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Spidey’s web snares Indian box office

Meenakshi Verma Ambwani New Delhi | Updated on July 03, 2012

The amazing spiderman   -  BUSINESS LINE

A worldwide release and the casting of an Indian, Irrfan, appear to have done the trick for The Amazing Spider-Man, the rebooted version of the super-hero series. It has grossed Rs 34 crore in the first three days of its release, setting a record for the highest opening of a Hollywood film in India.

The success of this Hollywood movie comes on the heels of The Avengers and is expected to be followed up with other franchise movies like the Dark Knight Rises and Ice Age-the Continental Drift this month.

With other talked-about movies, such as Total Recall; James Bond movie sequel Skyfall, The Great Gatsby and Life of Pi lined up for release this year, Hollywood’s share in the Indian box office is set to rise. Releases across many more screens, dubbed versions in Indian languages and smart marketing in local languages are the key reasons for the growing popularity of Hollywood movies, say analysts. By industry estimates, Hollywood movies account for 9-10 per cent of the overall box office collections.

“The tipping point was movies like Avatar and 2012. Hollywood studios are becoming smarter about which movies to dub in regional languages. They also promote heavily in regional languages,” said Mr Jehil Thakkar, head of media and entertainment, KPMG India. He said action and disaster movies are dubbed in more regional languages, rather than romance or drama.

For movies like the Avengers and the Amazing Spider Man, a chunk of the collection came from smaller towns and cities thanks to the superhero theme and dubbed versions in Hindi, Tamil and Telugu. Mr Kercy Daruwala, MD of Sony Pictures India, said in a statement, “Spider-Man is the most consistently successful movie franchise in India.

What’s important to note is that a significant part of the box office has come from smaller centres as we have leveraged our strength in distributing and marketing this film across the country.”

Added Mr Sunil Punjabi, former CEO of multiplex chain Cinemax India: “With more and more screens getting digitised in India, Hollywood studios are able to reach out to a wider audience in the opening weekend, which is changing the consumption pattern of English movies.”

Published on July 03, 2012

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