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India’s Eros Sets 50-Film Production Slate to Feed Digital Platform

Eros International Media Limited, the Indian subsidiary of Bollywood distributor and financier Eros International, has unveiled a slate of 50 movies for production in 2017-18.

The expansion of its production and finance operations is a move in a direction opposite to that taken by Disney-UTV and by Balaji, which last year both slashed Indian film making. Eros said that it will also selectively acquire third party titles.

“We continue to see great opportunity in nurturing talent, creating IP in-house and remain focused on delivering our promise to provide wholesome entertainment to audiences with the right mix of popular and content driven cinema,” said EIML managing director Sunil Lulla in a statement.

Productions flow from a partnership with Colour Yellow Production, NextGen Films and Trinity Pictures, Eros’ in-house franchise label.

Eight films with Colour Yellow include producer Aanand L. Rai’s directing superstar Shah Rukh Khan, and “Mukkebaz” and “Manmarziyaan,” which will both be directed by Anurag Kashyap. Among Rai and Colour Yellow’s previous collaborations with Eros are “Raanjhanaa” and “Tanu Weds Manu Returns.”

Eros’ slate includes five films from NextGen Films. They include “Munna Michael,” from the blockbuster actor-director duo, Tiger Shroff and Sabbir Khan, and Sushant Singh Rajput’s space odyssey Chandamama Door Ke, directed by Sanjay Puran Singh.

Trinity has five potential franchises in its lineup. They include a spy-superhero film, “Sniff” directed by Amole Gupte, a live action bilingual (Hindi and Tamil) elephant film to be directed by Prabhu Solomon, and two previously announced Indo-China co-productions: Kabir Khan’s travel drama; and a cross-cultural romantic comedy by Siddharth Anand.

The slate also includes “Sarkar 3,” the third instalment of Ram Gopal Varma’s Sarkar franchise, Vikram Motwane’s vigilante drama Bhavesh Joshi with Phantom Films.

A sequel to hit political thriller drama Nayak – Nayak 2 – written by K.V. Vijayendra Prasad (“Baahubali,” “Bajrangi Bhaijaan”) will enter production this year.

While the group is best known for its Bollywood (Hindi-language) activities, the upcoming slate will also include two Telugu-language projects, four Marathi films, and others in Tamil and Malayalam. It will also make its first titles in Kannada.

The huge slate will help feed Eros’s online distribution business as well as its traditional theatrical releasing business in India and international markets. Its Eros Now online platform last month claimed that it had built up to 2 million paying subscribers.

“This film slate demonstrates two fundamental strengths, firstly (Eros’) firm footing on a dominant market leadership position built on the pillar of a wide, diverse portfolio of films and secondly its ability to foresee market trends and adapt swiftly to step up its own production and co-production model over the content acquisition model,” said Jyoti Deshpande, Group CEO, Eros International, in a statement.

“While the demonetization in India was a temporary cloud over the business affecting footfalls in the short run, we see great opportunities including a cashless economy driving accelerated adoption of Eros Now.”

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