Unless you’re an Indian-American movie buff or a distributor of Indian films, you may not be aware of the rapid emergence of a new reality in North American cinema. It’s become big business in many parts of Canada.
Bollywood Movies from the Indian subcontinent have long been relegated to small releases in a few communities, but have seen rapid growth in both reach and revenue in recent years. A few years ago, the benchmark for a highly successful North American release might have been $5 million to $6 million at the box office (the blockbuster 3 Idiots made $6.5 million in 2009). ), which today typically gross over $8 million at the box office. Sometimes over $10 million. Just seven days after its release, the new action epic Baahubali: The Conclusio has grossed over his $13 million, with estimated grosses in North America reaching his $20 million. Few films, even in India, have achieved this level of financial success.
Films from the Indian subcontinent have long been relegated to small releases in a few communities, but have seen rapid growth in both reach and revenue in recent years. A few years ago, Bollywood Movies in USA the benchmark for a highly successful North American release might have been $5 million to $6 million at the box office (the blockbuster 3 Idiots made $6.5 million in 2009). ), which today typically gross over $8 million at the box office. Sometimes over $10 million. Just seven days after its release, the new action epic Baahubali: The Conclusio has grossed over his $13 million, with estimated grosses in North America reaching his $20 million. Few films, even in India, have achieved this level of financial success.
Behind this random trend is a combination of demographic changes in North America, market changes in India, and audience theatrical tendencies of Indian-made films.
Indian Americans are one of the fastest growing ethnic groups in North America. The most recent census data show a 69. % increase in the number in the United States between 2000 and 2010, with a similar increase in Canada. And overall, they tend to be very avid moviegoers compared to the general population, with him spending more than 50% above average on movie ticket purchases per capita.
Despite making up only about 1% of the U.S. population and 3.8% of Canadians, Indian Americans and Indian Canadians have a significant impact on the Indian film industry in the country. Indian-produced films that succeed in North America account for only one-third of the world’s box office in North America, even though the Native American population of the United States and Canada accounts for only one-third of the world’s 1% of the Indian diaspora. You can earn 10% more.
Indian filmmakers and North American distributors and exhibitors will appeal to this audience alike. At any given time, his 1,000+ cinema screens in the area could be dedicated to showing Indian films. As of this week, Indian films are showing on over 900 screens in 35 states alone in the US alone, with the most active states being California (118 screens), Texas (97), New Jersey (61), New York ( 6), Florida and Pennsylvania each have 1 screens.
Most ignorant people think of Indian ‘Bollywood’ films in Hindi, but the reality is that there are entries in Telugu, Malayalam, Tamil and Punjabi, with films from across India doing well in North America. By my count, there are 20 different Indian films on US screens this week, and the number of screens varies from one or two, depending on the film, to 750 in Baahubali. The film is currently showing in America in 3 different languages (Telugu, Tamil and Hindi) on almost 700 standard screens and 58 he IMAX screens.
It is also widely distributed on home video and online platforms. At the last count in August 2016, there were over 120 of his Indian films streaming on Netflix, most of them in Hindi.
The North American market seems to have plenty of room for these films to grow. Indian Americans and Indian Canadians are avid consumers, but my rough estimate is that he, a third of this population, buys tickets to the biggest Indian movies. Mila Nair’s arthouse hit Monsoon Wedding succeeded in reaching well beyond its core audience when it opened in North America in 2002 and grossed a staggering $13 million. But since then, at least to date, no other film has repeated that huge success. Just this week, Monsoon Wedding surpassed his Baahubali 2 box office record. This seems to do important business outside of the Native American community as well.
For Indian films to take full advantage of North American opportunities and Indian filmmakers to reach their full potential in the market, they will benefit from shifting security among local distributors. An Indian filmmaker who wished to remain anonymous said, “There is a huge trust problem with producers who unofficially sell Indian films to ‘hunted-down’ scammers. It’s only now that people have awakened to its true potential, thanks to its unstoppable sweeping box office success.”
At least two things are clear. The availability of high quality Indian films in the market continues to grow and the number of theaters capable of showing these films is also increasing. With their focus on serving starving Indian-American audiences, it’s almost inevitable that Indian filmmakers will enjoy increasing prosperity in the United States and Canada.