Mumbai, Oct. 29 -- Gone are the days when Bollywood films were released only for Indian audiences. Now, they are screened frequently at international film festivals, and also released commercially in several countries. That, in turn, has led to a significant rise in the international business of Bollywood films. As Shah Rukh Khan's latest release making 48 crore in the first two days (according to Akshaye Rathi, film exhibitor).
We find out whether the overseas market is becoming a major factor in the business for Bollywood films?
Finding new audiences
Earlier, the international market was limited. "The overseas markets were restricted to the USA, UK, Canada and the Gulf region. My Name Is Khan (MNIK, 2010) changed that. The film premiered at international festivals, and went on to release in about 80 countries over a year-and-a-half," says Rathi. This made film-makers discover new audiences in the non-traditional markets. "There's now a huge scope in countries like Germany, China, Japan, Australia and other European countries," he adds.
Monetary, creative boost
Bollywood movies, which earlier used to make around ' 2530 crore overseas, are now making more than double the amount. Some of the biggest grossers include Dhoom: 3 (2013; releasing in Japan this weekend), Krrish 3 (2013), Chennai Express (2013) and Kick. "If our films find an audience in non-traditional markets, it's not just a business opportunity, but a chance to showcase our creativity too," says Vijay Krishna Acharya, the director of Dhoom: 3.
The road ahead
Trade analyst Komal Nahta describes the current phase as a "very good time for the industry". He says, "Earlier, people didn't dare venture into a lot of these countries, thinking their films won't have takers. That's no longer the case. The Lunchbox (2013) was a huge hit in the USA, while English Vinglish (2012) went to Romania and several other markets like Japan."