The Indian audience has evolved and there is a demand for good cinema, now more than ever. Cinema-goers want to consume different, unique films irrespective of language and genre. There is enough and more scope within the industry for both Hollywood and Bollywood films to coexist and it is the audience that is the ultimate consumer. Next year will see the right mix of Bollywood and Hollywood movies, and, ultimately, content will win over movie-goers.
Whenever two or more high-profile films clash, business is bound to be affected. This is true not only for India but the whole world. Earlier, we focused only on competition within our industry but now we have to be careful about what is coming in from Hollywood as well. Gone are the days when Hollywood was consumed only by a niche audience.
Sanjay Chouhan, Writer
Budgets of Hollywood films are huge and they have even started spending a bomb on marketing their films. They have started promoting English films dubbed in regional languages and using regional stars to promote them. As a result, footfalls have increased for good films. Also, franchises do especially well in India and, 2017 will see many franchises releasing here. So, sure, they will be a threat to our films because the multiplex audience prefers watching English films. Over the last few years, the business of Hollywood films has increased from 5 per cent to 12 per cent. So, yes, they definitely affect the business of our movies.
I don’t think there is a threat because a good film will always work. Even when we have two big Hindi releases simultaneously, both of them work. In the past too, big Hollywood films have released alongside big Hindi releases and the good film has worked. It has never happened that a good film has failed because of another big release. Today’s audience looks for content. Our film Haseena will be releasing along with Hollywood film War For The Planet Of The Apes, a franchise of Planet Of The Apes but both films are of different genres. Except for the big boys, films will no longer enjoy a solo release, so you make a film, release it and then hope for the best.
Ashwini Chaudhary, Director
When you look back at 2016, almost every big Hollywood franchise film did better business than the Hindi films that released along with these films. Films like XXX and Wolverine have a loyal fan base and universal appeal. Franchise films like these will definitely eat into the business of Hindi films. And in 2017, almost every big Hollywood franchise is releasing, so even if they don’t coincide with Hindi releases, they will impact the next week’s business. A good film always works and movie-goers want to watch good content and are well versed with Hollywood films too. So, yes, the big chunk that comes from the multiplex audience will be affected.
Hollywood is swallowing a chunk of our business. When a Jungle Book reels in around `100 crore plus in India, it’s huge for India but not for them as their business is in thousands. But even our biggest films don’t cross `200 crore all that easily. So when a big Hollywood franchise film clashes with a Hindi release, it will definitely take a chunk out of our collections. Some of the big franchises, like Wolverine, Star Wars, Fast & Furious, Transformers and Spiderman are so huge that people wait for them to release, and all these big franchises are releasing in 2017. So, yes, Hollywood will pose a big threat next year.
At Cinepolis, we feel there is still great room for all good content to work and Hollywood is definitely taking the lead along with regional content. In the last two years, Bollywood’s contribution to the overall box office pie has been declining but, in absolute terms, Bollywood is growing. So the rising popularity of Hollywood and regional cinema is driving overall growth.
We have noticed that the best weeks in the year are those which have content-rich films from both Hollywood and Bollywood releasing, like Bahubali and Bajrangi Bhaijaan, Jurrasic World and Aashiqui 2. In India, we have a 5-crore-strong movie-going audience at the plexes and their preferences vary, so there is sufficient demand for films in
Nowadays, most Hollywood films release in major Indian languages and, almost every alternate week, there is healthy competition at the box office. When The Jungle Book released in India, its dubbed versions did far better business than in English as there was an Indian connect. Most Hollywood films move their release dates in India to avoid coinciding with an A-lister Bollywood movie release around the same time although we have not seen a similar case with Bollywood films yet.
In 2017, the Hollywood line-up is very strong: XXX: The Return of Xander Cage, Resident Evil: The Final Chapter, Maze Runner: The Death Cure, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, Spider Man: Homecoming, Wonder Woman, Thor: Ragnarok, Justice League, Underwood: Blood Wars, The Mummy, Kong: Skull Island, World War Z2, Transformers: The Last Knight, Fast 8, Baywatch, Bad Boys 3, Wolverine 3, The Lego Batman Movie, Jungle Book: Origins and Star Wars: Episode VIII, to name a few.
In 2017, the exhibition industry will be banking on sequels. Carnival has observed that Hollywood studios release their films throughout the year whereas Bollywood big-budget films mostly release during festivals or on long weekends, and in India, two different genres can sustain in the same week. Hence, there is always a dedicated and loyal fan base for all genres in India.
With the expansion of multiplex screens in India, Indian and international films are getting better slots and show timings and principally Hollywood is filling the gap in the content pie where content is king. Whether the box office will be affected is not a question here as there is always an audience for good content, regardless of where the film originated.