What’s wrong with Indian entertainment and why Rs 100 Cr Bollywood club is not cool?

We recently interviewed Abhigyan Jha Founder & CEO of Undercover Productions Ltd (the man behind JayHind TV and hits like Movers and Shakers). We asked him what he thought about the Rs 100 Cr club which Movie makers feel proud of and what challenges Indian entertainment industry is facing. The answers he gave are very candid, fascinating and revealing. Read them with your eyes wide open 🙂

Mehak:

Why do u think 100 Crore Bollywood club is not cool?

Abhigyan:

We have 121 crore people in this country so accordingly it doesn’t make sense. If a movie is making 100 crores business that means it’s collecting less than Rs 1 per capita which is extremely low. If we take example of US which has 310 million people, and movies there make upto 3-4 dollars per capita, we can see a huge difference. The simple reason for this huge disparity is that most Indians are not watching Bollywood movies and it proves that the content of our movies is getting pathetic. These figures about how much a movie has collected from the success at box office are misleading for a country like India. 3 idiots was the only movie that came close to selling 3 crore tickets in last 30 years. The top 3 Bollywood films by Box Office Gross ever are Mughal-e-Azam, Ganga Jamuna & Sholay and 3 Idiots is at a lousy 36th spot. (as per Box Office Bollywood Gold Standard). Shahrukh Khan’s movies are not even in the top 40. Mr. Bachchan has only 2 movies in top 50 – Sholay and Amar Akbar Anthony and he was not the solo actor in both. Mr. Dilip Kumar comes out as the biggest hero. Most of his films are in the top 20 grossing films. What went wrong was that after 1980 our filmmakers started making really bad movies.

When you call movies like Sholay and Mughal-e-azam, Superhits with collections close to or higher than Rs.1000 Crores, in the same breadth you cannot call movies like Housefull, a hit by any standard. We should not be told how much money, the movie made but instead how many people are actually watching the movie: How many tickets were actually sold. Movies, Television shows and Music in our country are not serving the right content but everybody is in denial mode that nothing is wrong. We are being told numbers which mean nothing: no one can get a sense out of TRP and Box Office Gross that very few people are actually watching even the so called HITS! Nobody will be able to tell you how many viewers are watching a “2.5 TRP rated show” ! Not even the channel people would know except for the strategy and marketing team. The Hindi Speaking market in India is at least 50 crore people out of which only 70 lakhs would be watching a show whose TRPs are 2 or more. In 1992-93, on a Hit series like say Dekh Bhai Dekh: each episode was made between 5.5 or 6 lakhs and unbelievably, the amount spent per episode of a show is the same today as well. After 20 years of inflation & Rupee Devaluation.

Mehak: 

So you think the content as whole is degrading? Not just movies?

Abhigyan:

We all remember Altaf Raja? He sold 27 lakh cassettes of his non-movie album near the end of 1990s and today an artist cannot sell even 2 lakhs. People are paying to get Airtel’s own jingle as ringtone but not Hindi Bollywood music. What can you do when everybody is in denial?

The recent show Satyameva Jayate had received a TRP of 3.0. Apparently Amir Khan has spent 30 crores on marketing and 7 crore per episode. They were trying to reach around 12 million people of India by telecasting the show on Doordarshan apart from Star Network. But this is not enough if they got 3 ratings for the show. It is a complete waste.

Let’s take another brilliant example- UK has a population of 60 million people and its number one show is the Music reality show done by ‘Simon Cowell’ which has around 9-10 million viewers. That’s a whopping 17-18% of the population.

Mehak:

Why these days no “real” blockbuster Movie is coming out of industry?

Abhigyan:

They have forgotten how to make a blockbuster and they have given up. It is like ‘Baniya’ game. Just like a small merchant would not like to make it big, similarly the Indian filmmakers never think of scale. They put 20 crores in a film and getting back 100 crores and this is sufficient for them. Nobody has been able to scale as they are satisfied. The filmmakers are looking at small number of people and at a much smaller universe. We don’t have the reach or the ambition to scale. Nobody is attempting to make it big. We don’t want to grow and we look at everything from the wrong side. A question to the filmmakers – Why do u make a film? Is it because you want to make money or you want people to watch your movie by showing them an amazing story and screenplay? If it is just the money then these filmmakers should have chosen the job of bankers, merchants or something else.

