With Films Like Avengers, Lion King, Has Hollywood Discovered India As The Next Big Market?
One can very well claim that India has become one of the most potential film markets and production houses are working on different innovative strategies to win the audiences here.
The box office is certainly blowing up internationally and the credit for the same goes to franchise films that are being released back to back. The summer box-office sales which were going slow got the much-deserved kick due to Disney movies. But ruling the global market is one thing, however, leaving a mark in the Indian market where diversity makes things difficult to cater and satisfy everyone’s appetite is another. The studios seem to be changing the way they perceive the Indian box office. In fact, one can very well claim that India has become one of the most potential film markets and production houses are working on different innovative strategies to win the audiences here.
The Avengers Sequel- Global and Indian Market:
We don’t need to tell you that the amount of money “Avengers: Endgame” has made. The popular sequel has already got $2.743 billion globally. One of the most anticipated films of the year, Avengers: Endgame released across 2,500 cinema halls in India alone, making it one of the biggest releases in the country. And this happened because of the immense response Avengers: Infinity War received, which surprised Hollywood.
As per a report by BookMyShow, over 2.5 million tickets of the film were sold, 18 tickets per second. This became the highest advance ticket sale of any Hollywood film on the platform in India till date. The movie also got special permissions to have post-midnight shows. Strategising the fandom of the fan, Cinepolis that time even hosted a 20-hour movie marathon across cities in India before the final installment hits the screen.
Avengers: Infinity War was India’s highest Hollywood grosser making INR 200 crore just within 14-days of its release.
Avenger Re-release to Dethrone Avatar:
In fact, there are even speculations to re-release the film which will include the deleted scenes. It is being said that this is a strategy to boost the sale and break ‘Avatar’s’ all-time record.
Talking about movies only five films have ever surpassed $2 billion in the worldwide box office and Disney has four films under their rights now.
The Success and Failure of Franchise Films:
Disney’s ‘Aladdin’ which was recently released picked up $300 million in North American ticket sales and INR 47.21 crores (as per the two-weekend collection).
However, this isn’t the end-game for them on box office. Disney is dominating its rivals and next few weeks seem to be a cakewalk for them in terms of ruling the charts. The return of ‘Toy Story 4’ has already garnered $118 million opening weekend. According to the studio, ‘Toy Story 4’ is the fourth highest animated film opening over (not accounting for inflation).
Like ‘Toy Story’ other movie sequels like "Dark Phoenix," "Godzilla: King of the Monsters" and "Men in Black: International hit the screen, but they failed to impress the viewers. What actually worked in favour of "Toy Story 4" were wonderful reviews. It is rated 98% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes and has been doing pretty well even now. But according to the numbers despite reviews, it has not minted the amount of money that was expected, which become a hiccup in the franchise.
Will the Lion Roar in India?
Another anticipated movie of the year by Disney is "The Lion King," which premieres on July 19. Before its release, the movie has already made records. Fandango and Atom (the ticket selling platforms) on Tuesday announced that the Jon Favreau-directed remake of original 1994 film has outpaced, in the first 24 hours making a new record. If sales go as per this speed, this will soon be the second-best pre-ticket sale on Fandango after Avengers: Endgame.
Though the movie has its own craze globally, to target the Indian market the studio has gone extra miles and cast powerhouse actors to give their voice in English, Hindi, Tamil, and Telugu. Innovation is the key to reach the mass and filmmakers understand it like no one else.
Decoded the Formula To Win Indian Market?
As Hollywood has discovered India as the next big market, the studio has roped Shah Rukh Khan for the Hindi version of Lion King and will be voicing Mufasa (James Earl Jones in English) and his son Aryan Khan will voice Simba. The real-life father-son duo will be seen creating the magic on screen as well. Adding to the list is also Ashish Vidyarthi as Scar, Shreyas Talpade as Timon, Sanjay Mishra as Pumbaa and Asrani as Zazu.
Deadpool 2 with Indian Voices – A Failure!
In the past, when Deadpool 2 was released in India, Ranveer Singh gave his voice to the merc with a mouth. And popular YouTube influencer Bhuvan Bham as Dopinder. The combination might sound amazing, but Hindi dubbed film, unfortunately, failed to strike a chord with the viewers. This proves not every experiment is successful.
The Plan Ahead:
Meanwhile, the fourth week of July has some fabulous movies by Sony which has been produced by Disney’s Marvel Studio, "Spider-Man: Far From Home.” The fall will also see “Star Wars” and “Frozen 2”, so it is difficult to see Disney being dethroned this 2019 from the box office.
However, this should raise concern for the rival studios as they seem to be nowhere on par with Disney that is literally on a roll to take over the box-office. Will Warner Bros, Paramount, DC, and others will up their game and venture into the Indian market as well with a new approach? Well, that is something that would be interesting to see how other Hollywood studios plan to make their space in such a diverse country.
Priyadarshini Patwa is the Features Editors of Entrepreneur India and hosts an Instagram show every Friday named ‘Lighten Up’, about people from different walks of life and talk about their work and beyond. She handles the lifestyle, features, technology, entertainment segments and also is responsible for the Digital Covers. Previously she has worked with MensXP, a Times of India entity and Deccan Chronicle.
She’s @Priyanka_Patwa on Twitter and @priyadarshinipatwa on Instagram.