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 🙂


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


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.


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


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.


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


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.


Has Hollywood movies doing extremely good in India affected Bollywood?


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.


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


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


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


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?

Jo Jeeta Wohi Superstar is back…Are you Excited?

When you hear “Jo Jeeta Wohi…” all you think is “Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar “! Well you are right but soon this is going to change. Star Plus is back with its reality television series “Jo Jeeta Wohi Superstar Season 2“. The show clubs in the winners and runners up from various singing competitions where they compete against each other for the title of the “SUPERSTAR”.  Rahul Vaidya was the winner of the 1st season and the 1st India Idol winner Abhijeet Sawant was the 1st runner up.

And guess who is back? The real Shaan is back 😉  Shantanu Moitra and Shaan would judge STAR Plus’ Jo Jeeta Wohi Superstar Season 2!  You might recollect Shantanu Moitra , the Parineeta and 3Idiots fame music director. He is making an entry into television industry as a reality show judge in the second season of  “Jo Jeeta Wohi Superstar”. Did you know that Moitra had started off his musical career with the popular ‘Bole Mere Lips I Love Uncle Chips’ jingle! Interesting…Right?

And what can we say about Shaan aka Shantanu Mukherjee? As a child, Shaan began his career by singing ad jingles. After giving it up for a brief period, he soon returned to it, and also began to sing remixes and cover versions. In the 1989 movie Parinda, when he was only 17 years of age, Shaan sang a single line in the song, “Kitni Hai Pyari Pyari Dosti Hamari”. His song “Chand Sifarish” from the movie Fanaa and “Jab Se Tere Naina” from Saawariya won the Filmfare Best Male Playback Award and the Zee Cine Award Best Playback Singer – Male apart from receiving several other nominations. In 2000 he won the MTV Asia Music Award for best solo album for his album Tanha Dil. Shaan won Best TV Music Director Award for creating the music of the Zee TV show Lipstick.

Wait, it is not yet over! There is one more surprise element in the show…. After her long absence from the telly industry due to her pregnancy, Mandira Bedi is back in the media and she would be the host of the reality show.

After her star-making turn in Shanti, Bedi appeared in a supporting role in the 1995 film Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge and played Kajol’s rival and going-to-be sister-in-law for Shahrukh Khan’s love and “Mandira”, in the popular Indian soap Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi. Among her other career highlights was a stint as one of the presenters on the Indian television talent contest/reality show, Fame Gurukul (which ended on 20 October 2005), replacing R. Madhavan as the anchor of Deal Ya No Deal. Did you know that she also hosted the 1st season of “Jo Jeeta Wohi Superstar”?

 “Jo Jeeta Wohi Superstar” is to go on air from March 31st, 2012. Stay tuned to watch Jo Jeeta Wohi Superstar Season 2 on March 31st, 2012 on Star Plus! Do let us know your feedback about the show.

Happy Viewing 😉

Want to be the 4th Idiot!!

Everyone of us specially students know about Mr Biswaroop Roy Chowdhary, and for those few who don’t,let me tell u,he  has earned the reputation of “Guinness world record holder in memory” by beating Germany’s Michaela Buchvaldova’s world record by recalling 14 randomly selected birth dates with names in same order in 2 minutes on 20 July,2006 at Hotel Le Meridian, Delhi before all prominent print and electronic media. A Production Engineer from Punjab Engineering College , Biswaroop is featured in the Limca Book of Records as the‘National Memory Record holder’ and as the inventor of memory pen known as ‘Mnemonic Pen’ to enhance memory.Biswaroop Roy Chowdhury holds World Wide Patent for his inventions – Memory Lab, Mnemonic Pen, Happiness Machine & Animated Cosmic Energy Card (ACEC) and his name is mentioned in Oxford University’s official website for his contribution in the filed of memory training. He has conducted more than 2000 seminars internationally addressing more than 10 lakh audience.  Owing to the controvery over  his new upcoming  animation film The 4th IDIOT, Mr Chowdhary is now in limelight, as he planned the premiere of The 4th IDIOT ,an animation Film, on My 9 2010.

The Movie 4th Idiot continues form the end of the blockbuster movie Three idiots,at the school of Phunsuk Wangdu.It throws some light on the fact  that if Phunsuk Wangdu was the school principal then what will that school be like?.It is the story of a boy, Pappu who, by using the techniques taught by Ranchordas Chanchar in 3 IDIOTS achieved his otherwise seemingly unachievable goals like getting 1st position in school, winning his dream girl and even going to the moon. With two melodious songs and narration by Chatur Ramalingam of 3 IDIOTS (Omi Vaidya), it is not only entertaining but also a journey to our brain to understand its hidden potential. In the process of watching the movie the audience will learn important life skills. Omi Vaidya has not only anchored the movie THE 4TH IDIOT but also sung a song.It seems that the actor Om Vaidya is also not spared .He has  found himself in the middle of a controversy. Vaidya, who shot to fame owing to his stint as Chatur in filmmaker Vidhu Vinod Chopra’s 3 Idiots, has now lent his voice to the  film the  4th  Idiots, which has come under fire by Vidhu Vinod  Chopra for copyright infringement.

