Indian action film “The Man Who Feels No Pain” has been picked up for a premium streaming release in China by iQIYI. The deal was arranged by Hong Kong sales agent Autumn Sun Company.
The collaboration is a first of its kind for both sides. As the exclusive distributor in China, iQIYI is entitled to release the film on its streaming platform two weeks after the theatrical release in India. The Chinese giant is also offering a revenue-sharing business model which generates profit for the producers as the hit rate mounts. Indian films earned over $300 million at the Chinese box office last year, but most success has attached to social drama and certain star vehicles. The variable results have encouraged distributors to experiment.
“Pain” was directed by Vasan Bala and debuted last year at the Toronto festival. It begins its India and international theatrical debut this week (March 21), with day and date theatrical releases in India, Australia and New Zealand. Outings in Taiwan, Korea, Japan and Hong Kong follow shortly after.
The film was produced by Ronnie Screwvala, the former head of Disney and UTV in India, whose RSVP Pictures has quickly established itself as a major force in Indian cinema. Its “Surgical Strike” has recently grossed $44 million in India and international markets, and has also been picked up by Autumn Sun for international sales.
“We see more movies without the traditional song and dance numbers,” said Karan Shan of co-producer One World Movies. “Indian cinema is finding new audiences everywhere in Asia, it is like a new wave, with China being a major landing ground.”
“Buyers immediately reacted to the ‘The Man Who Feels No Pain,’ the style and feel of the film was so retro-chic that it just resonates a whole new Indian cool that is simply irresistible,” said Autumn Sun founder Elliot Tong. “We had multiple offers in almost every major Asian territory and we know we had a smash hit in our hands.”