THE DEALMAKER: Launched in 1977 by Arjun Lulla, Eros Intl. is flexing its muscles. Under CEO Kishore Lulla (son of Arjun), Eros signed a multipic deal with Sony in September 2007 that is expected to yield at least eight pics the first year of operation. Sony will distribute in North America while Eros will do so in the rest of the world.
The London-based company is the biggest distributor of Bollywood films in the West, with a 1,300-title library and a listing on London’s Alternative Investment Market. It recently got into production (with plans for three to four films a year) and has been inking deals with big U.S. companies such as Sony Pictures Entertainment, Lionsgate, Wal-Mart and Amazon, among others.
Eros’ joint venture with Lionsgate, signed in May, allows the companies to tap into each other’s libraries and also allows for remakes of Eros-owned Bollywood titles, and vice versa.
It has also set up Ayngaran, a division for Tamil-language films. “(This) allows us to expand into the Tamil film industry, which is a massive market,” Lulla says.
According to Ken Naz, prexy of North American operations, Eros has evolved from a family-owned biz to a worldwide media company with a market presence in more than 50 countries.
KEY DEALS: Besides Ayngaran, Lionsgate and Sony, company has pacted with Wal-Mart and Amazon to distrib its pics in Canada. Eros also recently set up joint-venture vfx studio EyeQube with Hollywood vfx master Charles Darby.
DEALMAKER DOS: “Have an eye on the long run. Aim for a win-win situation.”
DEALMAKER DON’TS: “Dishonesty is a no-go. Honesty and openness is almost always the best policy.”
TOP DEALMAKERS ENCOUNTERED: Jon Feltheimer, Michael Lynton