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?
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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.

Are you ready for the 57th FilmFare Awards 2012!!

Oh yes, the biggest and arguably the best Award Show that Indian Cinema has ever witnessed….Till date. And it is all set to knock on your Television sets soon. The Filmfare Awards are presented annually by The Times Group and is one of the oldest and most prominent film events given for Hindi films in India.

The honour is been given to both artistic and technical excellence of professionals in the Hindi language film industry of India. The Filmfare Awards have been often referred to as Hindi film industry’s equivalent to the Oscars. (Well it’s a debatable topic, let’s not get into it) 😉 I know you must be eagerly waiting to find out the nominations for this year’s FilmFare Awards, but before that let me take this opportunity to share some interesting facts about these awards.

Did you know:

– Dilip Kumar, Shahrukh Khan and Amitabh Bachchan have won 8 awards each till date(Best Actor + Best Supporting Actor)

– Surprisingly, the biggest blockbuster hit in the history of Bollywood – Sholay, won only one Filmfare Award in 1975 and that too for Best Editing.

– ‘Do Bigha Zameen’ was the first movie to win ‘Filmfare Award For Best Film’.

– In the 25th year of Filmfare Award ceremony, the statue was made of silver, while in the 50th year of its celebration, gold status were given.

– Filmfare Award was initially named ‘Clare Awards’, after the ‘Times of India’ film critic – Clare Mendonca.

– In 1969, Sunil Dutt organized a party for Dilip Kumar, when the latter beat him for ‘Filmfare Best Actor Award’. This started the trend of post-award parties in Bollywood.

– In 2006, Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s movie ‘Black’ won 11 Filmfare awards, the most awards won by a movie in the history of Filmfare Awards, till date.

So are you finally ready to find out the Nominations!!!!! Here you go ………

Filmfare Award 2011 for Best Actor.  This will be surely be one of the most toughest category, with such amazing actors in the race.

  • Ajay Devgan – Singham /  Amitabh Bachchan – Aarakshan / Hrithik Roshan – Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara / Ranbir Kapoor – Rockstar / Salman Khan – Bodyguard / Shahrukh Khan – Don2

Filmfare Award 2011 for Best Actress.  

  • Katrina Kaif – Mere Brother Ki Dulhan / Mahie Gill – Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster / Priyanka Chopra – 7 Khoon Maaf / Vidya Balan – No One Killed Jessica / Vidya Balan – The Dirty Picture

Filmfare Award 2011 for Best Film

  • Delhi Belly / Don 2 / No One Killed Jessica / Rockstar / The Dirty Picture / Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara

Filmfare Award 2011 for Best Director

  • Abhinay Deo – Delhi Belly / Farhan Akhtar – Don2 / Imtiyaz Ali – Rockstar / Milan Luthria – The Dirty Picture / Raj Kumar Gupta – No One Killed Jessica / Zoya Akhtar – Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara

Filmfare Award 2011 for Best Actor In A Supporting Role

  • Abhay Deol – Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara / Farhan Akhtar – Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara / Naseeruddin Shah – The Dirty Picture / Pitobash Tripathy – Shor In The City / Vir Das – Delhi Belly

Filmfare Award 2011 for Best Actress In A Supporting Role

  • Juhi Chawla – IAM / Kalki Koechlin – Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara / Parineeti Chopra – Ladies vs Ricky Bahl / Rani Mukherji – No One Killed Jessica / Swara Bhaskar – Tanu Weds Manu

Filmfare Award 2011 for Best Music Director – So who will win this award… who will you bet on !!!!!

  • A.R.Rahman – Rockstar / Ram Sampat – Delhi Belly / Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy – Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara / Sohail Sen – Mere Brother Ki Dulhan / Vishal-Shekhar – Ra.One

Filmfare Award 2011 for Best Lyrics ( I am Surprised to see Chammak challo in this list.. Are you???  )

  • Gulzar – Darling – (7 Khoon Maaf) / Irshad Kamil – Nadaan parindey – (Rockstar) / Irshad Kamil – Sadda haq – (Rockstar) / Javed Akhtar – Senorita – (Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara) / Vishal Dadlani and Niranjan Iyengar – Chammak challo – (RA.One)

Filmfare Award 2011 for Best Playback Singer (Male)

  • Akon and Vishal Dadlani – Chammak challo (RA.One) / Mohit Chauhan – Jo bhi mein (Rockstar) / Mohit Chauhan – Sadda haq (Rockstar) / Rahat Fateh Ali Khan – Teri Meri (Bodyguard) / Shafqat Amanat Ali – Dildaara (RA.One)

Filmfare Award 2011 for Best Playback Singer (Female)

  • Alyssa Mendonsa – Khwabon ke parindey (Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara) / Harshdeep Kaur – Katiya karu (Rockstar) / Rekha Bhardwaj & Usha Uthup Darling (7 Khoon Maaf) / Shreya Ghoshal – Teri Meri (Bodyguard) / Shreya Ghoshal – Saibo (Shor In The City)

So are you ready….. Oh did I mention that Shahrukh Khan and Ranbir Kapoor will be hosting the show this year……. So get glued to the television on 29th January on Sony Television and watch your favorite stars dazzle the screen. Do let us know about your favourite moments during the award ceremony. It’s always good to know your views. Happy Viewing.

Kaun Banega Ra.One?

Did you watch “Kaun Banega Crorepati” on Thursday that had Shahrukh Khan as celebrity guest? If the answer is no then you have saved 2 hours of your precious life with the overdose of Ra.One’s promotional marketing (SRK’s much hyped super hero flick).

It was genuinely an overkill of the hype that is generally created before the release of any film. SRK just couldn’t stop promoting the movie at every instance possible. The hilarious part is how even “computer ji” threw questions around the movie and SRK.

