Arts, Culture & Media

Hollywood Entices Indian Movie-Goers With Hindi Song for 'The Avengers'

Andheron300.jpg

'Hello Andheron' video (YouTube)

A $260 million Hollywood blockbuster inspired by "The Avengers" comic book series opens worldwide later this month.

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Movies like that often make more money outside the US. So maximizing revenues in a big market like India is key.

And the way to do that in the land of Bollywood is… through music.

"In this dark hour of night, someone listen to my heart's condition in life…."

That's the plaintive cry that opens a Hindi music video, made to promote the new Avengers flick.

The song is called "Hello Andhero." It's composed by Mumbai-based rock band Agnee. And it's just the latest attempt by Hollywood to compete on Bollywood's home turf.

And who can blame them? In a country with more than a billion people, there's a monster market for films.

Anthony Kaufman writes the "Reel Politic" blog on IndieWire.com.

"The only real key rival to Hollywood's output has always been Bollywood," Kaufman said. "It's a huge audience. It's a diverse audience. They like their movies. And there's very few countries in the world where Hollywood doesn't completely dominate. And India's one of them. So for Hollywood to go in their and insert a Bollywood musical number seems to make sense."

In India, soundtrack sales often account for as large a slice of revenue as ticket sales. So making music videos is a relatively cheap form of advertising. The so-called "film songs" are shown ad nauseum on music channels like MTV.

So with no song for your movie, you've got nothing to sell.

So what should film-makers prepared to do to take on Bollywood? Kaufman had a suggestion.

"I would like to see all the guys from Avengers dancing around in a Bollywood style musical. That would be something."

Yes, it would.