Utpal Borpujari

January 22, 2009

Slumdog Millionaire ‘hits’ Delhi before release

Utpal Borpujari 


Pirated Slumdog DVDs fly off the shelves in capital


Global success Slumdog Millionaire might still have two days to hit the Indian screens, but the Danny Boyle scorcher has already been watched by scores of Indian film lovers, thanks to rampant piracy.


Pirated DVDs and VCDs of the film are flying off the shelves of shops selling such products in Palika Bazar and Nehru Place in the capital, with one shop alone claiming that it had sold nearly 300 copies of the film in the last few days.


The DVDs are priced in the Delhi markets at around Rs 150, but a little haggling can bring the damage down to Rs 100. The VCDs are priced much lesser, in the region of Rs 45-50. Pirated DVDs are reportedly also briskly selling in many other cities of India.


However, one shopkeeper in Palika Bazar confessed that with the film releasing in India on Friday amidst unprecedented hype, the demand for its pirated copies was expected to crash Friday onwards as people would like to watch it on the big screen instead of the poorly-reproduced pirated copies.


Of course, some ‘lucky’ customers have got hold of good quality DVDs too, which industry sources claim could have been sourced from a master copy. “Otherwise, most of the DVDs are of poor quality as they are recordings from the screen in some theatre abroad,” a Palika shopkeeper said. “I myself would watch it in the theatres,” he said with a chuckle.


The Danny Boyle film is among the top three most-demanded DVDs along with Aamir Khan starrer Ghajini and Shah Rukh Khan-starrer Rab De Bana De Jodi, a pirated DVD seller in Nehru Place market said.


Incidentally, even though the police claim to be keeping a vigil against video piracy and there are occasional reports of huge cache of DVD copiers and pirated CDs in the capital, the illegal market thrives openly in areas like Palika Bazar and Nehru Place right under the nose of the administration.


The pirated Slumdog DVD reportedly first appeared in the Indian market a few weeks ago but its demand soared only after A R Rahman won the Golden Globe for music in the film. With the media frenzy about the four Golden Globes to the film as well as the Oscar buzz surrounding it, the piracy market has clearly made a killing out of this British film with an story.


Slumdog, which was made with a budget of seven million pounds, has grossed over $50 million at the US and UK Box Offices and will see a 400 print release across 85 centres in India on Friday.


(An abridged version was published in Deccan Herald, 22-01-2009,

www.deccanherald.com, www.deccanheraldepaper.com;



1 Comment »

  1. it’s a shame, the movie is available online for downloads too. so although the movie is popular, it might be a box office dud! really sad

    Comment by compulsivewriter — January 22, 2009 @ 3:49 pm | Reply

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