India is developing a taste for foreign cinema. Movies belonging to a variety of genres from many parts of the world are finding an audience in India. They are being released in ever-growing numbers on the big screen, shown at restaurants and pubs or going direct to video. Sunil Doshi, founder and promoter of Turner Broadcasting-owned Lumiere Movies, has released the French title Persepolis and the Lebanese movie Caramel in India. He has now lined up 24 foreign movies for a theatre release in the next six months.
Their share of the box office (theatrical release) has tripled to about 15% from a 5% share that they were collecting until a few years ago, according to Doshi. Some 60 foreign titles were released in India last year, earning a total of Rs380 crore, estimates a report by the global audit and consultancy firm KPMG and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI). The KPMG-FICCI report predicts total entertainment industry revenue (including Bollywood) will grow at a 8.9% compound annual growth rate to reach Rs13,670 crore by 2014.