×

Disney Confirms Plan to Quit Indian Filmmaking

Disney Thursday confirmed plans to cease film-making in India, one of the few territories in the world where its local-language production business had a sizeable market share. Its film business will now focus mainly on distribution of the studio’s Hollywood slate.

“We periodically review and realign our business priorities in response to evolving market dynamics. Given the challenges with the current economic model for investing in the local film industry, we intend to shift the focus of our film strategy to driving our Hollywood movie slate in India,” a Disney India spokesman told Variety by email. ” These movies enjoyed considerable success including ‘The Jungle Book’ which is the highest grossing Hollywood movie of all time inn India. We are remain optimistic about the incredible potential of the Indian market and will continue to invest in growing the Disney brand Iin India with our movies, television networks, consumer and interactive products and live experiences.”

Disney has endured a series of flops for its locally-produced films and there is widespread talk that Disney India MD and CEO Siddharth Roy Kapur is soon to leave the company.

Popular on Variety

Recent film failures have included: “Mohenjo Daro,” made on a budget of $15 million, but which grossed $8.5 million; “Fitoor,” made for $10 million, but which grossed $3 million; and “Katti Batti,” made for  $5 million and which collected only $3.2 million. In contrast, Indian-themed “The Jungle Book” grossed $27 million.

Traditionally, Hollywood films have enjoyed only a tiny sliver of the theatrical market, and have struggled to find a place alongside Hindi-language Bollywood mainstream titles, or regional language cinema. Hollywood’s share has grown to a figure now approaching 10% as a result of the spread of multiplexes and digital cinema, and more globalized tastes among Indian audiences. The Hollywood distributors have also adopted smart marketing and distribution, most notably an increased use of dubbing into regional languages — a move which is increasingly being copied by the Bollywood players.

The exit comes only a few years after Disney acquired UTV, which owned a bouquet of TV channels and ran as one of Bollywood’s four major integrated movie studios.

However, it comes at a time when another significant film and TV producer Balaji Telefilms is also understood to be quitting the movies.

 

More Film

  • Tresor Plots $72 Million 'Asterix &

    Tresor Films Plots $72 Million 'Asterix & Obelix: The Silk Road,' New Projects (EXCLUSIVE)

    After delivering two of the highest-grossing French films of last year, Alain Attal’s Paris-based production company Tresor Films (“Sink or Swim,” “Little White Lies 2”) is kicking off 2020 with its most ambitious project yet, Guillaume Canet’s “Asterix & Obelix: The Silk Road.” Co-produced and financed by Jerome Seydoux’s Pathé, “Asterix & Obelix” is budgeted [...]

  • Anais Bertrand on Producing Sundance Player

    Anais Bertrand on the Obstacles She Faced to Produce Sundance Player ‘Jumbo’

    Zoé Wittock’s debut feature, “Jumbo,” screening in Sundance’s World Cinema Dramatic Competition, is also the first feature film produced by up-and-coming French producer Anais Bertrand, of Insolence Productions, who has cut her teeth on award-winning shorts, including winning the Procirep Short Film Producer Award last year. “Jumbo” is about a young woman, played by Noémie [...]

  • 'Parasite,' 'Jojo Rabbit' Win ACE Eddie

    'Parasite,' 'Jojo Rabbit' Win ACE Eddie Awards for Top Feature Films

    “Parasite” and “Jojo Rabbit” have won the top feature film trophies at the 70th Annual ACE Eddie Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. Jinmo Yang won the dramatic feature category for “Parasite” over “Ford v Ferrari,” “Joker,” “The Irishman,” and “Marriage Story.” The victory marks the first time in ACE Eddie Awards history that a [...]

  • Gregg Smith, Dancer and Choreographer Assistant,

    Gregg Smith, Dancer and Choreographer Assistant, Dies at 73

    Gregg Smith, a dancer, casting director and assistant choreographer who had a long association with director Kenny Ortega, has died. He was 73. Smith died on Jan. 1. The industry veteran worked as a performer in the national touring company of the musical “Hair” and in a Los Angeles production of “Jesus Christ Superstar.” He [...]

  • Oscar Isaac Golden Globes 2016

    Film News Roundup: Oscar Isaac Joins Superhero Movie 'The Great Machine'

    In today’s film news roundup, Oscar Isaac boards “The Great Machine,” Keira Knightley joins “Silent Night” and “The Dog Doc” finds a home. CASTINGS Legendary has closed a deal for Oscar Isaac to star in and produce superhero saga “The Great Machine.” The project is based on Brian K. Vaughan’s comic book series “Ex Machina” [...]

  • Editorial use only. No book cover

    U.S. Movie Admissions Plunge 4.6% in 2019 Amid Box Office Decline

    U.S. movie admissions slid 4.6% last year to 1.24 billion, the second lowest admissions number during the current century, the National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO) has reported. North American box office for the year declined 4.1% to $11.4 billion, NATO said Friday. That figure was in line with the estimate released at the end [...]

  • Editorial use only. No book cover

    'National Treasure 3' Moves Ahead From Disney, Jerry Bruckheimer

    Disney and Jerry Bruckheimer are moving ahead with a third “National Treasure” movie with “Bad Boys for Life” screenwriter Chris Bremner tapped to write the script. Bremner has also signed to write a fourth “Bad Boys” for Sony with Bruckheimer producing. Bruckheimer produced the three “Bad Boys” and the two “National Treasure” movies. The “National [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content