In an interview with MSN India, Karan Johar talks about the domestic box office collections of My Name Is Khan, the Shiva Sena controversy and their association with Fox.
Do you think Sena-SRK controversy eclipsed the success of ‘My Name Is Khan’? Did the controversy in anyway help the box-office collections?
- No, I don’t think controversy had any impact on the film. The film had great audience support. Initially, say for the first three weeks, we did lose out some business in Maharashtra. But I think audience will eventually watch a film for what it is. They would not get swayed by the controversy surrounding it. Big controversies may help some small films, not a Kajol-SRK starrer. Controversy or no controversy, such films command audience. Nevertheless, we are glad to be out of the controversy.
What could have been the possible reason for SRK Kajol starrer’s domestic box office collection confining itself to Rs 90 crores in the first ten days of release?
- It is an unusual film. What did people expect? It is a completely different film where the lead actor is autistic and has Aspergers syndrome. There are no songs or quintessential mainstream comedy in the film. It is a heavy issue-based film that is saying something strong.
- It being an issue-based film will show up in its final business and will eventually end up as a very strong figure. In fact, the business ‘MNIK’ has done in India has been one of my highest in the domestic markets. Of course, if you compare it with other films you may feel it has not done well enough. But then, I never set out to make the biggest hit of the Indian cinema. I never sit and make calculations about my film. I am here just to make a credible film that has a strong message and can reach as many eyeballs as possible.
How different was the association with Fox Star Distribution? How did it help My Name Is Khan’?
- It was different because we tapped the untapped markets with Fox. Fox Search and 20th Century Fox, with their wide infrastructure, made us creep into the markets that we haven’t explored earlier. With them, we have gone into markets in Middle East where no Hindi film has ever been released before. ‘My Name Is Khan’ is also opening theatrically in Poland, Germany and Russia. We might also do a second international cut in North America. All this is happening only because of our association with Fox.
- When we got together with Fox, we wanted ‘My Name Is Khan’ to be the first global film India has ever produced. In fact, this is the first Indian film that has turned global. It is not just a film that has been in India only but we have taken Indian cinema across the globe, put it on the world map and made sure that everyone knows that our quality, content and our soul is unusual, different and is fantastic.