Can we even think of putting Yashraj Productions in comparison to Walt Disney? Can we compare what SRK does in terms of movies in comparison to Tom Cruise?

This year, IPL connected around 20 crore people in one or the other way. IPL alone is more than half of our Bollywood industry in terms of theatrical revenues. This proves that Bollywood is failing massively at attracting audiences to watch it’s movies.

Mehak:

Has Hollywood movies doing extremely good in India affected Bollywood?

Abhigyan:

No they are not doing extremely good but they have started doing well now. It started from the first Spiderman in India which had made the highest collection by a Hollywood film at the time.

Mehak:

Do you think Hollywood will surpass Bollywood in India in upcoming times? If yes, what lessons Bollywood needs to learn?

Abhigyan:

Yes, it can. Distribution system of Bollywood is to be blamed primarily. These are family based distribution systems that need to be changed.

Mehak:

Is there a hope that this pathetic content being delivered continuously can change?

Abhigyan:

Content can change and it is possible. It might change tomorrow or day after tomorrow. It doesn’t take much time/effort to change.

Vicky Donor was a recent good example. If an average film is like Vicky Donor, in quality then it’s a good sign. Paan Singh Tomar is another example of a movie which was not marketed properly but if it had been marketed like Kahani then it could have done better than Kahani.

So here we are throwing some really open questions to our Movie and TV show makers. What do you think of Indians as an audience?

IIFA Awards are back at the Lion’s city – Singapore

It’s time for the International Indian Film Academy Awards, also known as the IIFA Awards. They are presented annually by the International Indian Film Academy to honour both artistic and technical excellence of professionals in Bollywood, the Hindi language film industry. It started its journey way back in 2000 and it is known for having it organized in different countries around the world every year. So is it in competition with the Oscars for its International approach? Well we can talk about it may be in our future posts. This post is all about this year’s Awards. This year they will be revisiting the Lion’s City, also known as Singapore.

The first awards were presented in 2000 at The Millennium Dome in London, United Kingdom. IIFA happens to be the largest media event in India with a viewership of almost 700 million, ranking it among the world’s most watched annual events. So what is special at this year’s IIFA awards? Well you don’t have to think much, iDubba has the answers.

– This year, The Dirty Picture and Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara have been nominated in many categories. Another strong contender is Rockstar with Ranbir Kapoor being a strong favourite as best actor

– Film to be showcased at IIFA this year: Shanghai (world premiere), directed by Dibakar Banerjee and starring Abhay Deol, Emraan Hashmi and Kalki Koechlin

– The IIFA Awards 2012 ceremony will be held on June 9 and Shahid Kapoor will host the awards for the first time, along with Farhan Akhtar

– The technical awards, which have already been announced and Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara has won top honours at the IIFA Technical Awards, along with Shahrukh Khan’s RA.One

– Salman Khan returns to IIFA Awards after two years 😉

– Performers include Shahid Kapoor, Ranbir Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra, Sonakshi Sinha and Bipasha Basu

– Actor Rekha will be honoured with the Outstanding Achievement in Indian Cinema award and Filmmaker Ramesh Sippy will be awarded the Outstanding Contribution to Indian Cinema honour. And to add to that Veteran actor-dancer Zohra Segal, who recently celebrated her 100th birthday, will receive the Contribution to 100 years of Indian Cinema award

Are you impressed? Are you excited about these awards? Guess what, Zoya Akhtar’s Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara has received 14 nominations, while Ekta Kapoor’s The Dirty Picture has 13! The excitement does not stop here.

Just have a look at the nominations for the best actor in male and female categories –

Male: Salman Khan, Shahrukh Khan, Hrithik Roshan, Ranbir Kapoor, Amitabh Bachchan and Ajay Devgun

Female: Priyanka Chopra, Kareena Kapoor, Mahie Gill and Kangna Ranaut

So get ready for loads of action, drama, some dazzling performances, not to forget some pj’s and celebration of  Indian Cinema’s 100 years this year.

