) After creating a buzz among audiences with its grunge soundtrack and promos, Anurag Kashyap's "Dev D", a modern take on "Devdas", struck gold at the box office by raking in Rs.95 million at the opening weekend.

The inclusion of real life cases like the MMS scandal at Delhi Public School and the BMW hit and run accident in the movie is luring the audiences, say film experts.

"'Dev D' has proven its mettle by pulling in audiences in hordes - especially youngsters. The film has selling material in terms of content. Incidents like the DPS MMS scandal, the BMW case and colloquial language has further led to its triumph at the box office," Joginder Mahajan, a Delhi-based distributor, told IANS.

Releasing after a dull week that saw "Luck By Chance" and "Victory", Kashyap's film opened to positive reviews and was houseful at the weekend. Produced by UTV Spotboy and Bindass, "Dev D" stars Abhay Deol with newcomers Mahi Gill and Kalki Koechlin.

Girish Johar, associate vice-president of UTV Motion Pictures, said: "'Dev D' is one of our premium products and it has managed to generate a very good hype among our target audience (youth). We are hoping it will have a long run at the box office."

Kashyap's contemporary take on Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay's classic novel has sidelined simultaneous releases "Mere Khwabon Mein Jo Aaye" and "Chal Chala Chal".

"The other two releases 'Mere Khwabon?' and 'Chal Chala Chal' have been total failures. They are only gap fillers," said Mahajan.

"Mere Khwabon?", which has Arbaaz Khan, Randeep Hooda and Raima Sen in the lead, was snubbed by the audiences and couldn't garner more than five percent collection. Helmed by debutante director Madhureeta Anand, the film has been co-produced by PVR Pictures and Madhureeta's company Ekaa Films Pvt Ltd.

The budget for "Dev D" and "Mere Khwabon?' was the same. The producers invested around Rs.60 million excluding the publicity costs. In terms of prints, "Dev D" was released on more than 300 screens globally, "Mere Khwabon?" hit around 200 screens.

"As for 'Mere Khwabon?', it was a non-starter since the beginning and had zero buzz about it. The movie opened to empty houses and the weak content only made it worse. Ditto for 'Chal Chala Chal' that was a fringe release," said a source from Mumbai.

Govinda starrer "Chal Chala Chal", which was directed by T.K. Rajeev Kumar, too failed to impress the movie buffs. The producers of "Chal Chala Chal" refused to divulge any details regarding the movie that released after a deferred delay of about two years since 2007.

"'Dev D' is all set to be the second big hit of 2009 after 'Raaz - The Mystery Continues'. It breaks the very stereotype of the legend of 'Devdas' and that is where it scores the winning goal," added the source.

On the whole, "Dev D" has fair business chances till Shah Rukh Khan starrer "Billu" and Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra's "Delhi-6" hit the screens Feb 13 and Feb 20, respectively.

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