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?

Can Bollywood get it’s own Walk of Fame?

Walk of Fame…Yes the moment we here this all we think is “Hollywood”.  The Hollywood Walk of Fame consists of more than 2,400 five-pointed terrazzo and brass stars embedded in the sidewalks along fifteen blocks of Hollywood Boulevard and three blocks of Vine Street in Hollywood, California. It is a popular tourist destination, with a reported 10 million visitors in 2003. 

Following are some of the facts that might make you wonder “Can Bollywood have its own Walk of Fame?”:

–  The Walk of Fame runs 1.3 miles (2.1 km) east to west on Hollywood Boulevard from North Gower Street to North La Brea Avenue

–  As of January 23, 2012 the Walk consists of 2,458 stars 

–  Of all the stars on the Walk to date, 47% have been awarded in the motion pictures category, 24% in television, 17% in audio recording, 10% in radio, and less than 2% in the live performance category. Averages of twenty new stars are added to the Walk each year.

–  The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce credits E. M. Stuart, its volunteer president in 1953, with the original idea for creating a Walk of Fame

–  In 2008, a restoration of the Walk was initiated, with costs estimated between $4 million and $4.2 million 

–  Charlie Chaplin is the only honoree to be selected twice for the same star on the Walk. He was unanimously voted into the initial group of 500 in 1956, but the Selection Committee ultimately excluded him

–  In 1978, in honor of his 50th anniversary, Mickey Mouse became the first animated character to receive a star. Other animated recipients are Bugs Bunny,Donald Duck, Woody Woodpecker, Snow White, Tinker Bell, Winnie-the-Pooh, Shrek, Rugrats, and the Simpsons.

– A fee (currently $30,000), payable at time of selection, is collected to pay for the creation and installation of the star, as well as general maintenance of the Walk of Fame.

So can Bollywood also have its own Walk of Fame? Well the answer is YES 🙂 But it is called as “Walk of the Stars”. A Stretch of Bandra bandstand promenade had been used for this project. It has palm imprints of some stars and signature of some others. Prominence has been given to the Kapoor family with the imprints of Kareena , Karisma, Rishi Kapoor, Randhir Kapoor, Neetu Kapoor and Signatures of Prithviraj Kapoor, Raj Kapoor and Shammi Kapoor. Also, there would be six statues including those of Dev Anand, Shammi Kapoor and Raj Kapoor. But not all of Bollywood’s biggest names are backing the project, with a rival walkway, initiated by actor and architect Ritesh Deshmukh, also in the works in the same part of the city.

So would you like to walk on Bollywood’s very own Walk of Fame? Do let us know which star should be on the Walk Fame 🙂

Happy Walking; ) Happy Viewing 😉

Sequel Mania – Is it a healthy trend !!!

Bollywood is following the sequel trend that is already a rage in Hollywood. Box-Office will witness a series of sequels in the coming months. Will they be huge hits as their predecessor movies or will they crash? Only time, movie and audience reaction will tell us that 😉 . Sajid Khan’s- Housefull 2, Kunal Deshmukh’s- Jannat 2, Ramesh Taurani’s – Race 2, Sachin Yardi’s – Kya Super Cool Hai Hum, Vikram Bhatt’s –Raaz 3 and 1920-The Evil Returns, Milan Luthria’s – Once Upon A Time in Mumbai 2 are few sequels much awaited this year.

So do you think the trend of doing sequels is healthy for Indian Film Industry? Well, the success of Munnabhai and Golmaal will certainly help us find answer this question. You might come up saying there have been some sequels which were not as popular as rest but isn’t the number is limited. Bollywood has witnessed a successful run of sequels to films like Dhoom, Munnabhai, Golmaal, Hera Pheri and Murderto name a few. And many more such sequels are all set to hit the movie theaters soon.

Some of you might question that why the film-makers are not coming up with New/original ideas, why some of them are just in search of a classic movie to just break it into pieces and they making a sequel. Going by the current trend, even before a film releases, filmmakers start planning its sequel going by its trade buzz. But while planning a Sequel, Dear Film-makers please also note that the Audience is always in a search of something new in the sequel and hence it’s important to portray something new & bring a new flavour. You must have noticed one interesting trend in Indian films, which is although most of these sequels repeats the characters but sometimes the story is completely different as compared to the predecessor film.

It takes you to a different world of story as if there was never a previous version of the movie. Also since the audiences are able to connect well with the movie and the characters and it become easier for the movie-makers to lure the audience to theatre. But at the end of the day, there is also a gamble in making a sequel, one had to live up to the expectations of the audience based on the first film. A badly made sequel can destroy the soul of the first film. And that’s the worst thing you can do. (Darna Zaroori Hai) 

Do let us know your views on this topic.  Which is your favourite Sequel Movie?

