Bollywood released ~170 movies in 2019 which yielded ~4,000 Crores INR in 2019. That is 21% Year to Year increase in collection when compared to ~3,300 Crores INR of 2018. ~103 Crores tickets sold in year 2019. Starting January 2019, the GST on film tickets costing over Rs 100 was reduced to 18% from 28% and the rate on tickets priced below Rs 100 was reduced to 12% from 18%. So, good amount of GST tax had been collected by Government of India too.
The top 3 money earners of the year 2019 are War, Saaho And Kabir Singh with money earned ₹475.50 crore, ₹433 crore and ₹379.02 crore respectively.
During financial year 2018-2019, Bollywood actors like Amitabh Bachhan paid ₹70 crores income tax to GoI. Salman khan ₹44 crores, Akshay kumar ₹30 crores, Kapil sharma ₹24 crores And Deepika padukone ₹10 crores taxes paid. Bollywood gave employment to ~ 2 lacs people directly and ~10 lacs indirectly in Year 2019.
So, What i am trying to say here? And why i am emphasizing more on Year 2019. Year 2019 was pre-covid period, Every thing was good or at least buried under the carpet, not out in open. Straight to Aug 2022, Boycott Bollywood is trending, Big star movies are on the target and social media trending to punish them, their movies. So, Year 2019 would be right to measure few things about Bollywood and its affairs with Year 2022. And i just presented some stats.
Now, Lets see what is happening in Year 2022. Akshay kumar starer Bachhan Pandey, samrat Prithviraj, Deepika padukone starer Geharaiyan, Shahid kapoor starer Jersey, Ranvir singh starer Jayeshbhai Jordar, Kangana ranaut starer Dhakad, Varun dhavan starer Jugjugg Jiyo, Ranbir kapoor starer Shamshera, All these big budget movies with big star cast, tanked at box office. The Kashmir file, Rocketery relative low budge, not having super stars did great show at box office. Big budget, power cast movies failed before as well, likes of Thugs of Hindostan But now there seemed a trend to boycott Bollywood movies. Pushpa- The rise, the hindi dub of telugu movie and 83, a movie about famous 1983 cricket world cup victory, released in the same month and we know what happened to 83.
People are not coming to theaters easily. Star power, hyped marketing, big budget etc. are seem not enough now. So, something has changed, what is that.
I believe, Bollywood big wings have lost the credibility. Movie stars are individuals whose on,off screen persona is the reason for their fan following. It seems, Their on screen image has big and wide gap with their off screen image today.
But how did it happen just in 2 years?
The 1st major blow was Sushant singh rajput’s suicide. His death opened many questions. The nepotism debate reignited, it touched all the big wings star kids, when people looked around and they found, Tiger shroff, Varun dhavan, Shahid kapoor, Ranvir kapoor, alia bhatt, sara ali khan, Jahahnvi kapoor etc. And his death gave reason to the belief that, Outsiders are not treated well, When rise to stardom, they are being pushed to a isolation, People saw their kids, themselves in sushant singh rajput, all the new comers or upcoming prospects with a dream to make a mark in Bollywood felt anger and fear. This manifested against entire Bollywood industry.
2nd, following the investigation of sushant’s death, A big cartel of drugs mafia exposed within the bollywood. Bollywood stars may be victims here but they image now tarnished. Almost all A lister were suspected to had dirty hands with drugs. This has painted industry as a dark web of drugs,lies and conspiracies. People are taken aback again.
3rd reason is, Bollywood has nothing new to offer now. In times of OTT, the challenge was bit high to compete in terms of the content. But bollywood was busying copying south movies. Akshay kumar, Ajay devagan, Salman khan all were coping south movies in hindi remake. Post bahuballi which had almost entire cast from star to crew were Telugu did excellent pan india business. This made southern movie makers to release their movies just in hindi dub in hindi belt. And wow, they broke all the records. So, why would people just watch remake of the original movie, where they can watch original itself.
4th is social media’s rise. Everything now what Bollywood said is being recorded, tweeted, In a way digitized. Now, people confront their hypocrisy from the past. And Bollywood doesn’t have answer. Their credibility lowered down further now. People today, wants clear opinion on various topics from these stars. There are actors/actresses like Swara bhaskar, Nasruddian shah, Javed Akhtar etc. who are clearly and openly share their thoughts, right or wrong doesn’t matter but they are clear in their thought process but still many refrain from this. Bollywood needs to realize that today people are opinionated, and they want listen from their Heroes. If not done, They loose the public support, fan following.
Now, lets take a case of Aamir khan and his movie, Lal singh Chaddha. Critics are saying, people are politically motivated, more divided with majority machismo and using old speeches or views of a person associated with movie to prove the reason for boycott. This is wrong, Aamir khan shared his views well before Dangal too And Dangal gone on to become one of the all time highest grossing movie. So, This trend is not what some in Bollywood like to believe.
This brings me to share my views. I am not pro or against bollywood, I just want to share both side perspectives when we boycott or favor Bollywood. Not just economy, employment, Bollywood has been India’s global soft power as well. It is one of the good mediums to promote India’s image globally, our cultural and social values, Ethos, our people and their problems, promoting our languages And bridging between different parts of the world with India. But same time, people who run big production houses, stars, directors, lyricists, intellectuals etc should understand the nerve of the people and respect it. They are public figures and then can’t complain about individual views/privacy etc. They like when people follow them, worship them, but when same people questions them, They call them trolls, ridicule them instead of listening, if right questions were asked, then correct the things, clean the messy affairs of Bollywood etc. Folks in bollywood needs to learn to live with southern cinemas rise, OTT competition and nurture talent from outside bollywood families. Till that is not done, it will be hard to restore bollywood’s lost credibility. Lots to build again!
What do you think! Share your views.