Joint Venture between Bollywood’s Eros International and Hollywood’s Lionsgate Entertainment – Another Bolly-Holly* Deal

The Financial Times reports that “The rapprochement between Bollywood and Hollywood has taken a further step forward with a wide-ranging joint venture between Lionsgate, the independent US film studio, and Eros International. the London-listed Indian entertainment group.”

The article states that Lionsgate will acquire North American distribution rights to 20 titles from Eros’ Bollywood library while Eros will provide theatrical, home entertainment and television distribution in India for Lionsgate’s library.

The two groups have also appointed Citigroup and JPMorgan to lead a fundraising round to support plans to co-produce Indian films with “cross-cultural” appeal to international audiences, each with a production budget of $10m to $20m.

According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, Eros International Chairman and CEO Kishore Lulla believes movie-ticket sales in India could quadruple within the next five years, due to the country’s rapidly growing middle class. The article quotes Mr. Lulla “We’ll need more content to push into these theaters…If you look at Hollywood, the growth has plateaued. So, instead of investing in Hollywood, we believe it’s better to cross-pollinate Hollywood and Bollywood together and appeal to audiences in India and audiences outside of India.

Remember the times when you had to read FilmFare or Stardust to get Bollywood news. Now, you have to read the Wall Street Journal and the Financial Times. Wow! Could it be that the financial folks are finally becoming Rasiks?

* “Bolly-Holly” is a copyright of CinemaRasik

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