In July of 2011 I posted about an article alluding to a crisis in India’s animation industry. The piece was unapologetically honest about the shortcomings of work being done in India and called into question industry trade reports that boasted huge growth.
However the article also pointed to potential hope in a film that was currently in the works: Delhi Safari. India’s first 3D animated film was made for $US 7 million and while the quality was no where near DreamWorks and Disney, it was better than previous attempts. It was supposed to be released October 2011 but for whatever reason didn’t hit the screens in India until this past October 2012. This was a film that India’s animation industry needed to do well.
So what’s the verdict? According to boxofficeindia.com, it’s a disaster. After only 2 weeks the film grossed about $US 370,000 ($INR 20 million). Just to compare, previous Indian animated film Roadside Romeo was released around the same time in India in 2008. It’s first week gross was $US 820,000 ($INR 45 Million). So after 2 weeks Delhi Safari was only able to generate half of what Roadside Romeo made in it’s first week — which was also considered unsuccessful.
It’s also important to note the rising costs: Roadside Romeo was made for $US 3.6 million ($INR 200 million) compared to Delhi Safari which was made for twice that amount.
I think the film is quite important to note because India’s CG and VFX industry has certainly matured. The argument by many is that they will eventually move up the chain and replace us all. However after almost 15 years, India has yet to make the move.