India’s Bollywood film industry, a longtime fixture of its cultural landscape, is currently experiencing its worst crisis ever as rivals from other languages and streaming platforms steal its shine.
The Bollywood industry, which produces more movies than any other country on average each year, is usually led by glamorous Bollywood, where audiences swarm premieres and fans revere actors like gods.
But after Covid limits were loosened, movie theatres have been quieter, even in Mumbai, the hub of Bollywood.
According to media expert Karan Taurani of Elara Capital, only one-fifth of the more than 50 Bollywood films produced in the past year, fewer than usual due to the pandemic, have reached or exceeded revenue goals.
As a rival to Hindi-language Bollywood in south India, Telugu-language Tollywood, several of its films have achieved success.
According to an assessment by State Bank of India’s Chief Economic Adviser Soumya Kanti Ghosh, about half of the Hindi-language films’ box office earnings from January 2021 to August of this year were from southern productions.
Bollywood has suffered from the rise of streaming platforms, which began before the pandemic but took off when millions of Indians were compelled to stay indoors, just like other film industries.
The majority of people in India have access to streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Disney+ as well as the internet.
Around 96 million people subscribe to Hotstar, while some movies released during the COVID shutdown were immediately available on these platforms; others only had a few weeks to wait until they were available on television.