Saturday, 11 October 2014

The Lunchbox Worldwide Success; Can It Change Perception Of Indian Filmmakers?



Nonpareil plot, colourful characters, exotic location, flamboyant costumes, cheesy dialogues, songs, dance are common objects that typified Bollywood in its non-traditional markets. Although, our industry tries time to time to break this tradition morality by making unconventional new age movies that might be recipe for global audiences too, apart from India. But, things have been not working out rightly as far now; we haven't achieved satisfying consequence yet. We can’t deny that many Hindi movies have got huge box office success in international market, but those movies are been mainly star driven and only lure NRI's, Indians who live outside of India. In many Asian and European continents like India's neighbour countries Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal have domination of Bollywood. But then again, they don't get proper theatrical release there and piracy is savior for them.

So, here question is, what impediments there are that works as fraction for our industry, not letting to establish a strong and consistent recognise in International market. And, we might find the answer of all questions in worldwide achievements of 
          The Lunchbox.


This is one of the most important movie happened in Bollywood. Worldwide success of highly critical epistolary love story, directed by Ritesh Batra starring Irrfan Khan, Nawazuddin Siddiqi and Nimrat Kaur as lead role, The Lunchbox depicts not only a beautiful story, rather lot of things, solves lot of questions our industry has been seeking for. Internationally co-produced this movie has re-written history and proved that with decent strategies Bollywood can achieve every single possibility. And, I as a film lover strongly want Bollywood maker to learn from this movie. So, we're here to give a write up how, how much, where, what, when did The Lunchbox make money on international markets.

How Much, Where And When
Made on 9 crores production budget having  6.25 crores marketing cost, The Lunchbox released over 70 countries, still running in many countries and is to be release in rest, got such laudatory reviews across countries as well as grossed unimaginable box office across all over the world that might be astonished many of you. So, first have a look of its collection.

   Worldwide Box Office Of The Lunchbox
S.No.
Country
Release Date
Box Office (USD)
Box Office(INR)
1
Argentina
3rd July 2013
$45,626
0.28 cr
2
Australia
10th July 2013
$1,254,462
7.71 cr
3
Austria
13th Dec 2013
$239,926
1.47 cr
4
Belgium
11th Dec 2013
$212,057
1.3 cr
5
Brazil
28th Feb 2014
$119582
0.73 cr
6
Bulgaria
13th June 2014
$15,325
0.94 cr
8
Canada
21th Mar 2014
$970000
5.96 cr
7
Colombia
14th Aug 2014
$106,956
0.65 cr
9
Czech republic
30th Aug 2014
$10,407
0.06 cr
10
Finland
4th Apr 2014
$92,718
0.57 cr
11
France
11th Dec 2013
$4,100,000
27.22 cr
12
Germany
21th Nov 2013
$1,700,000
11.29 cr
13
Greece
4th Sep 2013
$34,372
0.21 cr
14
Hong Kong
6th March 2014
$185,048
1.13 cr
16
India
28th Sep 2013
$4,688,000
28.6 cr
15
Italy
28th Nov 2013
$554,000
3.68 cr
17
Mexico
14th Mar 2014
$144,673
0.89 cr
18
Netherlands
12th Dec 2013
$122,000
0.75 cr
19
New Zealand
18th Sep 2014
$189,251
1.16 cr
20
Norway
11th Apr 2014
$171,202
1.05 cr
21
Singapore
27th Mar 2014
$47,541
0.29 cr
22
Spain
30th Apr 2014
$169,192
1.04 cr
23
Sweden
25th Apr 2014
$448,856
2.76 cr
24
Switzerland
29th Sep 2013
$714,700
4.36 cr
25
Thailand
10th Apr 2014
$50,656
0.31 cr
26
Turkey
25th Apr 2014
$16,423
0.10 cr
27
UAE
11th Dec 2013
$500,000
3.07 cr
28
United Kingdom
11th Apr 2014
$800,271
4.92 cr
29
USA
28th Feb 2014
$4,235,151
26 cr
Total


$22,500,000
138.5 cr
*. All data have been compiled from various sources like Boxofficemojo, Rentrack, and Dar Motion Picture.
*. It’s estimated data since The Lunchbox is still running in many countries and also we couldn’t fetched box office of some big countries where it released like Japan. So, actual figure might be even bigger than it.

