Ra.One (Hindi: रा.वन), sometimes written as RA One or RA.One, is a 2011 Hindi science fiction superhero
film written and directed by Anubhav Sinha. The film features Shahrukh Khan in dual roles, and also stars Kareena Kapoor, Armaan Verma and Arjun Rampal in the lead. Shahana Goswami, Dalip Tahil and Chinese-American actor Tom Wu appear in supporting roles, along with Rajinikanth, Sanjay Dutt and Priyanka Chopra making cameo appearances. The film follows Shekhar (Khan), a game designer living and based in London along with his wife (Kapoor) and son (Verma), who designs a motion-sensor based game in which the villain is far more powerful than the hero. In the process, the villain escapes from the video game and begins to track down the only person ever to defeat him, Lucifer (Verma). Ra.One was jointly produced by Eros International and Khan's production company, Red Chillies Entertainment. Initially expected to hit theatres on June 3, 2011, the release of the film was pushed back to the Diwali weekend of October 26, 2011 due to extensive post-production work involving special effects and 3D conversion.
Development of the project commenced in 2004 when Sinha wrote a three-page short story based on a commercial he had seen. Upon finalizing the story, pre-production work began after the release of Khan's Om Shanti Om in 2007, with principal photography commencing in March 2009. In July 2011, it was announced that the entire film would be converted into 3D. The visual effects of the film were carried out by Red Chillies VFX, under the supervision of Hollywood effects technician Jeffrey Kleiser. With an estimated budget of 125 crore (US$23.75 million), Ra.One is the second-most expensive film ever produced in Indian cinema, following Enthiran (2010). In addition, an estimated 52 crore (US$9.88 million) was spent on marketing through various partnerships, which set the record for the largest marketing budget in India. Red Chillies Entertainment spent up to 10 crore (US$1.9 million) while their partners like McDonald's covered the remaining costs in order to be associated with the Ra.One brand. The film faced multiple problems prior to its release, including censorship, soundtrack "leaks" and copyrights, the latter of which cost the producers 1 crore (US$190,000). The film witnessed a level of publicity campaigning previously unseen in India films, with marketing taking place over a period of nine months and involving major brand tie-ups, merchandise, theme-based video games and extensive viral marketing. The film also faced uncertainty regarding the preparedness of the film for release, with several rumours and media stories that the film would not be completed on time.
Ra.One had premieres in Dubai, London and Toronto during the period of October 24–26. The film released across 3,100 screens in India and 904 prints overseas in both 2D and 3D, and was also dubbed in Tamil and Telugu, making it the largest Indian cinematic release in the world. Upon release, while the Indian critics gave mixed reviews, the overseas film critics received it warmly. The film has been widely praised for its visual effects and action, though criticism has been generated regarding its script and direction. Subsequently, the success of the effects and the 3D version of the film prompted multiple other Bollywood filmmakers to consider technology as a part of film-making, especially in view of the success of Ra.One and the inordinately higher returns generated from 3D ticket sales. The film went on to break multiple box-office records, including highest Diwali day collections, highest single-day collections, highest three-day collections and biggest overseas collections of 2011. Within a week of its theatrical run, Box Office India declared the film a hit in India, and a week later, a super hit overseas. However, the film's box office performance was termed "average" by trade pundits (analysts). According to its distributors, Ra.One is the second highest-grossing Bollywood film worldwide. It earned 240 crore (US$45.6 million) from all its versions.
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