India, with 1.25 billion people is huge market for films; the nation even has its own thriving industry known as Bollywood.
In all, it’s the sixth largest film market in the world, based on gross box office receipts. It ranks behind the United States and Canada, China, Japan the United Kingdom and France, according to Statista, a statistics Web site.
“Avatar,” the most successful film worldwide based on box-office gross, pulled down $2.8 billion. Of that, $24.2 million came from ticket sales in India.
Outside of the U.S. and Canada, the Hindu nation was the film’s 9th largest market, so the impact on “50 Shades of Grey,” while not minimal by any means, is unlikely to cause a major ripple.
Still, the Indian government’s action is likely to be followed by other Asian nations that have large, conservative religious populations.
Malaysia, Indonesia and Kenya have already banned the film because of its sexual content, according to news sources.
Universal Pictures edited the film to tone down the language and remove all sex scenes, but it was still rejected by India’s Central Board of Film Certification, a source told Reuters news agency. Universal can appeal the decision.
Universal has also written off trying to show the film in China, the second largest film market in the world. “Avatar” grossed $204 million in Chinese theaters within 41 days of its release, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
In the United States, “50 Shades of Grey,” was the highest grossing film over the three-day President’s Day holiday in the history of American cinema.
The adaptation of the 2011 best-selling novel charts the lives of business mogul Christian Grey and young college student Anastasia Steele, who become entwined in a sadomasochistic relationship.
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