Putting all speculations to rest, Viacom18, a 50:50 joint venture between Viacom Inc and Network18 Group, and Paramount Pictures International (a Viacom Company), have announced a strategic business alliance for India and the Indian Sub-continent markets.
The alliance will see Viacom18 Motion Pictures, a part of the Viacom18 Group, distribute Paramount’s theatrical releases in India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, beginning with the movie ‘Transformers: Dark of the Moon’, which will be released on July 1, 2011. This will continue with Paramount’s forthcoming slate, including ‘Super 8’ and ‘Mission Impossible 4’.
With an aim to significantly change the way Hollywood movies are marketed and distributed in India, Viacom18 Motion Pictures has created an independent operating unit within its division, which will handle the Paramount Pictures business.
Making the announcement at a press meet in Mumbai, Haresh Chawla, Group CEO, Viacom18, said, “Filmed entertainment is core to mass entertainment franchises, like Colors, that we are building at Viacom18. Viacom18 Motion Pictures has built up a very strong presence in the movies business in a short span of time and this strategic alliance with a global major like Paramount Pictures will open up myriad possibilities that will help us further strengthen our presence in this space.”
Sharing his perspective on the strategic alliance, Andrew Cripps, President, Paramount Pictures, said that this was a step change for Paramount in one of the fastest growing markets internationally and added that they were looking forward to expanding Paramount’s presence in India.
Vikram Malhotra, COO, Viacom 18 Motion Pictures, added here, “Paramount Pictures’ strong line-up and franchises and our domestic release slate is a lethal combination. Partnering with a global player like Paramount Pictures, we’re confident of Viacom18 Motion Pictures occupying a prominent position in the Indian entertainment industry.”
To successfully explore newer genres, differentiated concepts and fresh talent, Viacom18 Motion Pictures has launched a new banner, ‘Tipping Point Films’, which focuses on execution of ‘clutter-breaking’ projects. This includes collaborations with director Anurag Kashyap for ‘Shaitan’, ‘Michael’ and ‘Gangs of Waseeypur’ (two parts), ‘Bbuddah’ (starring Amitabh Bachchan), Abbas-Mustan’s ‘Players’ and David Dhawan’s ‘Chashme-Baddoor’.