South Indian films had a good run in the overseas market. Will the Japan release prove beneficial for Baahubali 2?
In 2017, South Indian films witnessed a promising trend in the overseas market with the euphoria surrounding these films getting fuelled by the dream run of Baahubali: The Conclusion in markets like US/Canada, United Kingdom, Gulf, Australia and China. And its international journey continues as the film will see a release in Japan and Russia on December 29 and January 11, respectively.
While audience is already queuing up in large numbers at ticket counters in Japan to book in advance, a special screening has been organised for Baahubali 2, which is an unusual setup as it says screaming screening where movie goers can watch the film the way they want to. Normally, cinema goers need to maintain silence while watching a film in the country.
— バーフバリ 王の凱旋 (@BAAHUBALI2JAPAN) December 25, 2017
In fact, it was Aamir Khan’s 3 Idiots that had opened the Japanese market for Hindi films after it was declared a hit. Earlier this year, Akifumi Sugihara of Nikkatsu Corporation, Japan’s 101 year old production studio, had said that the release of Indian films in Japan will soon double.
Films like 3 Idiots, Don 2 starring Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan-starrer Ek Tha Tiger, Jab Tak Hai Jaan and Telugu film Makkhi were all released in Japan by the production company.
Hindi films may have got a Japanese fan following lately but South Indian films had penetrated the market in 1995 itself with Rajinikanth’s film Muthu that became a craze amid the movie goers so much so that they got Rajinikanth and the film’s lead actress Meena on the cover of a snack. The film ran in Japanese theatres for around 23 weeks and at 90 percent occupancy. Another film, Robot, too had a strong foot hold in the country with the unedited 3-hour long film seeing a release in 1,300 theatres.
Muthu was released in Japan with the title Dancing Maharaja and it was soon dubbed into Japanese dialect.
The country’s love for South Indian films is so much that they organise tours to Chennai where fans pay visit to movie halls. And there is an element in the tour called Dancing Maharaja that includes meeting Rajinikanth.
Other offshore markets where South Indian films have created their magic
This year, apart from Baahubali 2, films like Mersal and Jai Lava Kusa gained a strong foothold overseas with the former crossing the USD 10 million (around Rs 63.91 crore) mark in just 12 days. Jai Lava Kusa was playing on 4,000 screens, making decent numbers in the overseas market. In the USA, the film had collected Rs 9.57 crore in the second week of its release and the worldwide numbers went up to Rs 175 crore.
Baahubali 2 had amassed Rs 9.87 crore- US/Canada during its first weekend and Rs 30.70 crore in total. In Gulf, the collections were Rs 10.57 crore for the first weekend and Rs 26.40 crore in total, Australia the business was Rs 5.37 crore in the first weekend and Rs 15.44 crore in total and in UK it was Rs 1.90 crore for the opening weekend and Rs 7.28 crore in total.Other south Indian venture, Vivegam, minted Rs 9.3 crore in Malaysia, Rs 7.8 crore in the UAE, Rs 3.8 crore in Singapore, Rs 3.4 crore in the US, Rs 2.7 crore in Sri Lanka, Rs 1.4 crore in the UK, Rs 1.2 crore in Australia - New Zealand and an estimated collection of Rs 4 crore from rest of the world.