Ø The Lunchbox is rare movies which has done more business in overseas market than its domestic market. So far now only four Indian movies have achieved this feat.
 Domestic Market VS Overseas Market
S.No
Title
Year
Domestic BO
Overseas BO
1
Monsoon Wedding
2001-02
7.46 crores
121.9 crores
2
The Lunchbox
2013-14
 28.6 crores
110 crores 
3
My Name Is Khan
2010
71 crores
106 crores
4
Water
2005-06
1.68 crores
44.4 crores





Briefing Of Accolades & Box Office For Big Markets

India: The Lunchbox released on 28th September 2013 over limited 386 screens in India, distributed by Walt Disney UTV Studio. Upon release, The Lunchbox received widespread critical acclaim. The review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes gave the film a score of 96% based on reviews from 92 critics. Other Indian review aggregator; BollywoodMovieReviewz and Review Gang both mentioned that The Lunchbox received the highest aggregate score of any Indian films earning a 4.38/5 and a 10/10 respectively. The rating has calculated by average rating of all popular Bollywood critic websites ratings.  

The Lunchbox started slowly grossed 1.25 crores on its opening day. But, rave reviews by critics and good word of mouth among movies buff helped to boost its business that is visible by its weekend collection 7.1 crores. It sustained afterward and finished giving profitable business total 28.6 crores, despite it hadn't regular content.
A Movie Still From The Lunchbox

First Weekend: 7.1 crores
First Week: 11.58 crores
Second Week: 7.25 crores
Total: 28.6 crores



European Countries: It's very interesting that a small film The Lunchbox did extensive business in non-traditional market. It ranked in combined Rs. 47.46 crores from only five European countries of France, Germany, Italy and The Netherlands. That is very rare, almost bigger than any Bollywood movies released in that territory.

In Germany, The Lunchbox has been grossed 11.29 crores there, completed consecutive 40 weeks and still running in theaters. In term of longest running movies, this is far ahead of any Indian movies have released there yet. Even it makes Hollywood to think hard of it.


French poster of The Lunchbox
In France, It grossed 27.22 crores that are almost equal of what it collected in its domestic market, India. This figure is outstanding and so immense that it might make you suspicious and even compel you not to believe. But, these are not only BO numbers which describe its unimaginable craze in France. The Lunchbox accolades can be recognize by other ways too , that is to be go to make you stunned.

Allocine.fr is a film portal website, treated as IMDb of France, which is frequently visited by Frances. I'm comparing some of biggest hit of Bollywood movies with this gem called The Lunchbox. You may get your answer.
  

  

  Indian Movies At Allocine Having Highest Number Of Voters
S.No
Title
Year
No Of Votes
Rating
1
2013
1,948
4
2
2002
1,175
3.7
3
2010
628
4.2
4
2001
614
3.6
5
2004
321
3.6
6
2003
278
3.3
7
2001
255
3.5
8
1998
180
4.1
9
2013
166
3.4
10
2008
145
4.2
11
2012
140
4.2
12
2012
135
3.4


 *. We can see that The Lunchbox has no competition. It has its own league.

 *. Barring Lagaan, Ugly and Gangs Of Wasseypur, all are love story. It’s pretty clear that they are very fond of Bollywood love stories and when it comes to love stories Shah Rukh Khan has no match, neither in India nor outside. Nevertheless, The Lunchbox having no face value achieved grand success that could be watershed for other Indian films. 
*. It also convinces that director Anurag Kashyap, one of the producer of this film, has good recognize in France. Three films from the list belongs to him, among them Ugly is still to be release in India.



