The increasing external threat for the Hindi Film Industry

The footfalls of Hindi Films in the last couple of years has declined. Around 33 crore tickets were sold in 2013, which dropped to 32 crore in 2014 and went down further in the last two years with Hindi films selling just 30 crore tickets in 2015 and 2016. A drop of 10% from 2013 to 2016 is quite significant – more so with the increase in the number of multiplex screens across the country.

Out of the 125 crore ticket sales in the last 4 years, majority of tickets have been sold for Salman Khan, Aamir Khan and Akshay Kumar films. Akshay may not deliver those big grossers, but he has done 12 films in the last 4 years and has helped sell nearly 10 crore tickets. He is the lifeline for exhibitors in the Hindi markets. Aamir does very few films, Shah Rukh Khan films are not sustaining after the weekend and Hrithik Roshan is going through a tough patch.

Remove the Top 3 ticket-sellers and the industry is as good as dead. The internal battle of trying to pull each other down is increasing with ‘clash’ announcements almost every other week. 95% of film releases are failing, yet we continue to churn out more rom-coms than we ever have.  Top directors like Aditya Chopra and Karan Johar, who once made pan-India films, are now making films that can only be watched by the high-society or urban audience in 4-5 cities. Even that section of audience is rejecting films like ‘Befikre’ which was directed by the man who once gave us a film like ‘DDLJ’.

As far as content-driven films are concerned (i.e when the audience come to watch a good film and not the star), the Hindi film industry has very little to show apart from ‘Tanu Weds Manu Returns’ which went on to collect 150 crore at the domestic box office. That aside, no other film has even crossed the 125 crore mark without an established star and a non-Khan film is yet to cross 200 crore.

To coincide with the Bollywood decline is the growing strength and acceptance for Hollywood and other regional films. A film like ‘Sairat’ is grossing 100 crore even though its business is mainly restricted to just one major state in the country. Hollywood films like ‘Fast and Furious 8’ without any major promotional campaign or city tours by stars, should finish with India business of 90 crore. ‘The Jungle Book’ last year went on to collect nearly 200 crore in India.

And then we have a Telugu film which has shown the potential of film business in the country by collecting nearly 130 crore net on a single day, that too on a non-holiday without any ‘festive’ advantage. Even the combined might of two major Hindi superstars – Shah Rukh Khan and Hrithik Roshan – only resulted in collections of 30 crore net on the first day.

Like S.S. Rajamouli, another visionary South director – Shankar – will soon extend his base throughout the country and his films have the potential to be equally big with the added advantage of star-power. It might feature a Akshay Kumar, but it’s still a film produced in the south.

It’s quite clear that the weakest link of the Hindi Film Industry is its content and the lack of visionary writers and directors. But we continue to invest more time, effort and money into marketing and getting the perfect release date – both of which, a good film doesn’t even need.



  • Out of the 125 crore ticket sales in the last 4 years, majority of tickets have been sold for Salman Khan,Aamir Khan,Akshay Kumar 👊

  • Hindi 40cr and telegu 50cr.
    It makes everything clear. Despite Hindi being the all India medium, telegu is doing more biz. It means south v rest of india & still south winning by a big margin.

  • Science Fiction Movies:
    1 Inception
    2 Gravity
    3 Transformers
    4 Interstellar

    1 Mr. India
    2 Koi Mil Gaya
    3 Krish
    4 Ra-one

  • Even Hollywood films are faring better than Bollywood films..

    And now South films have garnered unimaginable craze and patronization in Hindi markets !!!

    Problems which are plaguing bollywood is :-

    1) lack of creativity

    2) same boring flop ghisa pita rom coms like bkd,janu,half gf, hskd,adhm,bbd,htp ,bindu etc….

