For long now, popular Bollywood films have been paying the price for not being too bold and out there with the ideas, but while the local film industries here are really trying to pull in a creative punch, a nicely packaged, well-marketed Hollywood spectacle is out there, every week, to stake its claim in the Indian market.
The American cinema has historically been the largest exporter of genre films in action, animation, fantasy, horror and sci-fi across the globe, but its impact here in India has substantially grown over this particular decade.
Continually branching out and expanding into the concept of film universes, Bollywood indeed faces a formidable franchise force from the West, which is pulling its own heavyweights and potential future stars down.
Hollywood has delivered many hits in 2019 at the box office in India. Avengers: Endgame remains the highest-grossing film of the year in 2019 with a lifetime collection of Rs 367 crore in India.
The Lion King, which released on July 19, has so far collected Rs 98.48 crore in India business. Captain Marvel, Spider-Man: Far From Home and Aladdin are other terrific performers this year.
Here's a look at Avengers: Endgame's feats in India:
-- Avengers: Endgame is the highest Hollywood grosser in India.
-- Avengers: Endgame has surpassed opening weekend collection of all Hindi films.
-- Avengers: Endgame is second biggest opener in India, after Baahubali: The Conclusion’s Rs 121 crore opening.
-- It also emerged as the highest Hollywood opener ever in India.
Endgame also happens to be one out the five highest grossing films in India. The list which has Endgame at the fifth spot includes films-- Baahubali 2, 2.0, Dangal and Baahubali. One each for Bollywood and Hollywood.
Same Day Releases
A case in point: Shah Rukh Khan's Fan (2016) and Hollywood's The Jungle Book released a week apart and while the former struggled to earn Rs 85 crore, The Jungle Book earned approximately Rs 183 crore.
Likewise, Captain Marvel, starring Brie Larson, did more business in India as compared to hit films like Luka Chuppi and Badla. Other Hollywood films that did not do well in India, still managed to do better business than smaller budget Hindi films.
Taapsee Pannu's psycho-horror Game Over and Arjun Kapoor's India’s Most Wanted did less business than Annabelle Comes home, Dark Phoenix, Godzilla: King of the Monsters, Alita Battle Angel, among other Hollywood films.
Marketing and Expansion
While emphasising on the ever-expanding cult of horror fandom in India wrt The Conjuring series, and earlier through extensive piracy and online streaming, Ajjit Andhare, COO, Viacom18 Motion Pictures had said, "Yes, franchises is the way forward for studios but you still have to deliver a great film.”
About accesibility and marketing, Hollywood is bleeding out and gaining favours locally. Russo Brothers, Tom Cruise, Avengers cast, The Rock, Keanu Reeves and many others, including filmmakers, have become legitimate stars in India, some to the extent that a Hindi film featuring a known actor or actress may get thrashed when pitted against aforementioned Hollywood biggies.
The industry's growing investment in the Indian market is also a pull for the audiences. Dubbed versions are as popular in metro cities as the English original, sometimes even more. If you have a Shah Rukh Khan or a Kareena Kapoor Khan voicing a character in a Hollywood film, odds get stacked against Bollywood films.
"Localisation of Hollywood is all about making the movies more accessible to tier 2 and tier 3 centres where people want to watch a Hollywood film on the big screen but in their own language. The impact of localisation has grown immensely with studios sharpening their focus on making films more palatable for audiences in India. This includes smart scripting and dubbing of the original content," said CEO of Fox India Studios while explaining their strategy to make inroads in India.
With variety content coming in from the foreign market, the audience surely have options over every weekend. Film trade experts are confident that Indian markets will keep adding to a strong total for Hollywood films if the lack of good and experimental content in India continues.
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