Chopra had sent a  legal notice to Chowdhury, accusing him of making a film with an uncanny resemblance to 3 Idiots. The notice asks Chowdhury to immediately cease or desist any sort of advertisement, promotion or publicising of the film.Chopra later also obtained a stay order to stall the premier of the film in Lucknow

Vaidya, meanwhile, says, “Vidhu Vinod Chopra and Raju Hirani (3 Idiots director) are the two people I owe my career and my popularity to. I’d never want to do anything that could cause either of them a moment’s distress.”

He adds that he had no clue he was signing up for a film titled 4 Idiots, “I was approached for an educational animated film to help students. The aim was to reduce student suicides. All I’ve done is lent my voice to a character called Pappu. There was no title when I lent my voice about two months ago. This is a non commercial venture… I guess my voice is distinctive and probably would add some entertainment to the learning.”

Chowdhury, on his part, says, “I guess Mr Chopra has little less understanding about the copyright law, which is evident by the controversy that revolved around his film. And now he is doing the same with my film by sending such a notice. I have not done anything wrong and all the legalities related to our film are in place. I shall send Mr Chopra a reply by Monday morning. Films always derive inspiration from something, and ours is inspired from 3 Idiots. But it’s certainly not copied.”

Hope this is not again a publicity stunt, which has become a part of marketing these days, anyway how does it matter, if the film has something to give to their audiences.Hope this film helps students to cope withe pressure  related to studies.(Saurav Thakur)

Is the comparison of 3 IDIOTS with SHOLEY correct?

Now a days, at every channel, there is a GA-GA about the movie 3 IDIOTS(2009). They are comparing its popularity and comparing its Box-Office collection with the blockbuster SHOLEY (1975), which does not make any sense. This actually raises a question on the IQ of the people working on this news. They are comparing the collection on SHOLEY (300 CR In 1975) with the current collection of 3 IDIOTS (150 CR till now in 2010).

I just have couple of questions for these people:

  • Does the number of viewers are the same?
  • How many people could reach to the theatre to watch the movie now and that time?
  • Appreciation of money during the period?

Just to share the information in the year 1975 when there are very few cinema halls were present across the country and number of viewers was very less, and that time SHOLEY has done tremendously well.

For an example, just ask any of the person across the country, “Do you know GABBAR SINGH?” and the answer will be definitely “Yes” in 95% of the cases and the percentage will raise as the age group will increase. I just want to share a moment that happened in my life. I was working in an IT company and one day I just said to my colleague that he is looking like VIRU (Dharmendra of SHOLEY) today as he was wearing the same king of the denim jacket that VIRU wore in SHOLEY. He asked me, “Who is VIRU?”

“Haven’t you watched the SHOLEY?” I asked with surprise.

“No” he replied.

“What, you haven’t watched SHOLEY?” this was the question asked by approximately 20 people sitting around him instantly with a big surprise on their faces and this news spread in the entire company with in a hour and everyone who knows or do not know him asked him the same question “How come you haven’t watched SHOLEY?”

Now consider the same situation for the 3 IDIOTS. Does this movie could even come close to the height of the popularity that SHOLEY touched? Does any character of 3 IDIOTS could get the popularity as of GABBAR SINGH of SHOLEY?

Now come about the collection of this movie. In 1975 the movie had done the business of Rs 300 CR.

If we consider the gold rate appreciation to normalize the currency value with time, Gold rate in 1975 was Rs 540 per 10 gm while it is Rs 17000 in 2010, which is approximately 31.5 times of the past rate. So after normalizing the collection of SHOLEY according to 2010, the figure comes around Rs 9540 CR.

Now compare the collection of 3 IDIOTS with SHOLEY and think, Does Rs 150 CR is anyway near to the Rs 9540 CR?

Seriously, the current media looking really uneducated when it comes to comparison and they just sell the information without thinking does this make any sense or not. I know there are many factors that could be considered when making the comparison but the question still stands tall, that even after considering all the factors about both movies, Does 3 IDIOTS still anywhere close to the popularity and collection done by SHOLEY? Spreading this message by media that 3 IDIOTS could break or come closer to the records and popularity of SHOLEY is senseless.

Aamir Khan has a hot shot Resume for Marketing Post

It looks like Aamir is preparing himself for a top class Job offer after his Bollywood Career. Why? Well, his out-of-box marketing strategies must be catching the eyes of top class media honchos and who knows he might be having some offers already. On this Business Blog it makes sense to have a look at some of the aspects of Marketing and relate it to the skills and strategies of Aamir Khan.

Aspect 1: Understanding Market

If Ghajini meant reaching out to all type of Audience and meeting people who are going crazy about Aamir’s looks, ‘3Idiots’ means catching college students who most probably have read “Five Point Someone”.

That’s a very critical lesson from marketing point of view- Start promoting the product from a small group which is able to embrace the ‘idea’ behind the product without actually getting access to real product. Remember what iPhone did?

Continue Reading..