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The India Adventure starts for Tintin

It's blistering barnacles this weekend at the Indian Box Office.

Dearton Hector and Anand J    New Delhi     Last Updated: November 11, 2011  | 07:35 IST

After taking Europe's box office by storm, the spiky-cropped, orange-haired reporter arrives at the Indian box office with his Wire Fox Terrier companion Snowy. The Adventures of Tintin - The Secret of the Unicorn directed by Steven Spielberg will be releasing all over India on Friday. Certain multiplexes are premiering the movie on Thursday on account of the local holiday in some centres in agreement with the movie's distributors in India-Sony Pictures India.

"We want it to become the highest grosser in India in this genre (animation)," says Kercy Daruwala, Managing Director of Sony Pictures India. The highest grosser ever in India in this genre was Kung Fu Panda 2 which according to industry estimates collected Rs. 25 crore (gross).

The highest grosser in the animation genre for Sony Pictures India was The Smurfs released in July which grossed Rs 7 crore. Daruwala expects Tintin to garner gross revenue of around Rs. 20 - 25 crore which is in sync with the industry expectations of Rs. 22 crore.

The movie based on Herge's iconic character which is co-produced by Peter Jackson (Lord of the Rings fame) and Kathleen Kennedy of Amblin Entertainment, a long-time collaborator of Spielberg, has already made waves in Europe by grossing Rs 600 crore in the first two weeks of which Rs 300 crore coming from France, according to Box Office Mojo, a Hollywood box office tracking website. The movie produced with a budget of Rs. 600 crore has already got the money back just from the continent where Tintin, the lead character, was born.

The movie, which is dubbed in Hindi for the Indian market, will be screened at 370 screens throughout the country of which 60 per cent is in 3D. The number of screens is 40 per cent more than the previous biggest animation release in India - Kung Fu Panda 2.

The movie opened to packed halls on Thursday morning throughout multiplexes. "What we expect from a Spielberg movie is always something special. The shows were practically a sell out. The initial feedback from the public is very good," says Rahul Singh, Vice President, Operations of PVR Cinemas.

But Tintin, Snowy and Captain Haddock will have an unexpected challenger enroute to their treasure hunt. The movie will have a face-to-face encounter with a big budget Bollywood film, the Ranbir Kapoor-starrer Rockstar directed by Imtiaz Ali. "Rockstar has created a big following because of its music (by A R Rahman). It will have a wider appeal," says Tushar Dhingra, COO (North and East) of BIG Cinemas. The musical has opened to good advances in the metros, according to Box Office India.com.

With over 200 million books in print-and two million sold each year - The Adventures of Tintin comics has a stupendous global fan base. The Hindi version of the comics is also brought out by Om Books International titled Unicorn Jahaz ka Rahasya. "There is a renewed interest in Tintin. The rise in Tintin comics sales is supporting it," adds Dhingra.

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