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In a bid to expand its portfolio of Hollywood releases in India, Viacom18 Motion Pictures has inked a distribution agreement with Lionsgate for five upcoming titles.
Viacom18 Motion Pictures, which distributes Paramount titles in India, is a part of Viacom18 Media, a joint venture between Viacom and Indian media company Network18. The venture runs TV networks, including such channels as MTV India, VH1 India, Comedy Central and Hindi entertainment outlet Colors, among others.
The Viacom18-Lionsgate deal will kick off with the release of Mark Wahlberg-starrer Deepwater Horizon, based on the real-life 2010 oil rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico, followed by a fall festival favorite in the form of romantic musical comedy La La Land, starring Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone. Deepwater Horizon landed in the No. 2 box-office spot during its opening weekend in the U.S., collecting $20.6 million.
The calendar also includes another Wahlberg starrer, namely Boston Marathon bombing drama Patriots Day, as well as franchise reboot Power Rangers and thriller Nerve, starring Emma Roberts and Dave Franco.
While Hollywood and foreign films only command a minority market share in India at less than 10 percent, the segment has been growing in recent years. This summer, Disney set box-office records when The Jungle Book became the most successful Hollywood release in the country, collecting over 1.5 billion rupees ($23.7 million).
Lionsgate executive vp, international sales Wendy Reeds said that India “is a territory with tremendous box-office potential, and we expect these five eagerly anticipated films to resonate with Indian moviegoers all year long.”
Viacom18 Motion Pictures COO Ajit Andhare added that the Lionsgate deal reflected “our endeavor to get the best of Hollywood for the growing Indian audience for English films.”
The distribution agreement was facilitated by Lionsgate’s India representative Morris Street Advisors Private Ltd. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
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