Come Diwali, India will witness the release of its most expensive film till date – noted South Indian director S Shankar’s Ai (or ‘I’). Made at an estimated Rs 185 crore, the Vikram and Amy Jackson starrer beats Dhoom 3, Chennai Express, Robot (Enthiran in Tamil) and Krrish 3 when it comes to total cost of production.
Another south Indian film, Baahubali, which is still under production was until now touted as the costliest movie in Telugu cinema (orginal language of production) and Indian cinema in general. The film, directed by S S Rajamouli, is slated to release in April 2015.
Ai, a romantic action thriller is produced and distributed by Oscar V Ravichandran and is expected to release in 3,000 screens worldwide, with significant scale of release in China.
Since the movie has a considerable portion shot in China, the team is expecting to get into an agreement with the Chinese government to showcase the movie in that country as well. However, the scale of the release is yet to be known, though sources hint it could be in the range of 800 screens, and the movie could also be dubbed in Chinese for a day-and-date release.
In India, the movie will be released in 500-600 screens in Tamil Nadu, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, in at least two languages, Tamil and Telugu.
The movie’s media rights have been acquired by Jaya TV, a Tamil channel which supports state Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, for Rs 20 crore. The media rights include nearly 60 sub-rights like satellite, DTH, ringtones and others.
It, however does not include the music rights, which have been sold separatley to Sony Music, say industry sources. This is not a marked increase from the rights of Enthiran, sold for around Rs 20 crore.
Ai’s music, composed by Oscar winner A R Rahman, was launched at a high-profile event in Chennai on Monday, which saw attendance by Hollywood action star and US politician Arnold Schwarzenegger among others.
So far, all the matters related to the movie are being kept under cover and even the first picture of the movie was released very recently.
While Schwarzenegger has come down to Chennai for the audio launch function, people related to the movie said he has more to do with the movie than only attending the music launch programme.
This has also been kept a secret, aiming to build suspense around the launch of the movie. It would be released in Tamil as Ai and a dubbed version in Telugu as Manoharudu.