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Decoding Success of Avengers: Infinity War in India and Why it Could Be a Threat to Bollywood

Apart from a handful of Bollywood films, Hollywood movies have actually played a consequential role in terms of attracting audiences to theatres over the last few years.

Shrishti Negi | News18.com

Updated:May 9, 2018, 11:29 AM IST
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Decoding Success of Avengers: Infinity War in India and Why it Could Be a Threat to Bollywood
Apart from a handful of Bollywood films, Hollywood movies have actually played a consequential role in terms of attracting audiences to theatres over the last few years.
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After endlessly fretting over whether Sonam Kapoor would opt for Anamika Khanna or Abu Jani and Sandeep Khosla for her wedding to Delhi-based businessman Anand Ahuja (unfortunately, she didn’t go with either of them and chose to wear Anuradha Vakil instead), it’s time we get back to what has been keeping us extremely busy for the last two weeks in the movie business. Well, of course, it’s Avengers: Infinity War. Forget the IPL’s mega-auction or Baahubali’s lifetime collection or for that matter Han Solo's claim of the Millennium Falcon making the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs. In just two weeks, Infinity War has made more than a billion dollars and broken almost every box-office record in cinema history. To put that in perspective, the record-breaking Disney and Marvel superhero mashup has become the highest-grossing Hollywood film in India.

The film has recorded a mind-boggling collection of Rs 192 crore in India and has beaten The Jungle Book’s Rs 182 crore net box office collection in the country, according to trade analyst Taran Adarsh.





Despite being released in just about 2,000 screens in the country, the Russo brothers’ directorial has surpassed expectations in every way. However, it’s not the first time a Hollywood movie has taken the Indian box office by storm. Apart from a handful of Bollywood films, Hollywood movies have actually played a consequential role in terms of attracting audiences to theatres over the last few years and the immense success of Furious 7, Jurassic World, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Wonder Woman, and most recently Black Panther is testament to that.



So, as Hollywood films continue to storm the Indian box office, trade analysts Taran Adarsh and Akshaye Rathi spoke to News18 on how they could be a threat to the Indian film industry’s domestic revenue and what needs to be fixed immediately.

“We definitely need to wake up to good content be it Bollywood or South Indian films. It is a threat. It has been a threat for years now— be it Jurassic Park, Titanic, Avatar or Fast n Furious. There are so many films, The Jungle Book is, of course, one of them,” Adarsh said.

Adarsh, also a noted film critic, pointed out that if a film has a good content it will definitely reach out to a wider audience “no matter what language or which region it comes from.”

“Today producers need to wake up to the fact that there’s an audience wanting to watch films but you need to give them a good product. Now, Hollywood is creating such strong buzz and giving a huge hit, it’s almost like a game-changer what Baahubali was. I think if the content is strong enough, people will take it up. They perhaps might not be knowing the names of the actors but the fact is (of course, Avengers is the the franchise I’m not denying that) eventually it boils down to content,” he added.

Rathi, on the other hand, believes that the quality of filmmaking and writing of Indian cinema itself is a bigger threat to the country’s film industry than Hollywood movies.

“Well, honestly I hardly think Hollywood movies are as much of a threat to Bollywood as the quality of our writing, direction and filmmaking is to the industry. There is sort of good content and I’m very sure if we start making more great films like a Baahubali or a Dangal, people will come in a bigger numbers for our movies as well. Because our films are about our kind of people, they are into languages that we speak in and they feature our stars whom all of us have grown up loving or cheered for through years,” Rathi said.

Rathi noted that the Indian film industry has a tremendous growth potential, but "what we really need is to make films that cater to a wider audience and are very universal in their appeal and cut across the length and breadth of the country in terms of the audience they appeal.”

“We’re a country of 1.2 billion people and the box-office potential of this market has just shown to us last year by Baahubali 2 which earned over Rs 1200 crore in India. So, when the potential of the Indian market is over a 1200 crore, I think it’s very shameful that we celebrate a film or throw a success party for a film that does a 100 crore,” he said.

Talking about the insane record-breaking opening that the Avengers: Infinity War notched, Rathi said, “It’s absolutely incredible. But if you look at the movie, there is a dozen of superheroes and all of them are really popular stars. Imagine, two or three Bollywood A-list stars coming together for a Hindi film! But (the thing is) they have their own egos and don’t have the vision to realise that a film is bigger than them. The only way to think beyond this whole 300-400 crore thing is that you have to have more as a film than just one star and his fan following coming for the film."

“It’s very unfortunate that Rohit Shetty had a brilliant subject like 'Ram Lakhan' but he couldn’t make it because every actor wanted to play Lakhan. These kind of things need to be avoided and the day that happens I’m sure we’ll rock as an industry,” he signed off.
(Get detailed and live results of each and every seat of the state Assemblies in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Telangana, Chhattisgarh and Mizoram to know which candidate/party is leading or trailing and to know who has won and who has lost and by what margin. Our one-of-its-kind Election Analytics Centre lets you put on the psephologist's hat. Know interesting facts and trivia about the elections. Elections = News18)
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