Happy Viewing.

Is “The Dirty Picture” too Dirty for Indian Television?

“For unavoidable reasons we regret to inform that the film ‘The Dirty Picture’ will not be telecast today. Any inconvenience caused is deeply regretted’.  This is the ticker that was being aired by SONY Television for the audience. Is Dirty Picture too dirty for Indian Television? Well let’s find out the exact story and the real issue for this mess.

The much-awaited television premiere of “The Dirty Picture” was scheduled to be aired at Sunday noon and 8 pm on SONY. But the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting asked for the telecast timing to be revised to a slot after 11 pm. Well The Dirty Picture, which is reportedly based on the life of southern actress Silk Smitha, had undergone 56 cuts before being issued a U/A certification by the censor board. And the irony is that this move by the government comes even as the channel had secured a clearance from the Bombay High Court on Saturday for the airing of the film. Strange, right?

This movie was advertised for close to a month prior to its telecast on television, but it seems that the movie is too dirty for the Indian Television Audience. Did you know that Sony had made 36 voluntary cuts and 26 compulsory cuts to make it suitable for broadcast on television and had obtained a U/A certification for broadcast? So do you really think that the India Television is not yet ready for such a bold movie? Well not long ago there was a lot of debate about “Sach Ka Saamna” and this was made into a political debate. And the channel had to shift the show to 11pm slot. So this might not be new to the audience, and one might have started to live with the fact that the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has the final say in any matter.

You might find it ironical that “The Dirty Picture” has won 3 National awards, Yes 3 National Awards. Best Make Up Artist: Vijram Gaekwad, Best Costume Design: Niharika Khanand Best Actress: Vidya Balan. And one fine day you hear that this movie is not fit to be aired on National Television!! Amazing right!!! Well time will only say who will win this strange battle.

So what do you think about this unique decision and would you like this movie to be aired at Prime Time slot?

Happy Viewing 😉 (Not “The Dirty Picture“)

Bollywoord Stars and Television – iDubba tries to find out the real winners

It’s a unique relationship, sometimes Sweet and then sour 😉 Don’t worry we are not talking about any link-up between actors. This relationship is about Bollywood Stars and Television. You might agree that Bollywood stars have given a helping hand to the TV industry in widening its horizons. But at the end of the day Television has been a major platform that the Bollywood Stars are using, some are successful while some have failed at the Box… oops… TV Office 😉 Television was considered as an second innings for the actors and was considered to be the home for retired actors only. But times have changed. Many of the super hit, upcoming actors and actresses have joined that bandwagon and have taken up television shows.

iDubba is on a journey to find out the stars that have been successful / not so successful on television :

– Television will be incomplete if we don’t talk about Amitabh Bachchan 🙂 He made his debut on television in 2000 with Kaun Banega Crorepati. Since then, every show he has graced has turned out to be a super hit. Those shows include Kaun Banega Crorepati, Kaun Banega Crorepati Dvitiya, Bigg Boss Season 3, KBC season 4 and 5

– Talking about KBC, who can forget Shah Rukh Khan 🙂 But he had made his TV Debut way long back in 1988 with “Fauji“. He went on to appear in other television serial, such as Aziz Mirza’s Circus in 1989, which depicted the life of circus performers. And then there was no looking back, the television star was a movie star. But his real calling in television came when Amitabh Bachchan stepped down from KBC in 2007 and SRK took over. The initial TRPs of SRK’s KBC were promising but interest slowly started dipping. Then came the show Kya Aap Paanchvi Paas Se Tez Hain? Well again, initial TRPs of the show were promising but the show and it never managed to go past its first season. King Khan did manage to return to hosting a reality TV with Zor Ka Jhatka but did not impress much

– Done with one Khan… Now lets get back to Mr Dabangg 🙂 Salman Khan did make his TV debut in 2008 with Dus Ka Dum. As they say if Salman is hosting a reality TV show, it’s bound to garner high TRPs. And this was true for both the shows – Dus Ka Dum and Bigg Boss Season 4

– Now its time to focus our attention on the Dancing King of Bollywood 🙂 Yes you guessed it right – Hrithik Roshan. He made his TV debut with Just Dance in 2011. Soon after this was announced, there were reports in the media about Hrithik signing on for a sum of Rs 2 crore per episode. Since then, the show’s opened to moderate success.