Happy viewing.

Oscars Nominations are out…Which is your favorite movie this year?

The 2012 Oscars nominations have been announced! Already there is a lot of buzz about the films that’s been nominated this year. Before we get into the details let’s look at what is OSCAR all about. The moment we hear Oscars, all we think is that it’s the most prestigious awards in the Movie Business.

An Academy Award is an accolade bestowed by the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS)[1] to recognize excellence of professionals in the film industry, including directors, actors, and writers. The first Academy Awards ceremony was held on May 16, 1929, at the Hotel Roosevelt in Hollywood to honor outstanding film achievements of the 1927/1928 film season. The 84th Academy Awards, honoring films in 2011, will be held at Hollywood’s Kodak Theatre on February 26, 2012. Billy Crystal will serve as host for the evening, replacing Eddie Murphy, who was originally slated to host.

Following are some of the amazing facts about Oscars, am sure reading this you’ll get into this Oscar Fever as well 😉

  • The first set of awards were presented on May 16, 1929, at a private brunch at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel with an audience of about 270 people
  • The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), a professional honorary organization, maintains a voting membership of 5,783 as of 2012
  • The 83rd Academy Awards was viewed by 37.36 million viewers across the Globe
  • The price of a guest ticket to the very first ceremony, held in 1929 at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel($5 )
  • The number of seconds each actor’s speech is restricted to, as of 2010 (45 sec) 
  • The age of the youngest Oscar winner, Tatum O’Neal, who won best supporting actress for her role in the 1973 film Paper Moon (10 yrs) 
  • Number of seats in the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, Calif., where the ceremony is held (3300) 
  • TITANIC shares a different record for most nominations (14 out of 17 possible)

So are you ready for the 2012 Oscars nominees? Here you go….

Best Actor
Demian Bichir – A Better Life
George Clooney – The Descendants
Jean Dujardin – The Artist
Gary Oldman – Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Brad Pitt – Moneyball

Best Supporting Actor

Kenneth Branagh – My Week with Marilyn
Jonah Hill – Moneyball
Nick Nolte – Warrior
Christopher Plummer – Beginners
Max Von Sydow – Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

Best Actress
Glenn Close – Albert Nobbs
Viola Davis – The Help
Rooney Mara – The Girl with The Dragon Tattoo
Meryl Streep – The Iron Lady
Michelle Williams – My Week with Marilyn

Best Supporting Actress

Berenice Bejo – The Artist
Jessica Chastain – The Help
Melissa McCarthy – Bridesmaids
Janet McTeer – Albert Nobbs
Octavia Spencer – The Help

Best Director
Michel Hazanavicius
Alexander Payne
Martin Scorsese
Woody Allen
Terrence Malick

Best Original Screenplay

Michel Hazanavicius – The Artist
Annie Mumolo & Kristen Wiig – Bridesmaids
J.C. Chandor – Margin Call
Woody Allen – Midnight in Paris
Asghar Farhadi – A Separation

Best Adapted Screenplay
The Descendants
Hugo
The Ides of March
Moneyball
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

Foreign Language Film
Bullhead
Footnote
In Darkness
Monsieur Lazhar
A Separation

Animated
A Cat in Paris
Chico & Rita
Kung Fu Panda 2
Puss in Boots
Rango

Best Picture
War Horse
The Artist
Moneyball
The Descendants
The Tree of Life
Midnight in Paris
The Help
Hugo
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

Do let us know your favorite Oscar moments and your favourite movie this year. Happy Viewing.

You cannot use Filmfare and Oscars in the same sentence…Can you??

Here you go, you might say that I have already used  Filmfare and Oscars in the same sentence 😉 Just Kidding. Time to get serious…

Filmfare is just around the corner and Oscars too will be out with its Nominations on 24th Jan. So what are we talking about !!!! The reason for writing about this topic was to clear the air between to the two Awards.There are a section of people, oops fans that say that Filmfare is the Oscars of Bollywood. Where as the other section of fans don’t agree. They have gone one step ahead and said “How can you use Filmfare and Oscars in the same sentence?”


So, what next !!  Following are some of the points that might help you to decide if you can (not) use both the award functions in one sentence. 

