Katrina troubled by Salman's illness

Actress reshuffles her schedule to give top priority to film with her former beau

They may not be as close as they used to be, but Katrina Kaif still cares very deeply for former beau Salman Khan. The actress has decided to give his Ek Tha Tiger top priority.

Given Khan is currently undergoing treatment in America for a nerve disorder, the schedule of the movie may most probably be pushed forward.

But the actress has made it a point to keep her usually choc-o-block diary free for this film, even if it means losing out on other plum assignments.

Katrina confirms, "I will not talk about the roles that I am not doing. But, yes, Ek Tha Tiger is top priority at the moment."

A source, however, reveals that some of the projects she has refused include Ayaan Mukherjee's next with Ranbir and Yash Raj Films' Dhoom 3 with Aamir.

Adds the source, "After much persuasion, Kat was on the verge of saying yes to Ayaan because he was keen to have her in his film.

Also, with Yash Chopra's film with Shah Rukh Khan being pushed forward to next year, she thought she would be able to accommodate Ayaan's film in her schedule." 

All this, however, was before she got to know about Salman's health problem.

Now with a certain amount of uncertainty surrounding the next schedule of Ek Tha Tiger in Ireland, Katrina has decided to decline all new offers and keep her dates open for the film to shoot as and when Salman is fit and ready.

Anything for Sallu

"At this juncture, nothing is more important for Katrina than Salman's full recovery.

Even promoting her next release Mere Brother Ki Dulhan with a smile is proving a bit of a burden, as she is no mood to be funny, clever and mischievous as these promotional events require her to be, " says the source.

Courtesy: Mid-Day.com

A perfect Eidi for Salman - 'Bodyguard' to break all records

Trade experts say that Salman Khan's Bodyguard will surpass his last Eid release, Dabangg

Salman Khan is away in the US undergoing surgery for his nerve problem, but he's got his Eidi from his audiences. The actor's Bodyguard opened to such full houses across the country on Wednesday that tradesmiths peg the initial numbers at 20 per cent more than his biggest blockbuster, Dabangg.

Before the day ended, talk was that the film would net at least Rs 18 crore on the first day. And that's R 3.5 crore more than Dabangg's first day figures.

Deadly combination

Terming this "mind-boggling and earth-shattering, " trade analyst Komal Nahta attributes it to a heady combination of Salman and Eid.

Not to forget, a dearth of releases during Ramzaan. "Only Aakarshan released, but that didn't do well. So audience is hungry for a Bodyguard kind of entertainer. The five-day weekend will generate at least R 60 crore net, and that is a record, " he enthuses.

Indore-based distributor Aditya Choksey is optimistic that the film will break all possible records in most of India. "It's a remake of a proven south Indian film, so the subject has worked in regional cinema. But for the Hindi version, 90 per cent of the audiences will go for Salman, " he says.

"Salman is larger than life, people want entertainment and he delivers. Reports might be mixed, but even Amitabh Bachchan's films got mixed reports. Nonetheless, they went on to become big hits. And that's happening with Salman's films, too, " he further adds.

However, Mumbai distributor Ramesh Sippy of Raksha Entertainment doesn't seem to be in a hurry to dub the film a bigger hit than Dabangg yet. "Since last year, the numbers of theaters have gone up. So Bodyguard has got more screenings. 

Add to that the increase in ticket prices and you'll obviously have higher volume. I'd rather wait for the final collections of the first five days to come in to figure out how big a hit it is compared to Dabangg, " he reasons.

Choksey disagrees saying, "As for an increase in number of theaters and shows, and hike in ticket prices, it won't make much of a difference. Opening to about R 18 crore on first day, I won't be surprised if the movie nets about R 85-90 crore till Sunday."

Bodyguard v/s the rest

In the same vein, Nahta too maintains that the mixed reports affect the movie's sustenance after the weekend.

"If Bodyguard manages to achieve in five days what other films can't in 15, then why be bothered about sustenance?" he counters, quickly adding that if it does sustain, it will be an additional bonus. "Even if it doesn't, the producers and distributors are making profits."

Trade experts are unanimous that the opening projection is pretty good for the producers, Reliance Entertainment, which is said to have spent about R 75 crore (including prints and advertising) on the movie.

Bodyguard released with 2000 prints in 2799 screens worldwide.

How Wasim Akram's girlfriend left her husband to become an actress

The Pakistani film industry is finally undergoing a revolution and is emerging from the shadow of Bollywood, says Pakistani model-actress Humaima Malick, whose film "Bol", about women in a patriarchal society, has just released in India.

"I am extremely blessed to be a part of this revolution in the Pakistani film industry. Our country has witnessed many drastic changes in the film business, but thanks to some people, I can say that cinema in my country is finally taking shape," Humaima, 25, told about her film, the latest Pakistani offering to be screened for Indian audiences.

"However, we have much to learn and much to experiment. We need more daring people who can take a perilous script and test the audience," Humaima said in an email interview from Lahore.

According to Humaima, the general mindset of people in her country is also changing and one proof of that is the growing freedom of speech exercised by women.

"I cannot say that women in my country now take pleasure in freedom of speech in all walks of life, but, yes, recent times have given women a certain edge over the conventional customs.

"For instance, today models and actresses in my country do enjoy the liberty that their professions offer. But even then we all must maintain a social code of conduct and for the right reasons," said the actress. 

The Pakistani film industry has been on a downhill journey since piracy took root and entertainment tax was introduced.

According to The Dawn newspaper, in the 'golden days' before the 1970s, the industry churned out more than 200 films annually and it is now producing one-fifth of that number.

The struggling film business, often referred to as Lollywood, is trying to regain its glory and the box office success of director Shaoib Mansoor's "Bol" has marked a new beginning for filmmakers who compete with Bollywood glossies.

"Bol" released June 24 in Pakistan. According to a report, the opening-day collection of the hard hitting social drama about a girl who stands up and challenges the age-old tradition of treating women as lesser beings broke the box office records made by Bollywood biggies like "My Name Is Khan" and "Ready".

"Bol" collected (Pakistani) Rs. 22,038,000 in first six days of its release, while "My Name is Khan" had earned almost Rs. 21,658,000 in a week.

After a four-decade gap, the Pakistani government in 2008 allowed Hindi films to be screened without restriction across theatres in the country.

Apart from Humaima, "Bol" also stars Atif Aslam, Mahira Khan, Shafqat Cheema, Manzar Sehbai, Zaib Rehman and Amr Kashmiri.
The actress, who has earlier been part of serials like "Akbari Asghari", "Ishq-Junoon-Deewangi" and "Barish Kay Ansoo" among others, made her silver screen debut with "Bol".

Humaima says her journey into showbiz was not a cakewalk. The actress, who was previously married to actor Shamoon Abbasi and separated from him in April 2010, have had to fight for becoming an actress.

"When your brother is a doctor and your father runs a strict household, getting into films is not a cakewalk. Initially, I had to face endless criticism, but soon with the passage of time my family started to see in my direction.

"At the premiere of my movie in Karachi, when my mother cried after the screening, I knew they couldn't be more proud of me. I am blessed to have a very encouraging family, who now supports me in all my future ventures," she said.

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