When Disney decided to get into Bollywood production (on seeing the potential), the studio thought it made the right move after tasting initial success. However some recent flops (including ‘Mohenjo Daro’) in the last few months have made Disney take the decision of quitting Bollywood film production.
Instead of producing Indian films, Disney will now focus on marketing Hollywood films in India.
Disney India did wear the producers hat successfully in India for some time. ‘Khoobsurat’ (starring Fawad khan) just about managed to recover the money, but ABCD 2 was a commercial success in India. Baaghi, starring actor Tiger Shroff and actress Shraddha Kapoor, also had a good run.
Disney had set the box office records in India on fire with the super success of ‘The Jungle Book’ but also gave a couple of big flops – first it was Katrina Kaif and actor Aditya Roy Kapoor’s ‘Fitoor’ and now Hrithik Roshan’s ‘Mohenjo Daro”.
Disney’s upcoming Bollywood releases include Aamir Khans’ Dangal, going by Aamir’s track record this should be a ‘hit’. Another movie to be released is Jagga Jasoos (featuring Ranbir Kapoor and Katrina Kaif).
Also Read: List of Upcoming Films
The Jungle Book | Official Hindi Trailer
Warner Bros had also forayed into Bollywood film production (had produced the flop ‘Chandni Chowk To China’), but later exited local production and distribution.
The other Hollywood studios who’re producing Bollywood films include Fox Star Studios India, Viacom18 Motion Pictures and Sony (first U.S. studio to produce a Bollywood film – Saawariya.)
Disney does more than making movies
Globally, Disney does lot more than movies, and that’s what it plans to do here as well.
- From merchandising to reality shows, amusement park rides and several other digital properties, Disney plans to make successful franchises in India as well
- The studio has tied-up with companies to sell branded apparel, inspired by their films
- They’re making apps that will help you make-up or do your hair like the lead actors (for example, Shraddha Kapoor in ABCD 2)
- Reality shows based on their successful movies. In this case, a dace reality show that is inspired by ABCD 2
Dancing themed Video games for gamers
U.S. (Hollywood) Studios Eye Massive Bollywood Business
U.S. Studios are chalking out plans to garner a bigger share of Bollywood Business, considering its increaching reach across the globe. Having completed 100 glorious years and with films getting made on a variety of topics, the Indian film industry is in for exciting times ahead.
Hollywood’s share of the Indian film market may still be small but it’s definitely growing.
There’s lot of excitement among the Indian film-makers as the fact that “Indian cinema has completed 100 years” is getting a lot of media attention abroad. Various international award ceremonies, film festivals, events are acknowledging this fact, and Cannes Film Festival has even announced that it’s going to feature a special tribute on this landmark occasion. This is also a reflection of the fact that Bollywood business is growing big time, and no one doubts that thing.
Hollywood Studios Want Bigger Share
The fact that India itself is growing, and there’s going to be massive investments in the area of infrastructure augurs well for the entertainment industry as well.
Indian film industry is not only the world’s most productive, it’s also the most popular. Around 1,000 films are made every year.
As per KPMG, India is all set to surpass Britain as the world’s fifth-largest film market by sales, in the next four years.
To capitalize on this opportunity, several huge US-based studios such as Disney, Viacom and Fox are making plans to win a larger share of the Indian film market.
Regulations for International Participants
Experts believe that for international studios to seek growth in developing countries, it’s important for the regulations to be fairly favorable to them.
For example, one of the largest market for films is China (like India, even China is growing but much faster), but then foreign studios have strict guidelines on how many movies they can make & distribute.
However, Ronnie Screwvala (head of Disney UTV) feels that Indian market/regulations is much more favorable to international investors compared to several other emerging film markets.
Another challenge that the US studios face is that Indian audience is not that receptive to English movies, despite its huge size.
This is in contrast to the Chinese market, where English-language films account for almost half of the market in China.
So the Indian public is clearly showing preference to films made in Hindi & other regional languages such as Tamil (which is also a huge market).
That is where these foreign studios have adopted a different strategy – by setting themselves up as domestic film studios.
So even though every where else in the world, Hollywood studios have setup local distribution offices to push their own American movies, India is the only place where they’ve been forced to go local.
These studios have been producing Indian-language films, with minimal interference from their parent groups in California, US.
Can Indian Films Earn Huge Profits?
So can Bollywood films earn huge profits, somethings on the lines of Hollywood movies?
It seems unlikely, at least in the short term future. Here are few reasons for that.
Despite the fact that several multiplexes are opening, there are much lesser number of screens if you consider on a per-capita basis, compared to other big markets.
Ticket Prices are Low
Barring some multiplexes located in the plush localities, the domestic ticket prices are among the world’s lowest, which limits profitability.
Crossover Bollywood Hit Still Elusive
Indian movies are popular abroad, but mostly among the Indian/Asian diaspora; they’re still not very popular with the general public. A hit “crossover” Bollywood film capable of winning over a wider international audience, has remained elusive.
So until the time these big studios figure out how to crack the global export market, Bollywood films are going to earn a fraction of their Hollywood counterparts.
Good Times Ahead
In spite of the challenges, the fact that international groups are eyeing India means there’s definitely an exciting future for Indian cinemas. You’ll now have professional sources of finance and professional management as well, which is a massive change as opposed to the norm that existed for the past several decades. And hopefully some day, we’ll have that blockbuster crossover Bollywood film that matches a top Hollywood grosser.
Hollywood meets Bollywood in new joint venture
Success of recent bollywood movies overseas indicates that overseas audiences are lapping up Indian content. On the other hand, the success of the latest Hollywood blockbusters in India have validated the foreign studios’ focus on the Indian market. Taking a cue from these, Hollywood studio Relativity Media has decided to enter the Indian market through a joint venture (announced during the 2014 Cannes Film Festival) with media house B4U, owned by Lakshmi Mittal, Kishore Lulla, and Gokul Binani. Read more here…