Chulbul Pandey may have almost become his alter ego, but star performer Salman Khan is looking to continue his winning streak in the skin of Lovely Singh in his romantic comedy Bodyguard that hits theatres on Eid-ul-Fitr on Wednesday.
Both of his major hits Dabangg and Wanted, released on Eid, went on to become phenomenal successes. Though Ready wasn’t an Eid release, it was harbinger of times to come. Khan has gradually moved away medium budget productions and carefully built a larger-than-life image that mainly speaks to his semi-urban audience base.
The incurable romantic of Ready will see some serious action sequences in pure Rajinikanth style in director Siddique’s Bodyguard that also stars Kareena Kapoor in the lead.
Bodyguard is the Hindi remake of the Malayalam film of the same name. It is being co-produced by Atul Agnihotri and Reliance Entertainment. The makers have set up a marketing and print budget of around Rs 22 crore.
Khan plays Lovely Singh, a personal guard to Divya played by Kareena Kapoor, the daughter of a business tycoon. Tired of having her every step tracked by a watchful Khan, Kareena embarks upon a plan to make the beefy bodyguard fall in love with her in the hope that he will leave her alone.
The promotional events had Khan’s real life bodyguard Shera playing a big part. He also appeared in one of Khan’s songs “Aaya re aaya bodyguard”. Though Ready is a huge hit of the year, Khan’s chemistry with southern actor Asin left much to be desired. It remains to be seen how Kareena hits it off with the actor.
But for all the hype surrounding the film, Khan is currently away in the US to treat a medical condition that is causing him acute pain in his head, cheeks and jaws and will be missing the fanfare leading up to the film’s release.
In medical parlance Khan’s ailment is called trigeminal neuralgia and aneurysm. He has left for the US to undergo treatment.
According to reports, the advance bookings for the film has had the cash registers ringing and multiplex owners hoping that the mid-week celebrations will continue till the weekend.
“We had opened the advance bookings for the film yesterday (Monday) and so far it has been really good. If we combine the online bookings and the ticket counter bookings, the figure comes to around 65 percent,” said Amit Shah, chief manager (programming) of DLF DT cinemas.
“The advance booking for the film is much beyond our expectations. Considering the fact it is releasing mid-week, we have already sold around 45 per cent tickets for tomorrow (Wednesday) and it seems like weekend is going to be equally heavy,” Gautam Dutta, COO of PVR ltd said. “After a long time we are seeing such enthusiasm among people. The response is just fantastic,” he added.
Puneet Sahay senior manager for programming and operations at Spice Cinemas says they have already “covered 35 percent of seats which includes the online booking.”
There were some issues between the multiplexes and distributors of the film regarding revenue sharing. The distributors were asking for more revenue sharing but the issues have been resolved. (With additional information from IANS)