War at the box office!


By Hindustan Times

Come June and Bollywood will be set for action. About 30 films will release in June, July and August. But at the same time, 15 big name Hollywood films will also release.

While it’s a given that Hindi films will always rule the box office, it’s also a fact that in the last 10 years, the market share of Hollywood movies in India has increased from two per cent to eight or nine per cent and is worth about Rs. 850-900 crore. Since Titanic (1997) became the first Hollywood film to have a wide release in India, other films have followed. Last year, The Adventures of Tintin released with more than 350 prints — a record for an animated film. And this year, The Avengers opened across India at around 800 screens in four languages.

And given that international studios often spend sums like Rs. 2-3 crore on publicity as against Rs. 30-50 lakh earlier, trade experts feel that overseas films can no longer be regarded as pushovers.

“Bollywood must accept the power of Hollywood films,” says film trade analyst Taran Adarsh. “Since they are dubbed in local languages too, they affect the revenues of Hindi films.”

On June 8, Shanghai will clash with Madagascar 3 and Prometheus at the box office. Later, Ferrari Ki Sawaari, Gangs of Wasseypur and Teri Meri Kahaani will release along with Benjamin Walker’s Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. In July, The Amazing Spiderman, featuring Irrfan as Dr Promestheus, will take on Rohit Shetty’s Bol Bachchan. And Ice Age 4 will open on July 13 together with Cocktail and Barfi!. In August, Kyaa Super Kool Hain Hum, Ek Tha Tiger, Joker, and Raaz 3 face The Bourne Legacy, Total Recall, The Expendables 2, and The Pirates! Band of Misfits."

Hindi filmmakers are not worried. “Only a big franchise is competition,” says Tanuj Garg, CEO, Balaji Motion Pictures. “Films like James Bond and Harry Potter, for example, will have specific patronage in India. But every Hollywood film isn’t a matter of concern.”

Producer Goldie Behl, whose I, Me Aur Main will release on June 27, agrees. “Of course, films will be competing with each other in terms of revenues. But how big a competition will it be? Hollywood hasn’t been able to break into the mainstream.”

However, says Kercy Daruwala, managing director, Sony Pictures India, “Movies like The Hangover and The Ugly Truth were big hits. We have to accept that the audiences’ tastes are changing.”

Overseas films have picked up for various reasons, adds Daruwala. “Increasing numbers of multiplexes, additional screens and lower admission rates have contributed to Hollywood’s popularity,” he explains. And dubbing movies in local languages like Hindi, Tamil and Telugu adds to their popularity. Almost 40 per cent of a Hollywood film’s business comes from Hindi dubbed versions while around 30 per cent comes from the Tamil and Telugu versions.

Interestingly, July 20 will see the release of only The Dark Knight Rises, the final installment in the Batman trilogy, in 700 screens across the country. No Hindi film is releasing that weekend.
(All release dates are subject to change)

Money talks
Over the past few years, Hollywood films have made big bucks in India.
Rs. 142 crore
Rs. 90 crore
Mission Impossible: The Ghost Protocol
Rs. 40 crore
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Rs. 36 crore
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
Rs. 34 crore
Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of Unicorn
Rs. 24 crore
Kung Fu Panda 2
Rs. 27 crore

Record breaking Hollywood films

Titanic was the first Hollywood film to make a record Rs. 52 crore in India.
The Avengers opened in a record 800 screens in India.
The Adventures of Tintin released with more than 350 prints — a record for animated films.
Over the past decade, the market share of Hollywood films has gone up from two per cent to eight to nine per cent.
Hollywood studios spend up to Rs. 2-3 crore on publicity as compared to just around Rs. 30-50 lakh earlier.