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Monday, June 13, 2011

Regional films will make 50% of Eros International portfolio

This story first appeared in DNA Money edition on Thursday, June 2, 2011.

Eros International Media Ltd, a film entertainment company focused on Hindi film genre with blockbusters such as Housefull and Dabangg under its belt, is now looking to make it big in the regional language movie space.

Kishore Lulla, group executive chairman, Eros International, said, “We are expanding our new film catalogue and will be looking at films in Tamil, Telugu, Bengali and Bhojpuri languages to name a few. We are currently in various stages of discussion and should be in a position to make details public in 4-6 months,” he said on an analyst call.

In all, the company is currently looking at 24 projects in the regional films space, which it may acquire or co-produce.
A small percentage of its regional pipeline will be big budget films like

Rajnikant’s Rana, which is being made in Telugu, Tamil and Hindi.

Kamal Jain, chief financial officer, Eros International, said, “It will be a mixed bag as not all regional films require huge budget. And returns are quite significant even for a sub-Rs5 crore film. The idea is to establish leadership position across all high business potential language films.”

Of its overall catalogue of 1,100 plus movies at present, about 50% are regional films, primarily Punjabi and Marathi movies. Majority of these, Jain said, are acquisitions with a very small percentage of owned and co-production films.

Jain said funding would be finalised once the pipeline is set.
Rahul Kundnani, analyst, SBICAP Securities Ltd, said, “With equal emphasis on regional films, which is a high-margin business, the company will be able to enhance profitability taking its operating profit margins to around 40% in fiscal 2012 from 22% in the last fiscal.”

Eros doubled its investment in content to Rs536.5 crore last fiscal as compared to Rs262 crore in fiscal 2010.

The company closed fiscal 2011 with 77 releases across languages and 50% of the dozen-odd blockbuster Hindi films were from its stable, it said. Among its biggest grossers were Housefull, Golmaal 3, Endhiran and Dabangg.

In fiscals 2012 and 2013, the entertainment company has a pipeline of about 50 releases, of which the mix between Hindi and regional films is 50:50. Its line-up for this fiscal includes a number of big releases like Ready, Murder 2, Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, Mausam, Rockstar, Desi Boyz, Agent Vinod and Ra.One.

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