Have Abhishek Bachchan and Sonam Kapoors prayers for the success of Delhi-6 been answered?
From Day One people have been busy calling Delhi-6 a flop. What is the real story? How has the film done at the box office?
Everyones going to shut up soon. All the trade guys. Delhi-6 has picked up liked crazy! Day One was not so good at the domestic box office leading many to speculate that its an instant flop. But we had this whole multiplex chain problem. Because of that we could not open the advances at most places. There was a huge jump of 35 per cent on Saturday. On Sunday another 20-25 per cent. Monday being a public holiday in several cities for Navratri, it went full house at those places. Its looking good now. In Punjab, collections are the second highest in the last whole year.
What about the international box office?
Its got a terrific start in USA. Its gone through the roof... its made more money in the first weekend than Dostana, Race, Rang De Basanti, Taare Zameen Par. Dubai is good. UK is not good.
Rakeysh Mehra with Waheeda Rehman
Have you analysed why the film is getting a mixed response?
People are getting the film a bit slowly. They were not expecting something like Delhi-6. They were expecting another Rang De Basanti.
In hindsight should you have killed Abhisheks Roshan, like you had in an earlier draft?
His coming back to life was always on the cards. I didnt want him to be dead in the end. The entire society would have become a villain if he would have died. Plus we are living in times when we dont need to open wounds. We need to dress them. Any which way we are living in troubled times.
What is your reaction to your music director A.R. Rahmans sweep at the Oscars?
There can be only one reaction Jai ho!
Did you have a chat with him after the Oscar triumph?
We were up all night on Sunday. I sent him a mail congratulating him. He replied a couple of hours after the event got over.
What did he write?
Jai ho! What else?
What do you make of the Slumdog victory? Will it help Bollywood in any way?
It has created such a lovely platform for young Indian film-makers. They can think outside the star system. They can think content. All this while these 22-year-olds and 24-year-olds would come and complain that a star will never work with us. And I would keep telling them, you dont have to go with a star, you should just go with your content, your vision. That is one thing this film has paved the way for. I think you will see the effect in the coming two-three years. That will be an interesting phenomenon to watch out for.
On a roll
Despite a dull start, Delhi 6 made around Rs 18 crore in the first weekend. With the Shivratri holiday on Monday, the total first week should be between Rs 26 and Rs 30 crore
The first weekend collections of Delhi-6 in Punjab is Rs 1.33 crore, second only to Race (Rs 1.41 crore). Jodhaa Akbar was Rs 75 lakh.
With just 90 theatres, Delhi-6 opened at number 23 on the US box office charts with a total collection of $602,850 over the first weekend. It is number two in terms of per screen average.