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Last Updated : Jul 17, 2019 07:52 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Will Disney once again roar in India with The Lion King?

The Lion King, hitting theatres on July 19 , is likely to open in the range of Rs 10 crore to Rs 12 crore in India

Maryam Farooqui @farooqui_maryam

Disney is once again taking the audience on a trip down the memory lane with its new offering, The Lion King. The movie will debut in the Indian market on July 19. And the studio has left no stone unturned to woo the Indian movie-goers.

While Disney is bringing the movie in different local versions like Hindi, Tamil and Telugu, this time again it has got big names of the Indian film industry to lend their voices for the animated venture.

Film trade analyst Komal Nahta said while “every film is important for the producer/studio but this one in particular is very significant because Disney has hired services of top and well-known stars like Shah Rukh Khan, Asrani, Ashish Vidyarthi, Shreyas Talpade, Achint Kaur, Aryan Khan, Shernaz Patel to dub for the animation characters.”

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For the regional versions, big names like Siddharth, Arvind Swami, Aishwarya Rajesh, Nani were brought on board.

According to film and trade business analyst Girish Johar, they (Disney) know the importance of the Lion King within the Indian market that is the reason they have attached big names and promoting it in the big way.”

He added that the traction of the film went high when Aryan Khan was got on board to lend his voice for the leading character Simba in the film.

As the buzz is strong for the live action animation film in India, film trade analyst Sarita Singh expects The Lion King to open in the range of Rs 10 crore to Rs 12 crore.

“Since The Lion King is a household name, the curiosity to watch the animation film is huge. This is bound to translate into a very big opening, in double-digit crore for sure,” said Nahta.

There is no denying that India is an important market for Disney especially when majority of its releases this year tasted success in the country.

From Avengers Endgame to Aladdin, Disney’s hold is getting stronger in India with every new release.

In fact, in the list of highest grossing Hollywood films in India, the top three belong to Disney (Avengers Endgame, Infinity War and The Jungle Book).

Amit Sharma, MD, Miraj Cinemas, believes that Disney’s marketing is better than its competitor and this is because they understand the market better and it puts a lot of effort in dubbing.

Disney has been aggressively pushing for the localisation strategy which has made its characters connect more with the Indian audience.

“For Disney India has been a lucrative market though small as compared to China. Especially after their last release (Endgame) which made huge revenue in India."

"They don’t want to lose a lucrative market like India where there is lot of scope but Bollywood has not been able to provide with a strong content. Apparently, Disney has been doing a better job at the box office with their Hollywood releases than a Bollywood release,” said Singh.

Even Johar says that Hollywood’s back to back successes in the Indian market is a little cause of concern.

While there are Bollywood ventures like Shahid Kapoor’s Kabir Singh and Ayushmann Khurrana’s Article 15 that are seeing a strong run at the Indian box office, Johar thinks that the films are for the “matured audience.”

As for Super 30, he thinks that the film caters to a niche audience.

“There is need of a mass entertaining film which is not there presently,” he added.

Hence, the expectation from The Lion King is big.

“India is definitely in the top five markets for Hollywood films. So, they are trying to grow the market with each and every film. That is why they are going all out to put The Lion King as one of their premium content for Indian audience,” said Johar.

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First Published on Jul 17, 2019 07:52 pm
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