Some examples that i could recollect from my memory for you:

– The show apparently kicked off with Senior Bachchan congratulating SRK for his upcoming movie

– Senior Bachchan bragging all over about the movie and its budget, how it is one of the most expensive movies ever made in Indian film industry

– There was a question with answer as Kareena Kapoor (female lead of Ra.One) and that followed by calling her where she asked SRK to sing the famous song “chamak challo” of the same movie

– There was another question that had a line from the movie and answer with the name of a character from movie called “chitti” & Shahrukh was happy to answer and announce that he recently heard it on the sets

– There were 3 different questions which had answers related to India’s first F1 track that SRK recently inaugurated, Nokia for whom he is the brand ambassador and also the movie Asoka he did.

We have our doubts that these questions were a mere coincident or again well scripted promotional episode of Ra.One movie!!

How India’s Got Talent’s final episode ruined the whole season?

Reality television busted the dullness of Indian television few years ago with its attention-grabbing scripts and out-of-the box ideas. The prime time shows still rule the TRPs however reality shows have been successful in creating a niche for themselves. These reality shows are based on themes such as talent hunt, celebrity based shows, game shows and many more but they all have one thing in common – they either place ordinary people in extra-ordinary situations or celebrities in real-life situations and then let viewers enjoy the masala flavor.

IGT finals with shahrukh

Now the question is – Are these Reality Shows truly real? If you think this is a controversial question, well we have made our point. The credibility and realism of these shows are forever arguable. But we do have more than enough examples to prove that most of the time these reality shows are “STAGED” and “SCRIPTED” to the core. We are living in a time where people don’t mind putting their personal life in public to make a quick buck and viewers get excited as they get their daily dose of cheap fun in the name of “reality”.

Let’s look at what happened at the recent grand finale of India’s Got Talent aired on Colors:

  • The whole episode of finale was “sold” to a movie that was being released soon -Ra.One (yes, SRK starrer).
  • All final performances had something or other to do with Ra.One, although these         performances were not accounted for voting.
  • The special guest was Shahrukh Khan, who of course was there to promote Ra.One
  • He gave away autographed posters/standees, G.One toys etc to the contestants during   the show.
  • Though the show promoters or Shahrukh didn’t promote Ra.one overtly (by beating their chests), but still it was very evident.
  • SRK was promoting the brand SRK itself, alongside (as usual).

All the above mentioned highlights gave the grand finale a kick and (so called) perfect entertainment. But somehow I felt the show lost it’s originality and charm and everything looked like a paid gimmick.

This was the trendsetter in India’s Reality TV, with an entire episode sold to Ra.One for promotions.

Now contrary to above we also have few shows that still haven’t lost their touch and share of “reality”. I personally followed the complete season of MasterChef India last time and it was indeed a great pleasure to watch it. The rationale is effortless – the show kept itself away from any kind of controversies and cheap publicity gimmicks. The show’s simple yet appealing concept kept the interest in it. The winner of last season Pankaj Bhadouria now hosts her own show “Chef Pankaj ka Zayka” on Star Plus. Yes, agreed having a star (Akhsay Kumar) might have helped to gain TRPs initially but the second season which will be on air by next week has dropped Akshay and roped in world’s famous India based Chef Vikas Khanna.

Although you can argue about the “type” of content of both the reality shows but important thing to note here is that soul of a reality show should remain intact. Otherwise it looks fake and disoriented. Do you guys feel the same?

Twitter may soon become Mobile companies biggest nightmare!

OK. Read this-

@iamsrk tweets to @juniorbachchan- wot r u doing up so late young man…will call paa just now and report you. love u man. last day of shoot tomorrow??

@iamsrk tonight shah. Back home dayafter. Dinner is a must once I’m back. Will tell gaurima.how’s ur riding going?

Or,

@Riteishd tweets- There is no truth to the article suggesting that i am getting married. Actually not a single line printed in that article is true.

@juniorbachchan replies @Riteishd you’re getting married???? Mubarak! Who’s the lucky girl? â˜ș ……. You know I’m going to rag you about this all day. HAHAHA

@juniorbachchan hahaha hum bhi aapke kisi article ke liye rukenge

shahrukh twitter

On any other day these will look as not-so-important conversations to anyone, unless one knows that the person who are chatting above are (real) Shahrukh Khan, Abhishek Bachchan and Riteish Desmukh respectively.. now stop reading those conversations again :). Yes it’s a fact that our super famous media people are using Twitter very frequently and the best part is-everyone is saying “I’m Loving it” (Mc Donald’s slogan). But Unlike MC Donald’s burger the tweets don’t even cost a single Rupee and the ultimate thing is that fans get their star’s status messages in real time, and that too…. for free :).

Now twitter unlike other social networking sites works well for famous personalities, as it quickly allows fans to follow the tweets of their favorite star. For businesses and famous people that’s a very good thing as they need not to do anything to market their daily lives or products.

But why I’m saying that it can hurt Mobile companies? “Twitter” is primarily a web tool which can be accessed through Mobile as well. But how it affects Mobile companies? Well the quick answer is- It allows the power to communicate shortest of things at cheapest possible costs, even if Mobile companies start charging you for sending tweets through SMS the number would be very small. As one tweet would be charged as that of one SMS cost but the fact that it’s actually delivered to thousands of followers for free, may hurt any Mobile companies future growth.

Now the biggest reason I put up the conversation above is to prove the point that how often eminent Movie personalities are using Twitter services to converse with each other. Since all the high end Mobile users like Shahrukh and Abhishek contribute significantly to Mobile companies’ revenues, they may take a hit if such users start using Twitter to communicate most often.

  • What do you think? Can Twitter really become a nightmare for Mobile companies, or Mobile companies will find a way to start charging significant fees for Tweeting?