India Epic Makes Waves in No. America

   May 9, 2017-Sci-fi fantasy epic Baahubali 2: The Conclusion grossed a solid $16.3 million in North America, in a rare instance of a foreign-language film turning heads.
   Great India Films released the India import on April 28, where it ranked an impressive third among all films for the weekend. That’s particularly noteworthy because Baahubali 2 played on just
Baahubali 2 already topped last year-s highest-grossing foreign-language film

425 screens—selected for their proximity to India and Asian audiences in North America (USA and Canada). By comparison, the next three ranked films by USA/Canada box office for that Apr 28-30 weekend each booked over 3,000 screens and were English-language.
   Baahubali 2, which is unrated for audience classification, has grossed $16.3 million so far in North America, which is good enough to rank #31 for the year among all films, including English language, according to BoxOfficeMojo. That already surpasses 2016’s highest-grossing foreign-language import—Dangal, which is another movie from India that grossed $12.5 million. Previously, Dangal had been the highest-grossing film in North American from India, so a growing India/Asian population in North American plus better story-telling and production values for Indian films signals a budding trend at USA/Canada box office.
   “Although the Indian-American population represents only 1% of the U.S., it is fast-growing with high disposable income,” says a Wall Street Journal story by Don Steinberg. “The Indian-American population grew to nearly 3 million in 2010, up 69% from 2000. In 2014 Indian citizens accounted for 70% of H-1B employment applications in the U.S.”
  The WSJ story also notes that North America gets a hot foreign-language film every once in a while, citing Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon in 2000 from Hong Kong, Amelie in 2001 from France (a stage musical adaptation just flopped on Broadway), and Life is Beautiful in 1998 from Italy.
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