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?

Byaah Hamari Bahu Ka – First Week, First Look!

“De re na na na … ra ri raa ra ra ra ra ra…” 

Mind blowing MUSIC!

The blissful and soul touching music of the show is a master piece. One can’t just get enough of it. After really long time, the music of any show on Indian Television has been remarking! Background music is something without which the show will not be able to create its impact on the minds of the audience and I’m very proud to say that Byaah Hamari Bahu Ka team has absolutely HIT the jackpot in this term. The music of the show is a complete 10/10 for me!

Caring & Cute CHARACTERS!

Baa is a typical Gujju character and almost every household in Gujarat would be able to relate to it. Maa and Papa are very humble, down to earth and have warm feelings for their family. Maa has her own way of respecting elders and teaching youngsters to do the same. She wants best for her family and her kids. Even if she’d hurt someone, she’d not hesitate to ask for forgiveness. And that’s the best thing about her character. Her takiyakalam is “sahi kahaa baa aapne’. The little sister is too cute for words. Servants in the house are also typically gujju and ‘bhawai’ is something which is funny to watch! Krish on the other side is a complete modern person with rooted traditions in his mind. Paulomi is modern, broad minded, sensible, little childish (situational) but completely adorable. She shares a great chemistry with her mom which is outstanding! Many people will be able to relate to their emotional mother-daughter bonding. The research effort is clearly depicted on-screen, with the peculiar nuances of all characters.

Splendid SET!

The house (interior + exterior) is just GREAT! Right from the small thing to any big thing, detailed description in terms of screenplay is maintained. Color co-ordination, neatness, soothing properties and overall it does not look FAKE. Set design and art direction add a lot to the flavour of the show.

Curious CONTENT!

Writer Aatish Kapadia says, “Usually, a title gives away the concept of the show, but this one’s unique. It makes the viewers question it and builds curiosity.” And Producer JD Majethia adds, “This is a unique show with fresh content, characters and great performances. It’s a show of ‘today’ which will also attract the youth along with the family audience.”

Shows based on Gujarati culture are often a ‘safe’ game. Byaah Hamari Bahu Ka is a Gujarati family story based in Baroda (Gujarat). The family is conservative but progressive. They all have a family business under the name “Kanahaiya Dairy Ltd.” Krish and Paulomi are business partners as well. Their friendship is more like Rahul and Anjali from Kuch Kuch Hota Hai. Sure thing! The storyline so far has been simple yet interesting. The unfolding love of Paulomi for Krish has been revealed and Krish doesn’t know of his feelings yet. But he does sure likes her and that’s why agrees to get married to her. But he doesn’t want to hurt his mother’s feelings as he is also a mumma’s boy. So, he is ready to meet different girls for an arrange marriage in the “Vivah Aayojan”. Mumma, here, does know of the girl’s feelings, but doesn’t want to accept it until and unless her own son comes up to her and tells her the same. As according to her, she is not the right choice for this family’s BAHU to be.

Hatss off always comes up with path breaking concepts. They truly live up to the saying “the toughest talk can also be simplified and broadcasted!” Hats off to Hats off!

Sony TV’s next SUPER HIT!

Hats off to Sony TV for always trying and experimenting new and fresh content! I’m in love with your conviction for your shows and by offering Byaah Hamari Bahu Ka you have won not only mine, but a lot of other hearts too! It sure is a keeper in your kitty and it is going to be a splendid HIT.

So, how will Krish get married to her soul mate Rajnibala? What will happen to Paulomi then? Why Rajnibala will be remarried? All these questions shall be answered with the gradual progression of the story! But even after all this sorted stuff, “kyun ho raha hai vaishnav parivaar mein byaah unki bahu ka?

Jaanne ke liye dekhiye Byaah Hamari Bahu Ka on Sony TV, Monday to Friday at 8.00 PM.

Cheers !!!