International Spotlight: India's 'Agneepath'
on January 26, 2012
By Phil Contrino
All signs point to a successful debut for Agneepath, the latest blockbuster offering from India and Eros Entertainment.
A remake of a 1990 Hindi film of the same name, Agneepath focuses on the journey that Vijay (Hrithik Roshan) takes in order to exact revenge upon the druglord (Sanjay Dutt) who hanged his father.
Enthusiasm for Agneepath has not been dampened by a mammoth 213-minute run time, which is long even by Bollywood standards.
"The word from India is that the director [Karan Malhotra] has done an amazing job interpreting the screenplay and he should be given awards," Ken Naz, CEO of Eros, tells Boxoffice.
Bollywood.com reports that Agneepath has won over key endorsements from popular Indian actors such as Arjun Rampal (RA. One), Zayed Khan (Anjaana Anjaani) and Arbaaz Khan (Dabangg). "It was mind blowing. It's a superb film. Go and watch Agneepath. You guys are going to be blown away," says Rampal.
The most important endorsement comes from Shah Rukh Khan, India's biggest movie star. Yesterday, Khan wrote the following on his Facebook wall: "Full steam & power to Agneepath. All my friends in it...hrithik,sanju,priyanka,karan johar & Malhotra. Go forth & sock it to 'em Insha Allah." The comment generated more than 6,500 likes and 517 comments.
In order to reach an international audience, Agneepath is being aggressively promoted on Facebook and Twitter. It's working. According to Boxoffice.com's WebWatch tracking, the film's official Facebook page has added more than 11,000 new likes since Monday for a total of 154,000+ and counting. The Hindi drama has also inspired more than 7,350 tweets during the same time period.
"In this day and age a viral marketing campaign is very important. Lots of different people find that attractive," says Naz.
Agneepath opens today at 131 locations in North America. A location count for India is not available at this time.
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