Hollywood’s growing obsession with Bollywood
Christopher Furlong/Getty Images A couple of months ago, Passport noted that Disney was trying to get a piece of Bollywood action with the film “Roadside Romeo,” to be released next summer. But now it seems that this was just the tip of the iceberg in terms of Hollywood’s efforts to crack the Indian movie market. ...
Christopher Furlong/Getty Images
A couple of months ago, Passport noted that Disney was trying to get a piece of Bollywood action with the film “Roadside Romeo,” to be released next summer. But now it seems that this was just the tip of the iceberg in terms of Hollywood’s efforts to crack the Indian movie market.
In the past month alone, there have been numerous stories of different ways Hollywood is trying to tap into Bollywood. Sony Pictures has just released a romance film entitled “Saawariya,” which the International Herald Tribune calls “the first in what will become a wave of American studios to produce their own kaleidoscopic, song-and-dance Bollywood films.” Richard Branson’s Bangalore-based Virgin Comics has also recently teamed up with India’s UTV Motion Pictures in a bid to create India’s first modern superhero characters, which will be represented through a number of different media, including film. The creators want the characters to be inspired by India, but be relevant for a global audience. Warners Brothers, too, will not be left behind in India: It’s making a Hindi-language film called “Made in China,” which will be the first Hindi movie to be filmed in China. The film’s producer proclaimed that this has brought the “globalization of Indian cinema closer to reality.”
What’s going on here? Unable to beat Bollywood—accounting for only around 5 to 8 percent of the Indian film market—Hollywood has decided to join it. There’s also an increasing amount of money to be made. India’s film industry is expected to balloon to $4.4 bllion a year by 2011, up from $2.1 billion last year. Not to mention Indian films have been gaining in popularity around the world, from Dubai to London, thanks in large part to India’s large diaspora population. I think it’s fair to say that Hollywood is betting on a safe horse here.
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