USA: The lunchbox achievements in this territory can't be used up in few words. So, I've come with some of surprising exposure.

Release Date:  February 28, 2014
Total Gross:    $4.2 million (INR:26 crores)
Opening Weekend Screen Count: 3
Highest Screen Count: 165; that happened on 9th week. This screen count is similar than many biggies Indian movies released in USA where they get these kind of wide screens in opening weekend itself.
Present Screen Count:  4, that is even more than what it got before 30 weeks on its release date. Amazing, isn't it??

Running Status:  224 days (32 weeks) as far now, still running.  In term of all time longest running Indian movies in USA, The Lunchbox is about to top.

           Longest Running Indian Movies Of All Time In USA
S.No.
Title
ReleaseDate
Close Date
In Release
1
The Lunchbox
Feb 28, 2014
Nil
224 days/32 weeks
2
Monsoon Wedding
Feb 22, 2002
Oct 3, 2002
224 days/32 weeks
3
Water
Apr 28, 2006
Oct 15, 2006
175 days/25 weeks
4
My Name Is Khan
Feb 12, 2010
May 6, 2010
84days/12 weeks
5
3 Idiots
Dec 23, 2009
Mar11, 2010
79days/11.3 weeks

  • It is not only Indian movies whom The Lunchbox is giving stiff competition. Infact, It’s the longest running movies of 2014 released in USA as far now.

            Longest Running Movies In USA (Released In 2014 Only)
S.No
Title
ReleaseDate
Close Date
In Release
1
The Lunchbox
Feb 28, 2014
Nil
224days/32 weeks
2
The Lego Movie
Feb 27, 2014
Sep 4, 2014
210days/ 30weeks
3
Mr. Peabody & Sherman
Mar 7, 2014
Sep 14, 2014
182 days/26weeks
4
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Mar 7, 2014
Aug 28, 2014
175 days/25 weeks
5
Rio 2
Apr 11, 2014
Sep 4, 2014
147days/21 weeks
6
Captain America 2
Apr 4, 2014
Aug 21, 2014
140 days/20 days
7
God's Not Dead
Mar 21, 2014
Aug 7, 2014
140 days/20 days

Box Office Status:        What to say? See yourself.

Indian Movies In List Of Foreign Language Movies At USA Box Office
S.No
Name Of Movie
Release Date
BO (USD)
BO(INR)
Rank
1
Monsoon Wedding
Feb 22, 2002
$13.9 mil
66.6 cr
14th
2
Dhoom 3
Dec 20, 2013
$8.03 mil
47.37 cr
31th
3
3 Idiots
Dec 23, 2009
$6.53 mil
30.22 cr
47th
4
Water
Apr 25, 2006
$5.52 mil
24.56 cr
61th
5
Chennai Express
Aug 8, 2013
$5.3 mil
31.27 cr
67th
6
The Lunchbox
Feb 28, 2014
$4.23 mil
26 cr
83th
7
My Name Is Khan
Feb 12, 2010
$4.01 mil
18.9 cr
91th
8
Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani
May 31, 2013
$3.82 mil
21.58 cr
99th


How Did It Happen?

Story
First and foremost things, the story of the film is fairly universal and non-controversial, and relatable to a foreign audience despite its cultural specific.


Dar Motion Pictures' producer, Vivek Rangachari quotes, "I feel the success of this film is due to the global nature of the subject and its beautiful treatment. One of the learnings is that there is a large non-diaspora market ready to accept honest good Indian content. As they say, the more local the content, the more global its appeal." 



According to film critic and trade analyst Taran Adarsh, it is a clear indication that powerful content can drive business globally. "It is a victory for content. If you see, there is no major star in the film. While Irrfan has some visibility in certain foreign markets like US and UK, female lead Nimrat is a newcomer even for the Indian audiences. For a movie to do so well, its content has to catch foreign audience's attention."

