Consider this. The sixth installment of the Star Wars series - 'Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith' broke records last week by averaging collections of $16.5 million on the opening night, the highest for any movie ever.
To put matters in perspective, 'The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King', the top-grosser in 2003, achieved BO collections of $8 million on the first night, while Spider-Man did about $7 million in first-night business in 2002.
Brands have predictably been quick to exploit the equity of a cult classic such as Star Wars. 'Revenge of the Sith' has Kellogg's, Pepsi, AOL, Burger King, Singular Wireless and Mars Chocolates riding on it at the global level.
In India, Kellogg's has been the most visible in terms of promotions around Star Wars, launching a special limited edition pack of its Chocos variant, which has a toy-box going with it consisting of light-up spoons and light sabers. The company also rolled out a TV campaign early this month to announce the initiative, which will continue till the end of May.
Warner Brothers, which is distributing the movie in India, has dubbed the film in Hindi, and along with the English version, the film could well achieve good numbers, especially in the multiplex circuit, say analysts.
Though executives from Warner Brothers India were unavailable for comment on account of the company's strict media policy, sources in the know say that at least 150-160 prints of the movie will be released to capitalise on viewership.
"That's a good bet for a movie like Star Wars. Don't forget that this is the last of the series and the hype around 'Revenge of the Sith' has been huge," says an industry source, while referring to the number of prints.
Quite rightly so. The buzz around 'Revenge of the Sith' kicked in by early May, when the international media started talking about it. By the second/third week of May, Indian news channels and papers picked up the trail, and sporadic reports and programmes on Star Wars started appearing.
Also contributing to the hype here in India was producer 20th Century Fox's sister company STAR, who had back-to-back screenings of Episode I (The Phantom Menace) and II (Attack of the Clones) on its English movie channel STAR Movies on May 13.
This was part of the 'Experience Hollywood' franchise on the channel. Also on view was exclusive footage of the then unreleased Episode III coupled with a contest, where winners got an opportunity to fly to Japan for the premiere of the movie. In India, the movie premiered in seven metros on the night of May 19 including Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad and Pune. © 2005 agencyfaqs!