Madhu Entertainment, primarily a global sales agent and distributor of Indian content, has now expanded to include Chinese films. The company has South and East African and Sri Lankan rights for Wu Jing’s Chinese smash hit “Wolf Warriors II” and will distribute the film theatrically in these territories.
“The basic idea is to target the Chinese diaspora audiences in these territories and give them a big screen theatrical experience rather than them relying on other sources,” said Madhu chief operating officer Hirachand Dand.
The film, in Chinese with English subtitles, is currently playing in Sri Lanka and Tanzania and will be released in South Africa on Nov. 10. A deal for Mauritius is being negotiated with the MCine Group, the largest chain on the island.
“The film is the highest-grosser ever in China, so we thought it was a great product to pitch to the Chinese [audiences] living overseas,” says Dand. “It will take time. We are starting in a small way. Promotion and getting the message across to the Chinese diaspora is very expensive.”
In Tanzania, for example, the audience response in the first week was slow, but it picked up dramatically in the second week, said Dand. If the numbers add up for Madhu, “Wolf Warriors II” will be the first in a pipeline of films the company will import from China.
Madhu, a company that has been trading for some 30 years, began by distributing independent Indian films like “Mr. and Mrs. Iyer” and “Everybody Says I’m Fine” before diversifying into Bollywood territory. The company is now returning to its roots by taking on all rights sales for Dr. Biju’s Buddhist-themed Tibetan-language film “Sound of Silence.” Given the affinity of the region to the film’s theme, Madhu is at the Asian Film Market in Busan with a view to selling Southeast Asian television rights.
Also in Madhu’s AFM catalog are first looks of “Up, Up & Up,” the first animation film from Indian auteur Govind Nihalani, Chathra Weeraman’s Sri Lankan relationship drama “Beneath the Monsoon Waves,” with both of those films due in late December; and English- and Tamil-language versions of long-running Indian sitcom “Taarak Mehta Ka Oolta Chashmah.”