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Hollywood gave Indian films a run for their money
What's the secret behind their success? It's the unparalleled reach of Hollywood films, says film critic and entertainment industry tracker Sreedhar Pillai
 
Hollywood films have shown steady growth in India year-on-year. However, this year has been phenomenal as the domestic box office collections of the top five Hollywood titles stood at over a staggering Rs.500 crore ($75 million).
 
With films such as "Fast and Furious 7" (Rs.155 crore) and "Jurassic World" (Rs.103 crore) making it to the once elusive Rs.100 crore club like a walk in the park, the odds have finally shifted in favour of the big studios.
 
What's the secret behind their success?
 
It's the unparalleled reach of Hollywood films, says film critic and entertainment industry tracker Sreedhar Pillai.
 
"By dubbing their films in regional languages such as Tamil and Telugu, most studios have taken Hollywood content to the common man. What were once considered films strictly for multiplex audiences, cater to even people in B and C centres today," Pillai told IANS.
 
Clearly, Universal Pictures' move to release their films in regional languages has paid off, he added.
 
"Both 'Fast and Furious 7' and 'Jurassic World' released in over a thousand screens in India. While most studios were hesitant to explore the regional market, Universal Pictures showed the way forward by releasing these films in Tamil and Telugu," he said.
 
Concurring Pillai's point of view, Rajendra Singh, vice president - Programming and Distribution, INOX LEISURE, said: "Today, the number of Hollywood movies dubbed into other Indian languages has increased considerably, which has added to its good performance at the box office. Movies like 'Mission Impossible', 'Spectre', and 'The Martian' have been dubbed in at least two Indian languages".
 
Does he agree to the fact that Hollywood films can give Indian cinema neck-to-neck competition?
 
"Indian cinema holds a very special place in our psyche. Hindi cinema consists of the largest chunk of movies that come out of this country. Cinema in other Indian languages like Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Bengali, Punjabi, among others, contribute hugely to this pie.
 
"I personally think it is difficult for Hollywood movies to match this contribution, however, the release of these movies in other Indian languages has proved to be highly favorable over the years," Singh saud.
 
A leading Tamil film producer, however, has a different opinion.
 
"This year witnessed a wide release of many Hollywood films. The Tamil dubbed version of 'Fast and Furious 7', which released in April, did exceptional business despite the release of multiple Tamil films in the same month. It's going to get very tough," he explained.
 
While action films such as "Fast and Furious 7", "Avengers: Age of Ultron" (Rs.78 crore) , and "Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation (Rs.69 crore) appealed to the masses, Vijay Singh, CEO, Fox Star Studios says there is also "general upsurge in interest in genres which hitherto were considered niche in India, like the sci-fi genre".
 
"The Indian audience is evolving and interest in Hollywood films is growing. The success of 'The Martian' is the best example. The appetite for good entertaining films is increasing, be it Hollywood or Bollywood," he said.
 
Alfonso Cuaron's sci-fi drama "Gravity" was a blockbuster in India. Pillai says the human element worked in its favour.
 
In 2016, Pillai believes, the market for Hollywood films in the country is only poised to grow.
 
"It totally depends on the marketing muscle of the studio. It's time they start adopting day-and-date release strategy," he said.
 
"One of the reasons 'Spectre' didn't do so well in India because it had released worldwide a few weeks ago and by the time it released in the country, piracy had killed its prospects at the ticket window. When it comes to big action films, studios should look at releasing on the same day across all key markets," he added.

 

Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.
 

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Mix of red, amber, green light for auto industry

The Volkswagen emission scandal is probably the strongest jolt to have hit the automotive industry worldwide which had its impact in India as well

 

Indian passenger car makers were under legal and regulatory spotlights in 2015, while for the automobile industry, in general, it was a year of mixed fortunes in terms of sales with growth rates ranging from double digits to the negative, experts maintain.
 
The apex court ordering ban on registration of diesel passenger vehicles of over 2,000 cc engines in the national capital region till March 2016 and the Delhi government's proposal to allow odd and even number cars to ply on alternate dates, shocked the car makers.
 
But the Volkswagen emission scandal is probably the strongest jolt to have hit the automotive industry worldwide which had its impact in India as well.
 
The central government on its part introduced new crash test norms for cars from 2017 onwards.
 
"The year 2015 saw a spill-over of the safety concerns in Indian manufactured cars that were raised in early 2014. Most of the severe car crashes around the country were in the spotlight as hard reminders of the substandard safety norms that cars in India need to adhere to," Collin Noronha, senior research analyst, Automotive & Transportation Practice at Frost & Sullivan told IANS.
 
According to Noronha, the government stipulating stringent crash test norms for all new cars from October 2017 is a giant leap for the Indian automotive industry.
 
For upgrades of existing models, the deadline will be from October 2018, he said.
 
"Despite the relatively weaker emission norms in India as compared to those in markets like the United States of America and the United Kingdom, action initiated by the Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI) has eventually led to Volkswagen Group India recalling approximately 323,700 cars fitted with 1.2-litre, 1.5- litre, 1.6-litre, and 2.0-litre EA 189 diesel engines that were manufactured and sold between 2008 and November 2015," Noronha said.
 
Terming 2015 as a volatile year for the passenger vehicle segment Noronha said some segments showed strong gains in two to three months since January 2015.
 
The market is generally evolving in preference from small hatchbacks to the premium ones. Queried about the trend in the car segment, he pointed out the increasing electronics content in the compact segment.
 
"For the two wheelers segment 2015 was a mixed year growing by just two percent ending November 2015," Yadvinder Singh Guleria, senior vice president-sales & marketing, Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India told IANS.
 
