Hollywood eyeing Bollywood market big time

November 14th, 2007 - 10:23 am ICT by admin  

The film’s release will also mark the finale of a turbulent 18 months in which Hollywood’s major producers have been battling to invest in Indian films subsequent to corporate investments in other parts of the entertainment industry.

Executives from Disney chairman Dick Cook to Sony Pictures Entertainment chairman Michael Lynton have travelled to Mumbai in order to sign deals with the second-biggest movie industry in the world.

After months of talks, some of the projects are being fully financed by the Hollywood studios, while in other cases they are joint investments, with the studios frequently putting in 50 percent of the finance.

Warner Bros. have signed a deal to fund three films made by veteran producer Ramesh Sippy, with the first, “Made in China,” due to start shooting in January.

Paramount Pictures parent Viacom has formed Viacom-18, a joint venture with local television broadcaster TV18, and might make features through its subsidiary.

Meanwhile Sony has signed a deal with Eros International, an India-based production company, to make as many as six pictures during the next year.

“India is a huge subcontinent and it has a huge moviegoing population. Even if you forget the little pictures, it still supports 400 movies a year,” the Hollywood Reporter quoted Gareth Wigan, vice chairman of Sony’s Columbia TriStar division, as saying.

Richard Fox, executive vp international at Warners, says that his studio aims to make three to seven pictures annually in India.

“If you are in the business of local-language production — which we are — you can’t exclude Hindi-speaking movies, or movies in any of the top two or three languages in India,” he said.

Experts say that changes in the Indian economy and film business have made this trend more feasible than ever before, as the cronyism that once marked the Indian industry is pass

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