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The Battle For The Multi-Million Box-Office Hots Up: Why Hollywood Is Beating Bollywood At Home

The month of May might bring some respite for Bollywood which is still looking for a hundred crore member with Baby coming the closest with around 95 crores and Gabbar following suit with reported earning of 66 crores till now but the thing that we have to see here is that Fast and Furious 7 reportedly earned more than 100 crores at the India box office becoming the first Hollywood movie to reach this mark, with no Hindi movie able to beat it. The Avengers: Age of Ultron is also doing remarkably well and many expect it to cross that coveted mark as well. So why are these movies passing the box office test with flying colours while Indian movies are faltering. Both Fast and Furious 7 and Age of Ultron took better openings and many blame Fast and Furious 7 for Detective Byomkesh Bakshy’s no-show at the box office. But in general there are plenty of reasons why Bollywood is taking a beating at the box office number game and Hollywood is marching ahead beating Bollywood in its own territory.

The 100 Crore Dilemma

Bollywood has new success meter and it is the 100 crore club that is dominated by the stars and not the movies. But such is the competition that even if a movie earns 100 crores it is not necessarily a hit. All these complex rules have been created by Bollywood itself that it might be biting its hands for the dichotomy it creates. For example, Jai Ho, starring Salman Khan didn’t do well as it was expected and earned around 125 crores at the box office that forced Salman Khan to concede that it was a 125 crore flop movie. The thing is such that now a movie has to break records, big movies have to cross 100 crores or 150 crores while small budgeted movies are in a better place but then most exhibitors/producers depend on the 100 crore club to rake in maximum profit.

Easy Money

Exhibitors are earning more money by showing Hollywood movies which are most often dubbed and can work well even at small centers throughout India. Like Bollywood movies often take a beating in southern region because of the so called language barrier. Also the permanent ban of Hindi movies in North-eastern state also hampers the pan-Indian revenue and not always a Hindi movie released overseas do well. Exhibitors often don’t want to take risks on certain Hindi movies where returns are less even if it is backed by a big studio. Though the movie manages to do well, but the exhibitors can’t expect it to do well like a Hollywood movie does. Hollywood movies give the exhibitors hope that they will definitely get a return on their investment.

Content Factor

It is a myth that every Hollywood movie released is great in terms of content and acting. What it actually has a very good packaging and the west-centric attitude of our audience often sway them towards watching these movies over desi content, because if we deconstruct a Hollywood movie we will see that most movies that release in India are often shallow and no different from a star-flick. Fast and Furious 7 too had nothing new to offer except Paul Walker’s untimely death aided in a swift box-office dominance. We often don’t get to see indie movies from abroad because once again the returns are very less and hence they are limited to film festivals. What everyone wants is a paisa-vasool outing but then content is becoming important, small movies are doing well as they are getting back their investment but for them to sustain, get that budget blockbusters are needed as whatever people may say blockbusters are the lifeline of the industry.

Urban-Rural Dependency

No more can Bollywood depend on either urban or rural places to make decent profits. The rules have changed considerably and according to many film analysts, Hollywood movies have overtaken their Bollywood counterparts even in fringe areas. This is definitely a wake-up call for Bollywood and the only way they can beat the Hollywood invasion is to make better movies. Bollywood make good movies, but often mindless masala entertainers are not accepted by the audience, a good example of it will be Action Jackson that failed badly. Even a Salman Khan starrer like Jai Ho or Shahrukh Khan starrer like Ra. One failed to live up to the hype created around them.

More From Hollywood

Hollywood has more releases lined up like Jurassic World, Star Wars as well as James Bond’s latest installment Spectre and it will surely creep into the revenues generated and no way can Bollywood try and beat them because these Hollywood franchises are part of a cultural force that is difficult to beat. India has witnessed a near hysteria when Spielberg’s Jurassic Park released. If we do a study of Hollywood releases in India we will be astounded to see the revenues they have earned with movies like Avatar, Life of Pi and The Avengers Part 1 earning extremely high revenues while there was a time when a Hollywood flick earning 10 crores at the box office would mean wonder. Of course the economy has changed but so has the taste of audience. So though Bollywood has witnessed several changes in recent years, they have to develop further to beat this serious competition.

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