– Time for some action 🙂 Yes we have Mr Khiladi next in line. Yes Akshay Kumar did make his TV Debut 2008 with Khatron Ke Khiladi. He went on to host the 2nd season of Khatron Ke Khiladi too. Reportedly, the TRPs of both seasons were fantastic. However he was absent in the 3rd season as Priyanka Chopra was the new host. But soon the TRP’s were not in favor of Miss Chopra and hence Akshay had to return in the 4th Season of Khatron Ke Khiladi. Well he did not stop there and was soon present in every household ie Kitchen 🙂 Yes he hosted the first Masterchef of India, a show based on cooking. His Master Chef India show did receive moderate success

– And finally this post cannot be complete without talking about Mr Perfectionist 🙂 Mr Aamir Khan. He is all set to make his Television Debut with the show “Satyamev JayateThe Truth Alone Prevails“. The talk show will tell stories of real people across India” You can read more about his show over here  – Will “Satyamev Jayate” bring about change in the Indian Television scenario?

If you note carefully, there would be around 10 or 12 well-known actors doing shows on TV in one year. And most Bollywood actors come as either anchors or judges. So there is a good presence of our Bollywood stars on Television. Do let us know which is your favorite star that you would like to see on Television. and also it would be interesting to know if you think that this is a healthy trend.

Happy Viewing 🙂

Will “Satyamev Jayate” bring about change in the Indian Television scenario?

No doubt there have been no dearth of Reality Shows on Indian Television, but is the Indian Audience ready for another Reality Show?  Well, let me rephrase the previous sentence. Is the Indian Television Audience ready for THE show “Satyamev Jayate”? Off lately you might have witnessed the promos of this new show on Star Plus. The show marking the television debut of Bollywood superstar Aamir Khan titled Satyamev Jayate. The show promises to be very different from anything that you have ever seen on India television. In the exclusive promotional trailer, Aamir talks about how he wants everyone to watch ‘Satyamev Jayate’ with their hearts and eyes open.

But the real question is – Will “Satyamev Jayate“, bring about change in the Indian Television scenario? Television now days have been really popular and unpopular for the kind of shows that are aired on various channels. Some have good content while some just have lot of noise around it. Daily Soaps have been somewhat replaced by a number of reality shows. But still you might feel that something is missing. That real connect with the audience is missing, those emotions, those feelings are missing.

There are ‘just’ shows and there are shows that have the ability to change the way to watch television. I am sure that both the generations can somewhat relate to these two shows on television, Ramayan (for the earlier generation) and KBC (for the recent generation). Well, we are not trying to compare both the shows, but the point is that these two shows did change the way we watched television. Both the shows did connect with the audience, and touched their hearts, got them to tears and also made them smile. This new show “Satyamev Jayate” does also promises to do the same, but in a different way. So what is this show all about?

Satyamev Jayate is a talk show, and not just another talk show. The guests on the show would talk about the most difficult times in their lives, and talk about issues, the Real Issues. The channel offering seems to be a breath of genuine fresh air, as the show sets out to reveal the India that lives in villages and only sometimes breaks out in the form of a headline. The Live TV audiences will be moved by the issues tackled on the show.

Truth alone triumphs; not falsehood.

Through truth the divine path is spread out by which

the sages whose desires have been completely fulfilled,

reach where that supreme treasure of Truth resides

Do send in your views and thoughts about this new show. Will “Satyamev Jayate“, bring about change in the Indian Television scenario?

Happy Viewing.

What is common between Presidents George W. Bush, Ronald Reagan, Jimmy Carter and SRK?

