New Delhi, Feb 15 From super-spy thrillers to animation films to action adventure offerings, a barrage of Hollywood movies is releasing in India. Though the viewership is still limited, the country is becoming a promising market, say trade experts.
“The response to Hollywood films in India has immensely improved over the years. We have seen considerable growth in the number of people coming to watch these films. Thanks to the social media, people are increasingly becoming aware and they have started coming to the theatres,” Gautam Datta of PVR Cinemas told IANS.
“Moreover, the Indian distributors of Hollywood films have also been devising new ways to promote these films. Another important aspect behind their increasing popularity here is these films are being dubbed in various Indian languages,” he added.
Last year saw a number of Hollywood releases in India that did decent business at the box-office. “Mission Impossible: The Ghost Protocol”, which had Bollywood actor Anil Kapoor in a brief appearance, earned Rs.40 crore ($8.12 million) in India. And, most importantly, the film’s lead actor, Tom Cruise, had flown down to the country to promote his film.
The last and the final instalment of “Harry Potter” series, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” and “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” earned Rs.36 crore ($7.3 million) each, while Johnny Depp’s “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” raked in Rs.34 crore in India.
Vin Diesel-starrer “Fast Five” earned Rs.29 crore while “X-Men: First Class” fetched Rs.22 crore in the Indian market. Aaron Eckhart-starrer “Battle Los Angeles” did a business of Rs.20 crore.
Animation film “Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of Unicorn” and “Kung Fu Panda 2″ grossed Rs.24 crore and Rs.27 crore respectively at the box-office. “The Hangover 2″, sequel to the 2009 film “The Hangover” earned Rs.15 crore at the Indian box-office.
The market size of Hollywood in India is believed to be about Rs.850-Rs.900 crore, which contributes 10-12 percent of the overall box-office revenue.
Ashok Amritraj, owner of Hyde Park studio in Los Angeles, said: “India is not the biggest market for Hollywood films. India is dominated by Indian films. But, on the other hand, it has grown significantly in the last 10 years.”
Datta said the market is small, “as like many other countries, it is an additional market for Hollywood, but the films still do well. It still has to go a long way”.
According to distributor Joginder Mahajan, the number of Hollywood films releasing in India has fairly increased, but films only work if they have a good storyline.
“Earlier only five to six Hollywood films used to release in India, but now the number is much more. Just like Indian cinema is creating a space for itself on the global platform, Hollywood films are also gradually creating a niche here,” Mahajan told IANS.
“But people are still looking for good stories,” he added.
Thanks to the Oscars, people are becoming more aware, says Mahajan.
“Due to the increasing popularity of Oscars and other prestigious international awards, the curiosity levels of people are increasing. Whenever they hear that some theatres are showing Oscar-nominated films, they flock to the cinemas to watch them,” he said.
“The audience is limited because such films only have viewership in metro cities; it is not as popular in small towns,” Mahajan said.
Datta also admits that people are looking for films that are a visual treat.
“People watch only those films that are visually appealing whether it’s an action thriller, a sci-fi or an animation film. They want visually strong films,” he said.