Disney likely to go low on Indian content, shifts focus to Hollywood slate

After the flop show of its much-talked-about Bollywood title 'Mohenjo Daro' Disney studio is looking to shift its focus to Hollywood slate and going low on Bollywood content. This news came in just ...
Disney likely to go low on Indian content, shifts focus to Hollywood slate

After the flop show of its much-talked-about Bollywood title 'Mohenjo Daro’ Disney studio is looking to shift its focus to Hollywood slate and going low on Bollywood content. This news came in just after the alleged exit of Disney India managing director Siddharth Roy Kapur after his contract gets over. Getting away from Bollywood content, the Walt Disney Company India is shifting its focus from local-language features to marketing its Hollywood slate. According to a report by ET, coming off the record success in India with The Jungle Book as well as some Disney-produced Bollywood flops, including historical epic Mohenjo Daro, the studio is moving away from the Bollywood business. The studio created box office history in India when The Jungle Book became the highest-grossing Hollywood release in India this summer. Directed by Jon Favreau, the title grossed $23.7 million (1.57 billion rupees) within its first 12 days of release, thus beating the previous records of Furious 7, which grossed a total of $23.4 million (1.55 billion rupees) during its entire theatrical run last year. The Jungle Book went on to cross the $30 million (2 billion rupees) mark. Though Hollywood's share of the Indian film market is still in nascent stage, but seems to be promising. Last year, the top 10 Hollywood theatrical releases grossed a total of around $98 million at the box office, up nearly 34 percent from $64.7 million in 2014, states a recent report by consulting firm KPMG India. According to Jehil Thakkar, consultant, KPMG, “This translates into a market share for Hollywood films of around 8 to 9 per cent compared to about 6 per cent previously.” Total revenue for the entire Indian film industry in 2015 was up by nine per cent to $2.09 billion. This would mean that Hollywood's box office take in the region amounted to about $188 million. Disney expanded its Indian presence in 2012 when it acquired a controlling stake in UTV, a leading broadcasting, film and Media Company for which the studio made an offer of $454 million. Following the Disney takeover, UTV delivered a number of Hindi-language hits, including 2014's PK, which is estimated to have grossed more than $100 million. But of late, the studio has had a string of flops, including the romantic drama Fitoor and the big-budget Mohenjo Daro, which opened to mixed reviews and a disappointing box office. “It is unfortunate that Disney has decided to pull the plug on the Hindi film production business, which UTV was known and respected for,” the Times report stated, quoting an unnamed source in the company who added, “But in the current scenario, it is unviable and loss-making. I hope we will revive this business in the future.” Currently, the other Hollywood studios active in local content production include Fox Star Studios India, Viacom18 Motion Pictures and Sony. Warner also forayed into Bollywood in 2009, but subsequently exited local production and distribution and is currently focused on its Hollywood releases. Sony is now gearing up to expand its local slate and recently announced the appointment of former Endemol India executive Ram Mirchandani as its head of creative development. Looking ahead, Disney's upcoming Bollywood releases include the much-awaited wrestling drama Dangal starring actor Aamir Khan and Jagga Jasoos starring actor Ranbir Kapoor and actress Katrina Kaif.  

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