Freako-pir(acy)onomics behind early releases of Hollywood movies in India than US !

It’s not surprising these days that Hollywood movies getting released in India before their release in US leaving the US movie goers agitating with such treatment.

Of all the products of popular culture, none is more sharply etched in our collective imagination than the movies. Movies are key cultural artifacts that offer a window into American cultural and social history. But in this era which is widely governed by Wall street and capitalists no one cares about citizen of US. Movies are now-a-days made by  America, in America but not for America.

I’ve been waiting for a year to watch G.I.Joe-Retaliation since the release is being rescheduled, felt so cheated that I went deep into the rabbit hole.

It all begun with Sony Pictures’ release of James Bond flick Quantum Of Solace in India before US in 2008. The success of Quantum – drawing over US$9 million in India – prompted more studios to do the same.

Hollywood Studios Movies which released early in India than US
  • Quantum of Solace (1 week before US)
  • The Adventures of Tintin (6 weeks before US)
  • Skyfall (Bond 2012 1 week before US)
  • Lion King (in 3D released a month before its US release)
  • Avengers (2012, 1 week before US)
  • Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader (1 week before US)
  • Rio (1 week before US)
  • Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol (MI4) (6 days before US)
  • Transformers: Dark of the Moon (4 days prior to US)

Business pundits are pointing this as one of the strategies of Hollywood studios to spread their wings in the evolving market for foreign investment in the Indian film industry.

The main encouraging factor for foreign investment in Indian films is the rapidly swelling number of prospective ticket buyers. According to McKinsey & Co., India’s middle class, with an annual per capita disposable income of $4,380 to $21,890, is expected to swell more than ten times to 583 million people by 2025. Already, some experts are saying that it is currently larger than the entire population of United States

ScreenDigest provide some insight of its Cinema Index survey, which compares the cost of the movie ticket to average earnings around the world.


The Cinema Index is an at-a-glance way of comparing earnings with cinema prices. The lower the number in minutes, the less expensive a cinema ticket is relative to earnings power. The top two countries are very good examples of how the Index can be interpreted. While Indian net hourly earnings are relatively low (at $0.70 per hour), the average cinema ticket is also very low (at $0.19), which evens out the relatively low levels of both and results in an average of 16.6 minutes work to earn enough money to buy a cinema ticket.

At the other end of the scale, the average U.S. net hourly income is $15.20. The average ticket price is just over $6, which results in a cinema index of 23.9 minutes. The above survey clearly shows how cheap it is to watch a movie in India

Piracy is seen as one of the main reasons why Hollywood is going early on the release date. The US has very stringent laws like the Protect IP Act that keeps pirates at bay unlike India, where they are still trying to make the law more stringent for piracy.

But why Hollywood studios are so much concerned about the market where average ticket price is around $0.69, against $7.89 in the US.

Below are some facts and figures.

Country Piracy Penetration English Speaking population
China 91 10,000,000
Columbia 90 5,100,000
Malaysia 75 5,580,000
India 60 125,226,450
Turkey 45 12,000,000

India having a demographic advantage of 65% of population under 35 age group and potential English speaking audience which is more than double the total population of UK, Hollywood studios have gauged the appetite of Indian movie buffs. Not to forget for the remaining population studios are dubbing English movies in local language.

With rapid sprawling of multiplexes in India rising where the average ticket price is $3.0, studios in Hollywood are eyeing handsome share of the profit pie from the emerging markets.

Production houses don’t want to lose such demanding and emerging markets to piracy, forcing them to release movies early than in US.

Another reason for the penetration of Hollywood studios in India is seen as the protection of intellectual proprietor rights and copy rights of American scriptwriters and artists. In one of the incidence The producers of ‘Hitch’, Will Smith’s production house Overbrook Entertainment along with Sony Pictures Entertainment, has accused Indian producers of ‘Partner’ of remaking a direct lift version of Will Smith’s starrer ‘Hitch’, considering a possibility of 30 million dollar suit. Plagiarism is another evil which Production Houses are aiming to tackle by capturing Indian market.

I know a Capitalist will be fully agreed with Hollywood studios releasing their movies earlier than US market.

But does anyone think of US movie buffs, who deserve first to see movies and always feel cheated when capitalist serves movies to piracy affected country before us.

God bless America  from such vested interests of Capitalists.

Sources :


6 thoughts on “Freako-pir(acy)onomics behind early releases of Hollywood movies in India than US !

  1. You really make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this matter to be
    really something which I think I would never understand.
    It seems too complex and very broad for me. I’m looking forward for your next post, I’ll try to get the
    hang of it!

  2. the starting cost of tickets in good cinema hall is approx Rs.200-250 that is approx $3.5-4.
    I don’t remember that even I had watched a movie for $1 and you are talking of $0.69
    the prices of movies is very high in India tickets start at minimum of $4 and ends at $10 and more.

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