Aquaman all set to conquer Asia: DC film eyes huge release in India after phenomenal box office success in China

Sreedhar Pillai

Dec 13, 2018 16:15:51 IST

The phenomenal performance of Warner Brothers' Aquaman at the China box-office has once again proved that the Asia market for Hollywood films is getting bigger.

DC's Aquaman collected $94.1 million over the 7 December weekend in China. WB's decision to release the film two weeks ahead of the USA has reaped rich dividends at the China box-office. Aquaman overtook the lifetime collection of Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman in three days in China.

The Jason Momoa and Amber Heard-starrer Aquaman opens today (13 December) with paid premiers in the India market in English, Hindi, Tamil and Telugu and will be screened in 3D, IMAX and 2D formats. The action adventure with out-of-this-world special effects has been pre-sold by Warner Brothers to the Indian market for a whopping amount to NVR Cinemas.

Jason Momoa in and as Aquaman.

Trade analysts predict that Aquaman may gross around Rs 75 Cr in the Indian film market and would be profitable for its buyers. There are only five Hollywood films that have grossed over Rs 100 crores from the Indian market. The film, releasing one week before Christmas on 14 December, has virtually no opposition till Shah Rukh Khan’s Zero and a few south Indian film that will release on 21 December.

The advance booking for Aquaman in Chennai city, especially in the two IMAX screens, has been very good. Mukesh Mehta, who is distributing the film in Kerala said: “In Kerala, we are releasing Aquaman in 63 screens and only in 3D. The film has awesome 3D special effects and advance booking has been impressive despite stiff competition from Mohanlal’s Odiyan, which is releasing in nearly 400 screens.”

Taran Adarsh, leading trade analyst, says: “There is huge expectation surrounding Aquaman going by the way it has performed at the China box-office. The film has the potential to perform well in its opening week before the Christmas releases come by. Hollywood is now emerging as big competition for Indian content.”

Disney Studios had a dream run in India this year with Avengers : Infinity War and Black Panther doing extraordinary business. And with more multiplexes on the anvil, especially in tier 2 cities, dubbed Hollywood content is a major draw.

Meanwhile Hollywood studios are paying more attention to Asia, which is the biggest market for English films today. Disney India is aggressively pushing Avengers 4, now officially Avengers End Game releasing worldwide on 26 April, 2019.  The English trailer released simultaneously with the Indian language trailers, which also created hype for the film. Now producer James Cameron has come out with a special Asia version of the trailer of his action-packed Alita Battle Angel. Fox Star Studios is going all out to promote the film.

The phenomenal growth of China as the world’s biggest movie market has also helped the Indian film market. After the huge success of Aquaman, more Hollywood biggies are eyeing a premier in China and India before USA and European markets, something unthinkable a few years back.

Updated Date: Dec 13, 2018 16:15:51 IST