Official cross-border production
However, powerful content is only half the battle won. It needed to have a strong distribution plan to make the most of their foreign outing. “We could have got Dar Motion Pictures to invest all the money needed for the film. But we wanted it be an official international co-production”, says Ritesh Batra, director of The Lunchbox. His strategies worked out big time and helped this film to be turned out in a historical successful film across all over the world. The film is an official co-production between India, France and Germany. India has bilateral co-production treaties with Canada, Germany, Italy, France, Spain, Brazil and the UK, among other countries.

Production Companies
·         Sikhya Entertainment (India)
·         DAR Motion Pictures (India)
·         National Film Development Corporation of India (NFDC) (co-production) (India)
·         ASAP Films (co-production) (France)
·         Rohfilm (co-production) (Germany)
·         Cine Mosaic (co-production) (United State)
·         Arte France Cinéma
Note: Sikhya Entertainment was previously known as Anurag Kashyap Film Pvt. Ltd.

"The film was heavily structured. There is an entity which has a 1% share of the profits and you value that" says Guneet Monga, producer and CEO at Sikhya Entertainment, the lead producer of the film.”

Advantages Of Cross-Border Production
1. Access to public funds of others countries; Europe, unlike the US and India, puts a lot of public money in cinema and by virtue of being an official co-production, The Lunchbox's French and German producers could access their respective public funds for the film. The film had a predominantly international crew, with Michael Simmonds, who shot Paranormal Activity 2, as the director of photography, and Max Richter, who worked on the Oscar-nominated animated film, Waltz with Bashir, as the composer. So that access to technicians of those countries, which in some cases is mandatory if their public money is involved. Moreover, the film was edited in executive producer Lydia Pilcher's office in New York and the music and sound was done in Berlin and the picture post-production was done in Paris.

2. Better distribution prospects; Since the distributor in the country which is co-producing the film gets financial support. In other global markets, it indeed was a conscious decision to partner with different distributors/distribution agencies. These distributors are leaders in their own region; the key criterion here was that they would be the best suited to ensure an optimal release for the film.

 3. Better telecast prospects in those countries; Arte, a Franco-German TV network, acquired the TV rights for the film. If The Lunchbox had been just an Indian production, getting the kind of theatrical release it got in France and Germany would have been an insurmountable task.

Another Factor Who Worked Out For The Lunchbox:


  Nimrat Kaur And Irrfan Khan At Cannes Film
Festival 2013 For Premiere Of 'The Lunchbox'
*. International Touch: Karsten Stoter, one of the co-producer of this film, notes that the multinational crew gave the film an international art-house touch. Names like Pilcher, Anurag Kashyap, a producer of the film, and Danis Tanovic, director of the Oscar-winning No Man'sLand who was a co-producer of the film, certainly helped generate interest in the film at festivals.


 *. Film Festivals generated curiosity: The Lunchbox was selected to be part of the International Critics Week at Cannes Film Festival in 2013, where it won the viewers' choice award. The film went to several other festivals; include Telluride Film Festival in Colorado, US, and the Toronto International Film Festival. "One of the lessons from The Lunchbox's success is how to build a film in the festival circuit, generate a conversation around it, and get the excitement back into the country for a theatrical release," says Ajit Andhare, chief operating officer, Viacom18 MotionPictures.

Conclusion??

"If films like Kahaani, Vicky Donor and Madras Cafe had the kind of collaboration The Lunchbox had, they could have become international films. How do we have so many American releases here but not many Indian releases abroad? We are not thinking on these terms, we are not encouraging our directors to take that route," says Irrfan Khan, actor of The Lunchbox who also worked for Hollywood films like The Amazing Spider Man and Life Of Pi.

We’re Thankful To,
Dar Motion Picture Team


author-picAbout The Author:
Ankit Prakash is not a writer. He is just a simple movie lover.  He is a member of Team Bollywood CineTalk. This write up was written by him accidentally, partially. ;-)
Contact: FacebookTwitter

3 comments:

  1. Great Analysis, must have done very hard work to collect all this information.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Seriously very detailed analysis.. ����

    ReplyDelete