At the inaugural ScreenSingapore, speakers discussed the importance of profiting at the local box office with local language productions as global box office matures.

With local language films taking around half the market share in territories like Korea and Japan, while Indian films take up to 90% of their market, Hollywood studios like Fox are actively collaborating with local partners on local-language films to get a piece of the box office pie.

ScreenSingapore’s chairman of the board and industry veteran Greg Coote, said, “Studio executives are not going to sit back and let it go. They see this opportunity and think, “Why aren’t you here?”

Fox International Productions president Sanford Panitch talked about his company’s initiatives to invest, coproduce and distribute non-English language films in local territories. Fox is currently producing films in 11 different local language territories including India, China, Korea, Japan and Brazil.

“Our business plan is about getting box office from local. If we’re making a Korean film, it needs to recoup in Korea. But sometimes if a film is special enough, or as in the case of Indian films and they have a diaspora, they can go worldwide,” said Panitch.

“You’ve got to think local [box office first]. The business plan can’t be predicated on travelling,” reiterated Coote.

The speakers warned remaking Hollywood films into local languages is also something to be careful about.

“Even when you do it in Hollywood, you have to think about why?. If you reinvent it, maybe take a movie that is 25 years old and people don’t remember, and remake it with a new modern take to it. But a remake for remake’s sake is just uncreative,” he said.