5 years & counting for Viacom18 Motion Pictures

13 Jun,2016


The great Satyajit Ray once said, “Cinema’s characteristic forte is its ability to capture and communicate the intimacies of human mind.”  At its core cinema is about storytelling. For five long years that is what Viacom 18 Motion Pictures has been doing. From a hard hitting movie like Gangs of Wasseypur to the coming of age film Queen, the studio has churned out movies which are commercially viable as well as rich in content.

Starting its journey in 2010, Viacom18 Motion Pictures aimed at breaking the norm and make content the focus. Over these years,  along with movies with appeal for the masses as well as niche audiences, it has distributed English films and have now ventured in to regional markets with movies in Marathi, Bengali and South Indian languages.


“Viacom18 Motion Pictures is an integral part of the value proposition of Viacom18 as a media network. Over the last five years we have built a distinctive identity for our movie studio that is built around our strong focus on stories. This ‘content-first’ approach is in synergy with our broadcast and digital business lines and together films, broadcast and digital complete the ecosystem of entertainment that Viacom18 offers its consumers.” said Sudhanshu Vats, Group CEO, Viacom18 on the milestone.

Marketing is a very important aspect for any studio when they choose to back a film. So, what role does marketability of a film play while choosing a script? Ajit Andhare, COO, Viacom18 Motion Pictures, said, “First of all comes greenlighting a script which means to see whether there is a significant audience for a film. And, therefore what kind of revenues a certain script or film can generate, which a combination of what the film is and the star cast is and what the film weight is about. The marketing question is the next one. Once you believe you have a certain kind of audience then how do you get that audience to sample that film? Which then addresses the conventional question of how many people need to be made aware, and then what is the waterfall of conversion from awareness to footfalls in theatres and that is where the whole conventional sort of marketing framework takes over.”

“Last year was a very strong for motion pictures. We are profitable and we have grown to a reasonable size in terms of overall revenues and I think that is a very important milestone for us. Being profitable and earning a return on capital is something which every stakeholder looks to and that drives the entire key decision in the business,” said Andhare regarding the studio’s revenue earnings last year. He also stressed on the fact that apart from producing a film, collaboration with relevant brands also plays an important role in the success of a film. In the recent past we have seen a growing trend in product placement within films. “The main thing is to get media alliances. A brand which is possibly placed in the film will also want to promote that film. And, therefore a partnership on the media side is what is of great value to us. It allows us to curtail our marketing expenditure,” he added.

Apart from celebrating and cherishing the years gone by, Andhare is excited about the future. He spoke about a strong pipeline of Hindi and regional films and extending their reach with Hollywood movies. “Continuing the agenda of innovation; that is the future for us,” he said in conclusion.

Taking the celebrations a notch higher, Viacom18 Motion Pictures will showcase its blockbusters in a weeklong festival ending June 17. In collaboration with Cinepolis, the festival will be held across Mumbai, Delhi, Pune and Bengaluru showcasing hits like Kahaani, Manjhi – The Mountain Man, Special 26, PyaarKaPunchnama 2, BhaagMilkhaBhaag, Queen and Gangs of Wasseypur I & II.


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