Foreign Films In India: 2007

"Arr mateys, prepare to be boarded!". Hollywood is having a banner year in India for 2007. Variety reports:

Boosted by other hits including "Spider-Man 3" and "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End," Hollywood's market share is tracking at around 8%-10% this year. That's whammo in a country with an all-powerful tradition of watching Bollywood and other local-language movies. And it compares well with a short while back when 3%-4% for Hollywood would have been considered good.

And why?

What's making the difference is India's hurtle toward economic modernity and the willingness of distribs to mix it up and experiment with such things as multiple-language dubbed versions.

The multiplexing of India is making more screens available, and an increasingly world-wise Indian population doesn't want to wait for entertainment that is available elsewhere.

As five or six screeners replace single theaters, there is much more choice for cinemagoers and room for programming diversity.

I wrote about relatively low budget desi multiplex films benefiting from this trend but it looks like Hollywood is starting to make inroads as well. And they're not the only beneficiaries:

Korean record-breaker "The Host" grossed a solid Rupees8.39 million ($208,000) in its maiden week in Indian cinemas.

Release, thought to be a first for a Korean movie in India, was handled by indie Indo-Overseas Films.

Interestingly enough, I wonder if the low budget horror films by Ram Gopal Verma ("Bhoot", "Darna Mana Hai") intended for multiplexes actually opened up the audience to fare of this type. In any case, competition is good for the consumer - the resulting pressure will hopefully force Bollywood to raise their own game.

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- August 11, 2007 10:33 PM // Bollywood , Film , India