  • It is said that Filmfare only nominates movies that are a huge hit and does not encourage small budget movies and movies that have failed to earn corers.
(Example : Filmfare has two awards for Best Movies – Popular and Critics) In my opinion, there can only be One Best Movie… like the Oscars.. What say!!!
  • Some say Filmfare focuses more on performances during the awards, and somehow end up ignoring the real hero “Cinema”
(Well, i don’t think I need to give an example, you might all agree with the performance example.. Right !!) Oscars always gives preference to the Movies and its makers.
  • Need I mention about the low standard of Jokes year after year at the Filmfare functions…. (Sorry SRK fans, but just sharing the truth)
( You might say that even in Oscars, they crack jokes… Well, do you mean Cheap Jokes.. or just Jokes )
  • Did you know that Katrina Kaif has been nominated for Mere Brother Ki Dulhan (Best Actress)… Let me ask you… do you think that she even deserves to be nominated for this prestigious category ??  You can chek the Nominations in the earlier Post “Are you ready for the 57th FilmFare Awards 2012!!
  • And the best part, did you know that Vishal Dadlani and Niranjan Iyengar have been nominated for  Best Lyrics category for their song Chammak challo (RA.One) Are you surprised?? Shocked?
There are many such examples, and the list is endless. By this time you might have labeled me a Oscars fan, and me being biased to the Oscars. Well this is not true. I have been growing up watching both the awards. But somehow overs the years, there have been so may Award Functions that have sprung up in India. And every other Corporate house and TV channel are promoting their awards shows. Hence in a sense to prove which is better, these award functions end up doing the impossible and the unimaginable drama to get TRP’s. It would not be wrong to say that it’s as good as a Naach Gana show. I am not saying that we should be like Oscars, but can’t we have one award function that really celebrates Cinema… The real Hero.
As always looking forward to your views on this topic. Happy Viewing.

New Genres Being Targeted for Television

The times are changing for Indian Television not just in terms of shows based on particular genres but brand new channels being introduced targeting specific genres and categories like age group etc. It is becoming imperative for the producers and the heads of various channels to bring fresh ideas to survive and create a niche for themselves in this competition scenario. With this new avatar of all the channels the television heads are already trying to transform people’s opinion about regular channels.

Today we will give a short glimpse of channels that have been introduced recently or will be launched with such genres and categories.

Sonic (Nickelodeon) – This channel will be introduced shortly by Viacom18 productions. It is based on action loving generation that targets 13-18 year old teenagers. The channel clearly states three main ideas behind the shows’ theme and they are ‘Thrills’, ‘Guts’ and ‘Glory’.

UTV Action – The channel was launched some time back and airs English action genre movies from Hollywood dubbed in Hindi. Even this idea is new and has gained popularity with specific viewers group. This channel is the ultimate Action destination for any fan!

UTV Stars – “Stars” as the name suggests was launched recently that features shows based on Bollywood only. All the gossips, movie reviews, interviews with celebrities etc are the popular sections of this channel.

History – Introduced in collaboration with Network18. The channel roped in one of the highest paid actors “Salman Khan” for the initial promotion of the channel. It is a masala filled version of documentary and lifestyle genres as it features some really cool shows like “Sliced”, “America: The Story of The US” and “Food Tech“.

India’s audience has evolved in terms of TV and its daily dose of entertainment. Many channels realized this fact and shows for every age group, genre etc are on air!!

So which one are you Tuned into?

James Cameron’s ‘Avatar’ blends- ‘Cinema’, ‘Technology’ and ‘money power’ to deliver an epic of sorts

avatar

A whooping budget of “1200 Crore” Rupees, A proprietary technology (developed by Cameron Brother duo) and a sci-fi story which took 4 years in the making (forget another 10 years spent in conceptualizing and realizing the idea)- it has all happened for James Cameron which took him 10 full years to come with next movie after super blockbuster “Titanic”!

But what made Cameron take so long to come up with another movie? Any Oscar winning Director would have tried to show his skills in no time at all. But that’s how real thinkers work in this world- they never compromise with original ideas. Cameron conceptualized “Avatar” way before “Titanic”, but the way and form in which he wanted the film to be made was not technically possible 10 years back. Hence he worked like a real hero- he and his brother (who developed the Robotic Camera which was used in Titanic’s initial scenes) decided to develop this technology on their own. The Result was a proprietary FUSION digital 3-D camera developed by Cameron brothers and Vince Pace (Man behind Ocean Odyssey, Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over).

“Avatar” has been made in 3D and uses a blend of live-action photography and new virtual photorealistic production techniques where Cameron blends elements of massive spectacle and intimate character to tell a scientific and emotional story.

Avatar’s selected footage screening already created a buzz which was termed as ‘Avatar day’. It’s amazing that such movies are created in this era by people who are more of researchers than ‘Movie makers’. I’m really excited for this one. Are you?

[Sources: 1, 2]