Sounds super cool,right? Well there is actually a common thing between  Presidents George W. Bush, Ronald Reagan, Jimmy Carter and King Khan. “The King of Bollywood” will join the likes of these eminent personalities when he will deliver a lecture at Yale University as a Chubb Fellow on April 12. The Chubb Fellowship is devoted to encouraging and aiding Yale students interested in the operations of government and in public service. Established in 1936, through the generosity of Hendon Chubb (Yale 1895), the program is based in Timothy Dwight College, one of Yale’s residential colleges.

Following is a small list of his achievements and facts that might interest you 🙂 

– King Khan has acted in over 70 Hindi films and has won 14 Filmfare Awards from 30 nominations for his work in Indian films

-In 2005, the government of India honored him with the Padma Shri, one of the country’s highest civilian awards, for his contributions to Indian cinema

– He has done his bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Delhi

– Eleven of the films he has acted in have accumulated worldwide gross earnings of over $1 billion 

– He is the founder/owner of two production companies: Dreamz Unlimited and Red Chillies Entertainment; and along with actress Juhi Chawla and her husband, Jay Mehta 

– In 2008, Newsweek named Khan one of the “Fifty Most Powerful People in the World.” 

The list is endless and one can just go on and on about this achievements.  But his new honour will surely make him more popular as the Chubb Fellowship, bestowed is among Yale’s highest honors and was started in 1949.

Mr Khan will speak to the Yale community and the general public in an event at 4 p.m. at the Shubert Theater, 247 College St. on Thursday, April 12. The Chubb Fellowship noted that through his films and his philanthropy, Shah Rukh Khan has been among his generation’s most important examples of the power of art to promote higher human ideals and aspirations.

iDubba wishes him loads of success in the coming future and hopes that he manages to take it to the next level.

Happy Viewing 🙂

Filmmakers are no longer afraid of IPL!!

Sounds strange, right? You might have seen Bollywood all over the IPL Opening Ceremony, so why are we talking about Filmmakers vs IPL? Well, IPL started from Wednesday April 4 and runs till May 27 – With nine teams and 76 games across 12 locations. So will Bollywood manage to get attention of the audience during this period? Well only time will say who wins this Summer Slam?

From the last few seasons of IPL, Bollywood has really a tough time in the summers. Considering IPL as a threat, filmmakers had either postponed/preponed their films or preferred not to release in that period. Not only small films even the big budgeted or the big star cast or the heavily anticipated films opted to stay away from IPL. However the scene is not same any more. 2012 will see maximum releases in these 2 months.

Following is the list of movies that are all set to catch your attention and might make you skip some of the IPL Action:

– Sajid Nadiadwala’s ‘Housefull2‘ (April 6)

– Actor John Abraham’s maiden home production ‘Vicky Donor‘ (April 20)

– Viacom 18 Motion Pictures’ ‘Bittoo Boss‘ (April 20)

– Vidhu Vinod Chopra’s ‘Ferrai Ki Sawari‘ (April 27)

– Priyadarshan’s action-thriller ‘Tezz‘ (April 27)

– Emraan Hashmi-starrer ‘Jannat 2‘ (May 4)

– Karisma Kapoor’s comeback film ‘Dangerous Ishq‘ (May 11)

– Yash Raj Films ‘Ishaqzaade‘ (May 18)

– And finally Ram Gopal Varma’s ‘Department‘ (May 18)

Here are some analysis of the movies that were released during the previous seasons of IPL :  

During the first three IPL seasons Bollywood was hit hard  and year 2008 saw the release of big films like Tashan, Bhoothnath and Jannat . However Jannat was the only movie that was successful. And in 2009 Bollywood did not have any big releases. But in 2010 there were enough releases but it was only Balaji Motion Pictures Love Sex Aur Dhokha (LSD) that emerged successful.  However, the fourth season of IPL and year 2011 saw a turnaround for Bollywood. The filmmakers dared to take on IPL and films like F.A.L.T.U, Dum Marro Dum, Shor in the City,  Ragini MMS,  Haunted 3D did some good business.

So who will be the real winner? Are filmmakers now ready to overcome the fear of IPL? Or will IPL 5 make a dent at the Box Office? In short it’s a double Dhamaka during the summer vacation season for all. Do let us know your views about this unique competition.