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Bollywood vs. Hollywood: Who gets the thumbs up and why!

Mar 20, 2018

Bollywood vs. Hollywood: Who gets the thumbs up and why!
Bollywood vs. Hollywood: Who gets the thumbs up and why!

Two film industries set to conquer, with million viewers', each trying to woo the audience with something different. Both industries have popular actors and directors who surpass trajectories and boundaries. Hollywood produces almost 600 films every year and has a worldwide audience of over 3 million. India produces over 1900 films every year, with Bollywood covering almost 1000 out of this.

Hollywood sees potential in the Indian market. Before the dawn of the millennium, Hollywood movies were mostly grosser in the U.S.A. Cut to today; Hollywood filmmakers create niche films keeping the global audience in purview. Lapped up by the youth, recent films like Fast & Furious, The Avengers, The Jungle Book, The Conjuring 2, Captain America: Civil War, X-Men: Apocalypse, The Angry Birds Movie and Kung Fu Panda have raked in moolahs. This trend confirms each Hollywood film doing a business of 40-50 cr in India.

What's attracting the Indian cine-goers to Hollywood movies?

The taste of something different is the key. India is one of the most populous countries with a voracious number of audience turning to cinema for entertainment. For a while now, the Hollywood staple has been the big-budget extravaganza, created with the intent to sell overseas and the content shaped according to universal ideas or themes. The groundbreaking special effects are hard to match. The production cost of the technology and effects is huge. Bollywood primarily caters to the sensibilities of Indian audience but the intelligent kinds want something new rising above the ordinary, formulaic and archaic. Though filmmakers are assimilating new elements, it cannot be traversed immediately. Witnessing a shift in traditional movie-watching pattern the filmmakers are using alternate methods. The global success of SS Rajamouli’s fantasy saga Baahubali 2: The Conclusion has reinvented the power of India's film industry.

Not just the content, to gain new ground, Hollywood productions are also roping in Indian actors like Priyanka Chopra, Deepika Padukone, Anil Kapoor, Irrfan Khan, Ali Fazal, and Nimrat Kaur because our markets are important. Indian actors are making steady headway in both cinema or television. Likewise, foreign actors are also getting popular in India. Vin Diesel and Jackie Chan visited India for promoting their films xXx: The Return of Xander Cage and Kung Fu Yoga respectively. Hugh Jackman created a furore with "Namaste to all my fans in India" addressing the audience on Youtube during the promotion of Logan. Emma Watson wished her fans “Namaste India, wishing you a very Happy Holi!" while promoting Beauty and the Beast. The Hollywood actors are making constant effort to connect with Indian audience.

English movies are getting dubbed in more than one Indian language to cater in multilingual format. Dubbing is an archetypal way to travel between the industries. Assistance with subtitles also enables viewer to follow the story. Notably, this is a great reason Hollywood movies are reaching multiplex as well as regional audience.

Onslaught of Hollywood on Indian Cinema

Jon Favreau's The Jungle Book, with Indian-American actor Neel Sethi is Hollywood's biggest grosser of all time in India. Shah Rukh Khan's Fan took a beating due to the release of the film at the same time. Sarbjit and X-Men: Apocalypse released on the same day and scoffed each other's business. Azhar also fell behind Captain America: Civil War in earnings. Yet Hollywood's overall share is undersized as compared to the Hindi film industry.

Though we may prefer exotic continental and Italian food at times, we come back to our home cooked rich spicy variety of Indian cuisine. That's our flavour. Indians are about food and films, and we love our culture in both aspects. It's our cultural uniqueness that makes Indian films varied and different. We should stick to our originality rather than compete with Hollywood.