The automatic scooter segment logged 12 percent growth.
 
The overall motorcycle segment continued its downward trend with the two percent de-growth, he added.
 
"We expect the industry to grow by 3-5 percent subject to variables like monsoon, introduction of GST (Goods and Services Tax) and its timing. Scooters will continue to lead this growth," Guleria said.
 
As for the commercial vehicles sector, Muralidharan R., director, corporate ratings with Fitch told IANS: "The MHCV (medium & heavy commercial vehicles) sales registered a strong year-on-year growth of 31.9 percent during January-October 2015, reversing falling sales over the last two years. However, sales volumes of the light commercial vehicles (LCV) fell by 6.1 percent."
 
He said the resumption of mining activity along with green shoots in the manufacturing sector growth in second half of 2015, though erratic, has been positive for the sector.
 
Also the new regulations which make anti-lock braking system (ABS) and a speed-control devices mandatory for trucks (produced after October 2015 and sold after March 2016) is also likely to have contributed to additional sales with some truck/ fleet operators advancing their purchases," Muralidharan said.
 
"Fitch expects MHCV to continue to post strong growth (around 10 percent) in 2016. We however expect LCV demand to remain weak during first half of 2016 before improving in second half of 2016," he remarked.
 
Highlights of 2015:
 
Minority shareholders of Maruti Suzuki India gave green signal for sourcing cars from Suzuki Motor Gujarat Pvt. Ltd. (SMG).
 
Jan Dhan Yojana to make many people loan worthy to buy two wheelers.
 
Higher pension for ex-servicemen, implementation of 7th Pay Commission expected to drive vehicle sales in 2016.
 
Hero MotoCorp unveiled two 110 cc scooters completely developed in-house.
 
Hero MotoCorp starts manufacturing operations in Colombia.
 
TVS Motor Company to expand its Tamil Nadu's Hosur at an outlay of Rs.350 crore.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.
 

 

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ISRO: A year of commercial launches

During the year, the Indian space agency launched 17 foreign satellites as against three Indian ones from its rocket port in Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh

 

The year 2015 could be termed as one of commercial launches for the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), while steps have been taken to spread the usage of space technology within India.
 
During the year, the Indian space agency launched 17 foreign satellites as against three Indian ones from its rocket port in Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh.
 
Last month, India also launched its GSAT-15 communication satellite using the Ariane rocket of the European space agency, taking the total number of satellite launches in 2015 to 21 (17 foreign, four Indian).
 
India will send aloft two telecommunication satellites - GSAT-17 and GSAT-18 - on the Ariane 5 rocket in 2016 and 2017.
 
However, it terms of the foreign tonnage, ISRO had transported around 2,148 kg, which is much below the GSAT-15's three tonne weight.
 
According to space agency officials, India has contracted to launch over 20 satellites - a mix of nano, micro and normal sized ones -over the next three years.
 
According to ISRO chairman A.S. Kiran Kumar, the immediate focus is on completing the second vehicle (rocket) assembly line that would enable increasing the launch frequency.
 
In terms of rockets used, 19 satellites were launched with the polar satellite launch vehicle (PSLV) and one communication satellite - the GSAT-6 - with a geosynchronous satellite launch vehicle (GSLV).
 
During the year, India joined a select group of nations - the US, Japan and Russia, as also Europe - with the successful launch of the Astrostat space observatory. India also moved a step forward towards its own satellite navigation systems by launching the IRNSS-1D in March.
 
On July 13, India launched its satellite-based air navigation services GAGAN (GPS Aided Geo Augmented Navigation Satellite System) and in the process joined a select group of the US and Japan, as also the European Union (EU) that have a similar system.
 
GAGAN is meant to provide accurate navigation services over the Bay of Bengal, southeast Asia, the Indian Ocean, Middle East and African region.
 
In another plus, the space agency successfully tested the restarting of the PSLV rocket after its engine was cut off during the mission to launch six Singaporean satellites on December 16. This would enable ISRO to launch multiple satellites in different orbits with a single rocket.
 
And, to increase the usage of Indian space technology a meeting of central government ministries were held in New Delhi during the year where ISRO showcased its products and services and their uses.
 
Besides, with the launch of the GAGAN and IRNSS (Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System) projects, ISRO and the Airports Authority of India organised a user-meet in Bengaluru for these services.
 
The year 2015 also saw the Netherlands-based International Criminal Court (ICC) tribunal deciding against ISRO's commercial arm Antrix Corporation for cancelling a $300 million (Rs.2,000 crore) deal with Bengaluru based Devas Multimedia Ltd. This ivnolved a 12-year lease of 90 percent of transponder space on two satellites, G-SAT6 and G-SAT6A that were yet to go aloft at the time.
 
The ICC awarded $672 million (Rs.4,434 crore) in damages to Devas Multimedia and ISRO said it would contest the award.
 
Highlights:
 
* India's Mars Orbiter completed 100 days of its Martian orbit on the New Year's Day 2015.
 
* Distinguished scientist A.S. Kiran Kumar was appointed secretary, department of space and ISRO chairman.
 
* The year ending was the 40th year after the launch India's first satellite, Aryabhata, with a Russian rocket.
 
* Till date, 50 rockets - not including sounding rockets - have been launched from Sriharikota.
 
* Indian Railways initiated discussions with ISRO on the possibility of using GPS-Aided Geo-Augmented Navigation (GAGAN) for safety at unmanned railway crossings.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.
 

 

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COMMENTS

Anand Vaidya

11 months ago

ISRO is one bright spot in the bleak space (pun intended) of Indian Science & Technology.

Respect and Best wishes to ISRO for even audacious goals...

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