'2012' top-grossing H'wood film in India

9:44 AM PST 12/17/2009 by Patrick Frater, AP

Disaster flick sets all-time record for foreign product

HONG KONG -- Sony Pictures' "2012" has become the biggest grossing Hollywood film of all time in India, with a cumulative total of $19.56 million to date. The total was passed in the movie's sixth week on release and smashes the previous record held by Sony's 2007 release of "Spider Man 3."

The film was released on Nov. 17 on a super-wide 766 prints with versions in English, Hindi, Tamil and Telugu.

"Our approach to marketing and distributing this film was to engage all sections of the audience -- multiplex as well as single screen, metros as well as small towns, much like any large scale Indian film. We believe this approach paid off by bringing in audiences who may not generally watch Hollywood films," Kercy Daruwala, MD of Sony Pictures India.

Indian cinemagoing has traditionally been massively dominated by local films, with Hollywood fare normally accounting for no more than 5%-10% of totals. However, the building of multiplexes, Hollywood investment in India and changing communications and consumer habits are opening new possibilities.

Sony, which has long been a major player in the Indian TV scene claims six of the 10 top-grossing Hollywood films in India, including "Quantum of Solace," "Casino Royale," "Spider-Man 2" and "Godzilla."

" '2012' has indisputably changed the face of the movie business in India and made Hollywood films a force to reckon with, setting a benchmark in the industry. It will undoubtedly be among the top films of the year in India, in any language," Daruwala said.
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