Avengers: Endgame, Spider-Man: Far From Home, The Lion King: How Hollywood is asserting dominance in Indian market
Trade analysts believe Bollywood producers will have to check the Hollywood slate carefully to slot their films for release.
From Avengers: Endgame to Spider-Man: Far From Home, Aladdin, and The Lion King, Hollywood films are flourishing in the Indian movie market and 2019 is turning to be out a real game-changer with consistently-performing blockbusters. According to FICCI and EY's 2019 report on Media and Entertainment, Hollywood movies are seeing strong growth at the Indian box office – collections for the top 10 Hollywood films in India reached over Rs 750 cr in 2018 from Rs 480 cr in 2017.
FICCI also reported that the NBOC of Hollywood films in India in 2018 (inclusive of all their Indian language dubbed versions) stood at Rs 921 cr. Trade analyst Taran Adarsh told Firstpost, "All four top Hollywood films in India this year have been Disney's. Now, Hollywood has only consolidated and cemented its place in the Indian market with a loyal fan following. What really opened their eyes was the performance of The Jungle Book in India. The volume of business contributed by The Jungle Book to the film's global total was a real turning point."
The Lion King is enjoying an excellent run at the box-office in India with a peachy first-week gross of Rs 93.45 cr ($13.98 million). Nearly 38% of the film's cumulative total has come from southern markets, especially Tamil Nadu and the Telugu states. The Lion King scored the second spot in its opening weekend with Rs 10.3 in TN, besting the total of Amala Paul's women-centric film Aadai. In fact, the opening weekend gross of Chiyaan Vikram's Kadaram Kondan was just Rs 2 cr more than the Jon Favreau-directed live-action drama.
Ruban, the owner of popular theater GK Cinemas based in Chennai and its outskirts, says, "While Avengers received a massive opening, The Lion King is sustaining well in the weekdays too with family audiences showing up consistently in droves. Even on Wednesday and Thursday nights, we had houseful shows. Hollywood releases have definitely helped overcome the below-par performances of recent big star Tamil films for exhibitors."
Trade analyst Girish Johar says the market share of Hollywood films in India has grown manifold now. "India was definitely in the top ten markets for sure for Avengers. Now, big Hollywood films are releasing simultaneously in India along with other significant markets. Everyone said The Jungle Book was a one-off thing, but other films have also been doing well now. Spider-Man and Annabelle series have done well too. A decade ago, the market share for Hollywood films in India was around 2 to 3%. Now, it has increased manifold, and Hollywood has taken giant steps to penetrate more."
Spider-Man: Far From Home has already vaulted over the Rs 100 cr in India in cumulative theatrical sales while Aladdin garnered a total of nearly Rs 69 cr. Brie Larson's Captain Marvel also comfortably joined the Rs 100 cr club with roughly $14.4 million total gross from India. "Hollywood films now release on the same day and date in India as the rest of the world, if not before. The success of recent years has established India as a very lucrative market for global studios," the FICCI report read.
Film reviewer and trade analyst LM Kaushik opines that the main reason for the popularity of Hollywood films in TN this summer is because of the below-par performances of big Tamil projects like NGK, Mr Local, and Sindhubaadh. "On the other hand, all these Hollywood films have a great story and superior audiovisual experience. The dubbing quality has also increased manifold, and the result is evident in the box-office numbers raked in by recent films such as Spider-Man: Far From Home and The Lion King. We also need to up our game. Hollywood is presenting simple stories with great conviction and movie-watching experience. The Lion King is expected to become one of the top-grossers of 2019 in TN. If it sails past the Rs 30 cr gross mark in the state, it would be an excellent feat," said Kaushik.
Girish says Bollywood producers will have to check the Hollywood slate carefully to slot their films for release. "Avengers was a solo release across all languages. Indian filmmakers knew that no other movie could come against Avengers. It's a big change in mindset, and Indian directors need to pull up their socks. Now, whenever producers announce their release plan, they have to check the Hollywood slate too besides other films actively," said Girish.
Adarsh noted the penetration of Hollywood films in the regional market. "They are pushing their movies into the regional market, mainly Hindi, Tamil, and Telugu. And, they have started utilising the voice-over of well-known stars. Now, Kapil Sharma has been roped in to lend his voice for Red in The Angry Birds 2. Kapil is a well-known comedian, and it will help penetrate the market more."
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