Disclaimer : Aamir Khan and his films are exceptions from all the things mentioned below. He’s someone who’s been trying to push boundaries since 2001.
One reason why movie buffs love Hollywood is the variety of films it delivers. The sheer imagination of their writers sometimes left us awestruck. We always wonder why arguably the biggest movie industry in the world, “Bollywood” could never match up to Hollywood. Too many arguments, debates happened on this.
The reason I feel Hollywood attempts all kinds of movies is the wider market and audience. Their films run almost all over the world. Even if a film doesn’t work in a territory, the producers can easily recoup the money from others in which the audience connect to their film.
If we take the similar case with Bollywood, there’s no doubt that hindi films have the biggest market in India and in other countries with Indian diaspora. Still, it takes a regional film to break all the barriers and show how much potential a film has in India.
Why didn’t Bollywood produce a film like Bahubali?
- Were the actors so insecure to risk their stardom and believe in a director’s vision and give him 4 years of their lives?
- Did the producers lack the vision to back such ambitious projects?
- Were the writers not empowered enough financially to spend some time and work on such projects?
I think it’s a mix of all and many more factors.
The day Bollywood got this weird obsession of weekend figures and these ridiculous clubs – 100cr, 200cr etc., that was when creativity took a back seat. Now they have a 500 crore club which will have only one film(that too dubbed) for a while. Everyone was left in shock and disbelief at how this sensational phenomenon happened.
Bahubali didn’t follow any traditional bollywood rituals like bombarding audience with teasers, trailers, songs. Except the official trailer and 2 small teasers, no footage of Bahubali was released before the film. Bollywood should realize that the more they show the film in advance, the more damage they are doing to it and killing it before the release itself. Bahubali didn’t have actors the hindi speaking crowd can recognize (Except Rana) and yet, it’s the biggest opener. It shows how audience are craving for these kind of films and the actors/stars are not the only things they always care. They just want to have a good time at the movies. It didn’t release on Eid/Diwali/Christmas or any festive weekend. The cast didn’t go to Kapil Sharma’s show and promote the film nor did they give many interviews. The film released in a plain weekend and went on to become the highest grossing film. All the trade pundits and marketing geniuses of Bollywood are proven wrong. It just shows that if you get your content right and a proper way to market it (different for different films), movies will work anytime irrespective of festive weekends. You need not spend crores on marketing unnecessarily for films to work. It might backfire which happened in many cases in the past few years (Especially with Shahrukh’s films).
In the 400 odd crore project, more than 50% of the money went into production. Actors and technicians including Rajamouli took a pay cut. They took certain percentage in the revenue. The producers and Rajamouli should’ve a lot of trust on each other which they had. Is this possible in Bollywood? May be. May be not. Since most of the actors ventured into co-production and taking the profits of their films as remuneration, it can happen. But everything else should fall in place especially the crew (the whole team).
It’s high time Bollywood realizes the market potential and start catering to as many sections of audience as possible. That’s the only possible way as of now to overcome the problem of dying screens in the country. GST anyway helps most of the northern regions thereby helping hindi films. Hope the graph will be at least linearly growing if not exponential.
P.S. The term “Bollywood” is used only for the easy reference for public. I hate to use it more than anyone else.