Vasu Pawar was happy to drive about 70 miles to watch her favorite 2017 Indian movie — even if it was the second time she was seeing it.
The first time she watched "Baahubali 2: The Conclusion" — an Indian blockbuster that raked in over $14 million overseas — she fell in love with it. The movie brought back memories of Mumbai from which she emigrated to the U.S. in 1976.
A week later, Pawar saw it again. This time, she brought her American friends, some of whom had never watched Indian films before. "They were overwhelmed with the culture, structural architecture of the monuments," Pawar said.
Indian films featuring megastars with a global appeal, coupled with the backing of affluent production houses, garnered millions of ticket sales around the globe last year.
The Indian film industry grew 27 percent in 2017 on the back of box office growth in both domestic and international markets, according to a report by EY and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI).
In 2017, box office collections for Indian films overseas took $367 million — up almost three times from $125 million the year before, the report said.
Earnings this year are expected to do just as well and may rise to $411 million in 2020 — up by 12 percent from 2017, according to the report.