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Indian cinema looking to hit foreign jackpot
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 19 - 03 - 2010

Bad scripts, flimsy characters and poor-quality production are hindering Indian cinema as it attempts to capture new global audiences, leading industry figures say.
Top actors, film-makers and executives said India needed to raise its game if it was to replicate the success of “My Name Is Khan,” which recently became the biggest Bollywood movie of all time on overseas revenue.
The movie has taken $39 million worldwide since its release in February, including 17 million dollars outside India, distributors Fox Star Studios said, hailing it as “Bollywood's first truly global film.”
Its success is now being seen as a possible model for “crossover” films, as Indian cinema looks to recover from a 14 percent decline in revenues in 2009.
The overseas market - which makes up seven percent of India's total film industry revenues - fell 30 percent last year, hit by the economic downturn, poor-quality films and fewer releases after a strike by Bollywood producers.
“My Name Is Khan” actor and co-producer Shah Rukh Khan said that increasing Hollywood involvement in India was key.
The United States accounts for up to a third of Indian cinema's overseas market and a number of US studios, including Warner Bros, Disney and DreamWorks, have struck deals with Indian production houses in recent years.
“Bollywood is lagging very, very far behind in three areas,” Khan told a media and entertainment conference in Mumbai this week.
Indian film-makers needed to understand the Hollywood format “and not adhere to our own stubborn narratives,” he said.


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