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Last Updated : Apr 11, 2019 06:57 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Lucifer's success in newer overseas markets to open more opportunities for Malayalam film industry

Film experts say that Lucifer has emerged a trendsetter for Malayalam films in the international market.

Maryam Farooqui @farooqui_maryam

Mohanlal's Lucifer has been able to take the Malayalam film industry into new markets such as USA and Canada, which have otherwise been dominated by Hindi movies.

Talking to Moneycontrol, film trade analyst Sreedhar Pillai said: "USA is ruled by Telugu and Hindi films. But of late Telugu films are doing better than the Hindi films. It is a Hindi dominated market because there are Pakistanis too, and that is why Hindi films have done well. But because of the large number of Telugu people in the US, the Telugu market has become as big as Hindi market. Tamil market is huge because of Sri Lankan population and also techies from Chennai. And now Malayalam has found a place there because of the large number of Malayalis residing there."

According to reports, Lucifer opened in around 78 screens across USA and Canada gathered Rs 2.7 crore in the opening weekend. Releasing on March 28 worldwide, the film continues its strong performance in the two territories.

Until April 7, the action drama crossed Rs 3.48 crore in USA, earned Rs 81.75 lakh, Rs 2.30 crore, Rs 66.75 lakh and Rs 36.28 lakh from Canada, UK, Australia and New Zealand, respectively.

In the first weekend, Lucifer managed to rank number 20 and 16 in USA and Canada at the box office. It also found traction in unconventional markets like Arctic in Canada and Niagara Falls which is reportedly the first time for an Indian film.

Globally, the movie has crossed Rs 100-crore mark.

Film experts say that Lucifer has emerged a trendsetter for Malayalam films internationally by recording big numbers outside traditional markets like UAE-GCC in particular.  

"GCC countries are big markets for Malayalam films because among Indians majority is Malayali population. 80 percent of the market is Malayali. Now they have discovered a new market in USA which is a bigger market. However, at the moment Gulf still rules but US is a dollar paying market," he said.

The success of Lucifer in the international arena is an eye opener for the Malayalam film industry which will encourage more filmmakers to explore newer markets.

"For the Malayalam film industry the biggest lesson learnt from Lucifer is that they should have simultaneous opening in all the places then there is a market for it otherwise it gets pirated," added Pillai.  

2018 turned out to be a tough year for the otherwise thriving Malayalam movie market due to the Kerala floods.

In 2015, 2016, and 2017, the industry down south delivered many promising projects.

In 2015, over 140 films were released by the Malayalam film industry, a 2016 KPMG report said. Two of the biggest blockbusters – Premam and Ennu Ninte Moideen – made on a budget of under Rs 5 crore and Rs 12 crore respectively, collected more than Rs 50 crore at the box office, courtesy their good content.

A KPMG report said that Malayalam movies performed exceptionally well in 2016 with the top ten movies garnering nearly double the revenue as compared to 2015 in the overseas market. This growth can be attributed to the higher number of movies released overseas and an increase in the number of screens on which they got released.

However, after a weak 2018 and a bleak start in 2019, Lucifer has come as a pleasant surprise for Mollywood.

"They (Malayalam filmmakers) are producing more offbeat within the mainstream format. Malayalam films content wise are far superior than other language movie. But a film like Lucifer is a mass movie and now people will come out with similar movies," said Pillai.  
First Published on Apr 11, 2019 06:55 pm
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