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Monday, 24 December, 2001, 10:29 GMT
Bollywood blockbuster falters
Bachchan has starred in more than 200 movies
Bachchan has starred in more than 200 movies
Bollywood's most expensive film is struggling to match its enormous success overseas back home in India.

Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Ghum (Sometimes Joy Sometimes Sorrow), or K3G as it is popularly known, is taking less money than expected in Bombay and New Delhi, according to critics and movie insiders.

The movie became the highest new entry in the UK top 10 box office last weekend with takings of 473,000, despite only being shown in 41 cinemas.

K3G cost more than 400 million rupees (5.8m) to make, the costliest film in Bollywood history.

Star cast

The films tells the story of two brothers, superstar Shahrukh Khan and hearthrob Hrithik Roshan, separated by their no-nonsense aristocratic father, played by screen icon Amitabh Bachchan.

After a promising start in its opening weekend in India when it sold out for its first five days, industry insiders say cinemas are now only 90% full in its second weekend.

Roshan plays one of the sons in the blockbuster
Roshan plays one of the sons in the blockbuster

This year the Indian film industry has suffered a string of flops, with only two big hits in Lagaan and Gadar.

Lagaan is set in the 19th Century and tells the story of a group of peasants who challenge their British colonial oppressors to a game of cricket in order to escape a punitive tax.

It includes UK actors alongside Indian star Aamir Khan, won an award at this year's Locarno film festival in Switzerland.

India has entered it for the best foreign language Oscar, although the country has not won in 20 years of foreign language entries.

Some 800 films are made in Bollywood each year, more than are produced by Hollywood.

Overseas, the appeal of the movies are spreading beyond the South Asian communities in the UK and US.

Demand for mainstream Hindi films is growing in China and Japan, while filmmakers will be hoping the fall of the Taleban will awaken interest in Afghanistan as well.

See also:

26 Jun 01 | South Asia
Bollywood breaks the mould
25 Jul 01 | Film
Cash boost for Bollywood
05 Oct 01 | South Asia
Bollywood suffers from US attacks
23 Feb 99 | South Asia
Bombay evicts 'gangster chief'
04 Nov 98 | South Asia
Bombay gets tough on gangsters
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