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 ūüôā


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


We have 121 crore people in this country so accordingly it doesn‚Äôt 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‚Äôs 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 ‚ÄėSimon Cowell‚Äô 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 ‚ÄėBaniya‚Äô 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‚Äôt have the reach or the ambition to scale. Nobody is attempting to make it big. We don‚Äôt 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?

Animation Channels in India – A real treat for kids

The moment you think of Cartoons you go back in your “Childhood days”. Before the army of¬†Satellite¬†channels were introduced only Doordarshan was available and it was ever so famous as they used to telecast cartoon and animated shows for the Indian audience. It was full dhamaal for the Kids. I still remember the days when we used to wait for¬†Duck Tales,¬†Talespin,¬†Jungle Book,¬†Chip and Dale¬†, Tenali raman,¬†Flash gordon,¬†Denice the menace¬†and many other cartoon shows. The list is¬†endless and the fun too¬†was unlimited. Doordarshan was the only channel till 1995 that had managed to put a big smile on the faces of kids.

But soon things were about to change, in fact about to get more interesting. Cartoon Network started broadcast in India as the dual-channel TNT & Cartoon Network in 1995 with Cartoon Network initially operating from 5:30 a.m to 5:30 p.m, with Turner Classic Movies (formerly TNT) taking up the remainder of the daily schedule. Later the time slice of Cartoon Network was increased up to 9 p.m and as the popularity raised, on 1st July 2001, Cartoon Network India became a separate 24-hour channel. This meant more shows for kids, more variety of cartoon characters.

Following are some of the popular shows on Cartoon Network:

–¬†¬†Ed, Edd n’ Eddy

–¬†Dexter’s Laboratory

–¬†Tom and Jerry

–¬†Johnny Bravo

–¬†Looney Tunes

–¬†Powerpuff Girls

 Swat Kats

–¬†Scooby Doo

–¬†Jonny Quest

Courage the Cowardly Dog

So we are done with 2 channels who have managed to entertain the kids, so let‚Äôs find out more such channels. Next in line is Disney Channel India.¬†Disney Channel began broadcasting in India in 2004.¬†The Channel is very popular among Children between 5‚Äď17 years of age. Disney Shows are available in¬†English,¬†Hindi, and sometimes¬†Telegu. And on top of that¬†Disney Channel India airs movies at¬†11am¬†IST¬†and¬†7pm¬†IST¬†on weekends.


Following are some of the popular shows aired on Disney Channel:

–¬†Hannah Montana Forever

–¬†Akkad Bakkad Bambey Bo


–¬†Mickey Mouse Club


Now its time for a channel whose name itself might make you smile ūüėČ Yes you guessed it right “POGO‚ÄĚ. It was¬†launched on 1 January 2004,primarily shows¬†animated¬†programming and some live-action shows.¬†Annually, it also showcases¬†Pogo Amazing Kids Awards¬†which are held in parts of India and children with nurtured talent are nominated for many categories.¬†All shows are available in¬†English¬†and¬†Hindi. Some shows are also available in¬†Tamil.

 Following are some of the popular shows aired on POGO :-

–¬†Chota Bheem

–¬†Mr. Bean: The Animated Series

–¬†The Pink Panther Show

–¬†Time Squad

–¬†Anpanman Breadman

–¬†The Smurf

Hang on, there is more, let‚Äôs check out¬†Nickelodeon India. It¬†is a Television Channel devoted to children in¬†India. It was first started in 1999 by¬†Viacom International¬†and currently¬†Viacom 18. Nickelodeon India is an¬†English¬†Pay TV channel, with the option of a¬†Hindi, Tamil and Telugu.¬†Nick India contains a lot of cartoon programmes that appeal to children such as¬†SpongeBob SquarePants¬†and Ninja Hattori-kun. Besides that, educational shows for toddlers, like¬†Dora The Explorer, are featured in Nick India’s pre-school block.

Some more,¬†Dont¬†worry just sit back a enjoy the shows ūüôā Next on the list we have Hungama TV.¬†The only local kids’ 17 hours¬†Hindi¬†Entertainment channel in¬†India, Hungama TV has been on high heels since its inception and now it has reached the second position in kids channel genre.¬†It hosts two of the most popular shows of Japan,¬†Doraemon¬†and¬†Shinchan, which is, probably, the key to its popularity. It has also introduced language feeds in¬†Telugu¬†and¬†Tamil.

Next on the list we have Animax India. This is a Japanese anime broadcasting television channel in India and currently airs in English 24 hours a day. This channel is a part of Japanese media and Sony. It is also the first animation channel to be targeting from age 13-35 and the only channel to show a lot of anime programmings. Animax began operations across India and the rest of South Asia from 5 April 2004.

And finally we have¬†Toon Disney. It¬†was an¬†American¬†cable television¬†channel¬†owned by¬†The Walt Disney Company. A spinoff of¬†Disney Channel, it mostly aired¬†children’s¬†animated series¬†and some live action programming. Its format had similarities to those of¬†Cartoon Network¬†and¬†Nicktoons. The channel’s target audience was children between 2‚Äď12, and 7-14 during its nighttime block called¬†Jetix.

Looking at the long list of channels for kids, i am sure you too might want to be kids again. There is a lot of variety of channels and shows for kids of different age groups. So which is your favorite cartoon character? Is it from the Doordarshan days, or the latest ones?

Happy Viewing.