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Last Updated : Feb 09, 2019 10:41 AM IST | Source:

Japan's love for Indian films continues to rise

Akshay Kumar-starrer Padman, released in Japan on December 2018, raked in $671,455.64 (Rs 4.78 crore approximately).

Maryam Farooqui @farooqui_maryam

The film market in Japan is not only home to Hollywood titles and to some extent Chinese and Korean films, but Indian movies are making a mark as well. And it is not just Bollywood that is charming its way into the hearts of the Japanese audience. Regional films from the southern market too have a huge fan following.

Talking to Moneycontrol, Pranab Kapadia, President of Marketing and Distribution for UK, Europe & Africa Operations, Eros International Plc, said, "Japan, like any other non-traditional market, is important as it opens new avenues for monetisation of content that has already been exploited amongst core Bollywood audiences."

"Already we have seen Rajnikanth films have a good following amongst mainstream Japanese audiences, now that is translating to select Bollywood films as well. This is a good sign for the industry," he added.   

Akshay Kumar-starrer Padman, released in Japan on December 2018, raked in $671,455.64 (Rs 4.78 crore approximately). Another Bollywood flick Bajrangi Bhaijaan starring Salman Khan, $196,062.46 (Rs 1.39 crore). The film released in Japan on January 18 this year.
1 PADMAN 7th Dec 2018 $671,455.64
2 BAJRANGI BHAIJAAN (Still running in cinemas) 18th Jan 2019 $196,062.46
3 PK 29th Oct 2016 $289,000
4 ENGLISH VINGLISH 27th May 2014 $146,389,002
5 3 Idiots Jun-13 $1.3 million
6 Ra One 4th Aug 2012 $150,099
7 OM SHANTI OM 16th March 2013 $145,618
8 ROBOT (Hindi) 12th May 2012 $370,697
9 ROBOT (Tamil) 12th May 2012 $36,741
10 Dangal 6th April 2018 $420,000

Responding to what content works in Japan, Kapadia said, "It is very nascent to establish genre specific preferences but the common thread that has emerged as far as content connect is - human, emotional stories with some kind of message. Of course, the song and dance format have always created intrigue, interest and differentiation for Bollywood when compared to films from other countries/languages."

The song and dances in Indian films are having a strong influence on Japanese women who are taking dance classes to learn Bollywood moves. And this is emerging as one major factor that is drawing the Japanese audience, especially women to Bollywood films.

The successful China story is a known narrative but recently many non-traditional markets have opened up for Indian films. These include countries like Taiwan, Turkey, Russia, Germany, among others.

"The gradual process of opening markets starts with participation in Film Festivals and syndication of films on local TV networks. There are several non-traditional markets where our films are showcased each year. From there the audiences get their first taste of Bollywood which, if positive, then leads to more frequent showcasing of shows in cinemas on the weekends. Finally, all stakeholders then aim for regular releases based on the response, explained Kapadia.

He also said that in the past few years India has seen the emergence of markets like Portugal, Poland, Greece, Cyprus, Romania.

In 2017, overseas theatricals contributed approximately 16 percent to the overall segment's revenue, an increase of approximately 3x from 2016, according to an EY 2018 report.  

Kapadia said that recoveries from overseas theatrical are in the region of 10-15 percent of India. "In some cases, this can go even as high as 30-40 percent. This is significant not only in terms of revenue but also as a barometer of acceptance of the content amongst the South Asian Diaspora," he added.

In 2017, Akifumi Sugihara of Nikkatsu Corporation, Japan’s 101-year-oldd production studio, had said that the release of Indian films in Japan will soon double.

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First Published on Feb 9, 2019 10:41 am
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