Bollywood to tap the Lucrative Chinese market to boost earnings. Maps out strategy, eyes joint-production opportunities with Chinese studios.
Jackie Chan had a huge fan-following in India, and even at this age, there are some die-hard fans who would want to watch his movies. Unfortunately, he never got to star in any joint-production venture between India-China (perhaps, in his younger days, he was too expensive to get on board. Today, I’m sure Indian producers can afford him as they have access to bigger budget). Bollywood actress Mallika Sherawat may have worked with Jackie Chan in a movie, but that was a Hollywood film altogether.
But now, taking a cue from Hollywood, big Bollywood studios such as Eros International Plc (producer and distributor of Indian films) are going all out to tap the lucrative Chinese market to boost their earnings.
The maths involved is simple
In India, you can release a movie in around 5,000 film screens, but in China you can release your film in at least 20,000 screens. So there’s a potential to earn a lot more, considering that Bollywood has only recently started looking at China seriously.
Besides, foreign films, mainly from Hollywood, accounted for about 45 percent of total Chinese box office on a strict quota of 34 movies, with the rest coming from over 600 local Chinese films, according to an analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence.
No wonder, Hollywood studios are increasingly incorporating Chinese stars and Chinese locations in their films for better collections at the box office. Several Hollywood films have also been edited by the studios to avoid offending the Chinese audience.
Strategy for China
The strategy that Bollywood is looking at, to succeed in China is:
- Co-produce content, involving studios from both countries
- Remake films featuring stars from both countries
- Distribute dubbed movies that may have an appeal in China
Eros International has plans to make as many as four films with two Chinese studios over the next three years. Eros has signed agreements with Chinese Film Corp., Shanghai Film Group Corp. and Fudan University to promote, co-produce and distribute their films in both nations.
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