Hollywood vs. Bollywood

Mark Sappenfield in the Christian Science Monitor:

Screenhunter_07_may_17_1627In the crowded and bug-infested movie halls of rural India, something is happening that has never happened before: An American superhero is saving the world while speaking flawless Bhojpuri.

In the grand scheme of the “Spider-Man 3” massive global release, it may seem a small thing that poor villagers in central India were able to queue up the same day as audiences in Los Angeles to see the film, dubbed into a local dialect. But to Hollywood and its Indian alter ego, Bollywood, it could signal the start of a new turf war between the world’s two most popular and influential film industries.

Worldwide, the film took in $230 million in its first weekend – breaking “The DaVinci Code” record by $75 million. In India, the $4.5 million opening set several records domestically as well…

…the success suggests that after years of tinkering, Hollywood has at last discovered a formula for more consistent success here: flooding Indian cinemas with nearly 600 copies and dubbing versions into Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, and Bhojpuri. The tactic of simultaneously releasing several dubbed versions on the global release date is not unique to India, but it is new here­ and is yielding results.

More here.