"The movie business is macabre. Grotesque.
It is a combination of a football game
and a brothel."
-- Federico Fellini
Jan 252020

Bollywood, the Indian giant film industry based in Mumbai (formerly Bombay) has been the backbone of the cinematic industry for more than 10 decades. Featuring films with colorful, dynamic and theatrical dance styles and moves, the industry is not only revered for award-winning stars but also the largest number of feature films per year. 

However, down the line, the industry has been facing stiff competition from its American counterpart. According to a recent box office revenue report, India’s cinematic industry is predicted to grow to a whopping 166.9B Indian Rupees in 2023; it stands at 140B Rupees now. This is far more than what cricket betting in the country fetches. 

However, with just 80-90 releases a year, Hollywood controls up to 20% of the box office revenue. One of the reasons for this is the fact that most Hollywood movies are high-priced as compared to Bollywood counterparts.  

In 2017 and 2018 the standalone Hollywood releases beat all the odds to surpass the 3000 crore mark. In 2019, however, something blissful happened. For the first time, Hollywood releases hit the magical 4600 crore mark, something that the Bollywood releases couldn’t.  

With barely a few months to the end of the year, box office was prompted to set a new 5000 crore mark for new Hollywood releases. But, the question is, why the huge difference and is it true that the once cinematic giant is losing its grip?  

 1. Dubbing

Cases of local Indians dubbing Hollywood films is on the rise. Since India enjoys a massive fan base made up of more than 800M viewers, most of whom do not understand English, there is a need to re-act-out the videos with local dialects.  

English movies in India enjoy perfect dubbing with excellent voice footage and re-touching from different producers for a dynamic range of the amp. However, this affects the market a great deal. First, it promotes the popularity of the dubbed film.  

Dubbing creates a platform where the country enjoys most of the entertainment from foreign countries. The audiences are inherently tailored to love foreign actors. They will love scenes performed by an actor whose voice is unknown to them rather than promoting their own. This can be one of the reasons why the Padmavati actor Sanjay Leela Bhansali and his crew was assaulted in Jaipur.

Some of the Hollywood movies that have been dubbed leading to an immense support base in the country include Star Wars, The Incredibles, The Jungle Book, Fury, Furious 7 and many more. Even the most popular of all Indian Bollywood series cannot fetch the level of impact created by these dubbed films. 

2. Unrealistic contents

At some point in life, Bollywood movies had a meaning in its audience’s lives. However, with time, the industry lost its way, only focusing on unrealistic contents aimed at driving profits and not winning its audience’s hearts. 

If you are an ardent viewer of Bollywood movies, then you must have probably stumbled on scenes with zero gravity, holes in the plot and just too many fights. Some scenes will carry your brain outside the theatre since they are not logically sound in terms of storyline, let alone the flow.  

Part of this is due to incompetent actors who do not qualify even in auditions. After all, who doesn’t know of the skyrocketing cases of nepotism in the Bollywood industry? This menace not only threatens the quality of content, it almost leads the industry to a premature death bed.  

3. Plagiarism

Plagiarism in Bollywood films hit a hallmark when Barfi, a popular movie in India, copied the tune from Amelie released in 2001. According to film analysts, the movie had all its scenes copied from a total of seven other movies. Among them were Adventure (1983), Benny & Joon (1993), City Lights (1931) and four others. This affects the general taste in most films. 

Alongside that, Bollywood audiences are decrying the recognition of the wrong actors when it comes to awards. With plagiarized and unrealistic content, mediocre films such as Masaan (2015) and Happy New Year (2014-2015) have gone on to win Stardust and Filmfare awards respectively.


Numbers do not lie. In as much as Bollywood films still lead in box office revenue, they are losing the touch most viewers afforded them. Films such as Avengers have hit the top of the chart in India for two years now. And, many more films are yet to come to raise the bar higher.  

 Posted by on January 25, 2020  Add comments

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