International investors are preparing to make an unprecedented onslaught on Bollywood this year, with several Hollywood studios and a group of London-listed funds looking to take a share of the world’s most prolific movie-making market.
Studio groups such as Sony Pictures Entertainment, Viacom – which controls Paramount Pictures – and Disney are working on new releases and partnerships that will give them an entry into India’s once closed and idiosyncratic movie industry.
“The fact is that the business in India is becoming more and more like the rest of the world,” said Michael Lynton, chairman and chief executive of Sony Pictures Entertainment. “It looks much more like a business that we understand than perhaps it did 10 or 15 years ago and the trend is to become more like that rather than less like that.”
The box office takings of India’s Hindi-language Bollywood movie industry, based largely in Mumbai, and the country’s regional language equivalents, focused mainly in the southern states, have been growing at an annual rate of 16 per cent, according to PwC. The industry generated revenue of Rs84.5bn ($2.1bn) in 2006 and is expected to be worth double that in the next three years, the professional services company said.
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