NRIs seem to have had their fill of typical Bollywood tearjerkers. Looking beyond family-driven films, the Indian overseas is now exploring other facets of life back home in different genres of Hindi cinema.
Actors like serial kisser Emraan Hashmi are making the most of this trend.
Hashmi has just about opened his overseas account. "Emraan, who has had 14 films to his credit, was a huge zero abroad,'' says a trade analyst. However in May 2008, Hashmi opened his account in Pakistan and the Middle East with Mahesh Bhatt's Jannat that did well in both territories
June 2008 saw Ram Gopal Varma's Sarkar Raj debut at No 11 at the US box-office.
This was considered unusual because it has been easier for Bollywood cinema to break into the UK Top-10 (UK accounts for 25% of Bollywood's overseas collections); but the US market (North America plus Canada) that accounts for 32% is obviously much bigger.
Aamir Khan is promoted to No 3 in the overseas Bollywood ranking; his Taare Zameen Par and Jaane Tu ya Jaane Na have generated interest in the US and in the Middle East.
Shah Rukh is still the Badshah of Bollywood abroad with three of his films—Kabhie Alvida Na Kehna, Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham and Om Shanti Om, topping the Top-5 international Bollywood grossers of all time.
For the longest time the NRI played games with himself, say film-makers. "They pretended that they are out of India but India is not out of them,'' says film-maker Mahesh Bhatt.
They sought to fill the void of Indianness in their lives by seeking it in Bollywood films. "The marriage ceremonies, the joint-family system, the cultural ethos in movies made by Yash Chopra, Karan Johar is all they looked for. Having had their bellyful of this cinema, now the Indian who is still out of India, but pretends that India is not out of him, is warming up to other facets of Indian life
Studies show that there is no uniform viewing pattern; what does well in UK, doesn't necessarily do well in the Middle East or the US. "Earlier Yash Chopra and Karan Johar were the only two who ruled the overseas market,'' says trade analyst Taran Adarsh.
But, rough estimates show that YRF's Laaga Chunari Mein Daag; Aaja Nachle, Tashan and Bachna Aye Haseenon were non-starters abroad. Mindless comedies like Welcome and Singh is Kingg are a big hit overseas; and this week's Golmaal Returns has already collected 100,048 punds according to Nielsen Edi, the world box-office experts.
Film-maker Vipul Shah still maintains that Shah Rukh Khan is the king overseas but he says that the market he plundered is now benefiting Akshay, Salman Khan, Hrithik Roshan, Aamir and even Ajay Devgan.
According to Vikramjit Roy, freelance film professional, different genres of Bollywood cinema are now attracting viewers abroad because in the UK there is a big and active Asian diaspora.
Pritish Nandy, whose Pyar Ke Side Effects collected decent numbers overseas says, "The NRI has now realised that the metaphor of India shown in movies made by Karan Johar/Yash Chopra has changed. That's why today a Sarkar Raj and Pyar Ke Side Effects are also accepted."
Big favourites include:
Kabhie Alvida Na Kehna, Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham, Om Shanti Om, Welcome and Singh Is Kingg
7 months ago