'Kites' movie brings together 'Rush Hour' director and Bollywood
An Indian film company hopes to market the 'Kites' movie to American audiences by bringing together a beautiful Mexican actress, Bollywood's biggest hunk, and the director of 'Rush Hour.'
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Hollywood films often make about 30 percent of their total revenue domestically and 70 percent in tailored versions for international releases, he says.Skip to next paragraph
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"They [Hollywood] find out for every picture how they can optimize it in Spain, in Italy, in Korea," Mr. Lee says. "It began to be a turnstile and that kind of experience is going to happen here [in India]. And I think it's going to be more profound."
Need 'scientific' script writing
But the wall between Bollywood and Hollywood is high.
India is one of the few markets that Hollywood has failed to dominate, with only 4 percent market share here, according to a recent report (pdf) from KPMG financial advisory services. And even though the Indian film industry has produced 72,000 feature films, Bollywood hasn't yet had the international success it would also like, says Rajesh Jain, an author of the KPMG report.
"There needs to be a lot of better content based on scientific script writing," Mr. Jain says. The average Hollywood script takes about five years of writing and creative incubation, Mr. Lee says, while a Bollywood one is often under a year.
But movies like "Kites" and "My Name is Khan," which are filmed abroad and have international plot lines, have more chance of global success than the standard masala Bollywood dance and love story musicals that typify the industry.
Finding deeper niche abroad
Somnath Seth, a vice president and curriculum director at Whistling Woods, doubts that more common Bollywood films have a significant crack at crossing over.
"The way we tell our stories is entirely different than the way stories are told in the US," he says. While American movies fit into different genres, Mr. Seth says every Indian movie is expected to have it all – love, horror, action, singing, and dancing.
He suggests that even run-of-the-mill Bollywood movies could find a deeper niche with viewers abroad, even outside the India diaspora.
"I think that you'll have a niche market," he says, "the same that you have a niche market for French films."