Academic journal article South Asian Journal of Management

Sholay 3D: Recreating the Magic?

Academic journal article South Asian Journal of Management

Sholay 3D: Recreating the Magic?

Article excerpt

BACKGROUND

It was Monday, December 28, 2013-an important day for Jayantilal Gada, Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) of Popular Entertainment Network (PEN) India Limited-a Film Production House located in Mumbai. The day marked the special premiere of Sholay 3D, a film produced and presented by PEN India. The film itself was due for release later in the week- on the first Friday of the new year, 2014. A three-dimensional version of Sholay-an iconic Indian film and the greatest blockbuster in the history of Indian cinema (Chopra, 2000)-Sholay 3D was an attempt to recreate the magic of the original film for the current generation. As Gada prepared to attend the premiere, a wave of self-doubt ran through him: Had they done the right thing in recreating a classic? Would Sholay 3D be able to recreate the magic of the original Sholay and leverage the brand equity of the original brand? Personally, he also wondered whether he had, for once, let his emotions overrule business sense. Would the film be able to recover its investment of INR 160 million1?

THE INDIAN FILM INDUSTRY

The Indian film industry is the biggest movie industry in the world, with more than 30,000 feature films and several thousands of documented short films. In 2013, the industry was 100 years old, dating back to 1913 when the first feature film-a silent film-was released on May 3, 1913 (Kothari, n.d., para. 1).

Over the century, Mumbai had emerged as the hub of Indian film production, with the Indian film industry being called Bollywood. However, movie- making had spread to southern India as well. The 82-year old South Indian film industry in fact, enjoyed one of the top three markets in the country, had witnessed corporate investments in the production of films and in the past had been the largest producer of Indian films, even surpassing Bollywood.

The era of silent films came to an end in 1931 when the first 'talkie' was released in 1931. Simultaneously, the talkie era commenced in the South industry as well. The 50s and 60s were considered the Golden Age of Indian cinema (Kothari, n.d., para. 3). The 70s saw a sea change in the style, narrative, story structure and characters of Indian cinema and witnessed the advent of pure commercial films.

The 90's witnessed the introduction of several technological changes, viz., Dolby digital sound effects, advanced special effects and choreography, which revolutionized the Indian film industry. The films now enjoyed an international appeal, encouraged corporate sector investment, and enjoyed aesthetic appeal due to finer scripts and performances (Kothari, n.d., para. 7).

The new millennium witnessed further changes. New age filmmakers in Hindi cinema ushered in an age of experimental cinema catering to a niche audience. Regional Indian films also witnessed a similar trend with several new filmmakers coming forth to cater to a niche audience (Kothari, n.d., para. 7).

The integration of India with the global economy, after 1991, but particularly in the new millennium, meant an expansion in the reach to international audiences. The industry had made progress on all four aspects of globalization, viz., goods/services, technology, capital and people. The overseas market was an important source of revenues for the Indian film industry's box office collections. Major global studios such as 20th Century Fox, Warner Bros, etc., had invested in the industry as well.

The years immedia tely following the global financial crisis (2008-2010) had witnessed a decline in revenues from both domestic and overseas theatrical segments. Revenues had then picked up and the Indian film industry had grown by 21 percent in 2012 over 2011 (See Table 1). The domestic theatrical segment exhibited the sharpest growth of 23.8 percent, followed by cable and satellite rights of 20.0 percent over the period 2011-2012. Backed by content, as also the effects of digitization, the industry was expected to grow at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 11. …

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