Sunday, November 21, 2010

Tollywood Movies Concentrating on Overseas!!

Not just films, even B.O. returns now have a formula to follow that comes with a ‘Made in Bollywood’ label. Inspired by Karan Johar and Yash Raj whose films appeal to foreign audiences as well, Tollywood filmmakers are now keeping a hawk eye on their collections abroad. Even films that received a lukewarm response at home may reap profits for distributors and exhibitors overseas.

Despite its bumper opening, the Mahesh Babu starrer Mahesh Khaleja disappeared from theatres here but did extremely well in the US. Similarly, Siddharth’s film Baava did better business in foreign theatres than domestic. The Karan Johar mantra is working and Tollywood fimmakers are now looking to reach fans around the globe.

Billa director Mehar Ramesh, explains the lure of foreign shores, “Movies which do average business here, do good business outside India. People watch the same movie twice or even three times. There is also serious competition for distribution rights abroad.”
Forthcoming film Karma, scheduled to release here soon, has no big local stars. Shot completely in the United States, with a technical crew that was largely American and featuring a Hollywood actress who worked in an HBO series, the film will release simultaneously in America. The producers hope the ‘foreign hand’ will help the film garner attention there.

But director Sekhar Kammula, says NRI audiences want Indian stars, “Tollywood has been doing well abroad. Five or ten years ago we didn’t have an income from there but now it’s a different story. The films that click in the US or anywhere abroad, work because of the fan bases of actors. NRI crowds are drawn to the glamour of the films.”

Big banner films with great stories are receiving attention around the world. Brindaavanam producer Dil Raju, says this trend is on the up, “The sales will grow in the next 2-3 years. If we can curtail piracy the market will double because piracy is the only thing that interferes with profit.”

While Bollywood and Tamil films have always received attention, Tollywood is coming into its own. Producer Tammareddy Bharadwaja, says, “The Tamil film industry always earned good profits out of India like Bollywood, which also targeted audiences outside India. Tollywood movies are not aimed at the foreign market. But some of the recent films like Robot, Rakta Charitra, Brindaavanam, Mahesh Khaleja and a few others did get a lot of attention in the foreign market.”

There is a growing acknowledgement that Tollywood has a unique draw. Pranitha Subhash, actress of Baava, says, “I think Tollywood should start targeting audiences outside India as well. There are many who love to see the nach-gaana and masala which the movies here offer. The story and sentiments also are very appealing. The success of the movies abroad shows that there is a great audience for Tollywood out of India as well.”
Though Rajnikanth has been a cult figure in markets as distant and diverse as Moscow and Tokyo, Tollywood is only just waking up to the big bucks across the world. Whether to make it big or just recover what a lukewarm reception at home didn’t earn, Tollywood filmmakers who release abroad may be laughing all the way to the bank.

Courtesy: DC

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