    3) nepotism — talentless star kids are given opportunities by Karan johar who makes rubbish films and he create a haux media pass to declare them hits…

    4) bollywood audiences are disappointed to see star kids like arjun kapoor, varun , and other nepotistic ppl given chances while real talent is left to b a struggler… this alienates the public from films who consider bollywood as family business of Kapoors and ghisa pita rom com Dharma…

  • Every body now blamed khans, but they not blaming directors, producers and writers. Why they don’t make pan india movies and why they not releasing in all languages. Even few non khans bashing khans but why i don’t know.

  • Commendable penetration by South, but as long as Khans r there Especially Salman Khan Thr z no such threat to Bollywood…
    N still these r considered regional movies.😉😬

  • baahubali begins with kuch kuch hota hai music( dharma logo) , robot2 has akki, jungle book was dubbed by bolly veterans

    That’s bolly for u..big heart. it blvs in quality & has no issues in promoting other industries bcz art has no boundaries

    Remember films like dangal, neerja, airlift etc were made by bolly. holly is delivering 4-5 successful films per year with a ff7, jungle book type biggie once in a year. Robot2 is shot in hindi with akki..

    so there is absolutely nothing to worry

    with advancing technology audience r exposed to world cinema as well as regional cinema of different states so outside industries suddenly getting few hits was bound to happen. Nothing surprising at all.

    all bolly needs to do is make more nos of gd quality universal films like dangal, badri, sultan & most importantly make big scale action venture flicks. both holly & baahubali managed to score big in our market riding on this genre. Time has come v start making 2-3 films of this type per year. v have made the likes of dhoom2, krrish, bajirao but they hv been few in number

    anyways i m not at all worried. bollywood will continue to dominate it’s market but to regain domination of past kind v hv to make more universally appealing films

  • Thank you! People don’t understand value of Akshay Kumar but thanks for actually praising akki he’s mini industry himself

  • Bollywood people specially Kjo and SRK r just businessman, they want to sell their movie not want to make a good movie for audience.
    Try to make a Movie for Indian Audience not for yourself, Footfalls will automatically increase
    When Hrithik was making universal movies, Agneepath, Krrish 3 and Bang bang, he sell around 5 crores, same for srk when he was making Universal films like CDE, OSO etc…
    AKSHAY rather than making 4 films a year if make 1 or two movie with good content and universal APPEAL like SIK, Welcome he will sell more tickets in 2 movies than 4 movies..

    And yes Clashes r hurting Movies big time
    Raees and Kaabil clash has reduced ticket sales of around 1 cr + Easily…

  • Can Baahubali cross 5 cr Footfalls @indicine as Dangal has around 4 cr and Baahubali 2 will do around Dangal in hindi itself looking at the hype?

  • Khans r sweating after looking at the collections of bahubali 2……
    Bahubali success Is tight slap on hindi directors and writers who always churn out some silly rom Coms and silly songs…
    People should avoid such senseless films and go for only those films with content….
    Hindi film directors should target for good story instead of big weekend which results in clash…shame on hindi film industry..

  • But someone making Huge scale and huge budget then there are many fight for date to clash. Bollywood full of C#t!ya people and ignorant people.

  • You can’t help when your top most stars all fighting for holiday releases. Clashing with each other.
    The basic reason is not that people come to watch more but it is because that if movie fails we can recover money because of holiday. Aamir & Salman atleast justifying the event release as both of their last films crossed 3cr footfalls. Akshay is going great as he also churning 3cr+/- footfalls each year.

    But the problem is content, bollywood is now finding story from novels, remake, biopics, emotional drama as per set formulas. Our young led is busy in rom coms which no one remember after watched once. They even lacked repeat viewing. We don’t have big crowd pullar after the top 5 who can take big films on their own. Forget about experimenting, we are not even making good films from already set formulas.

    Sadly we are not having much expectation in future as well. Big stars like Aamir working on novel based film & a biopic later, Except Tubelight, Salman upcoming films like TZH,No entry me entry, a dance based film and Dabangg3, Akshay’s except 2.0 also not having very much to cherish.
    Srk has a different movie like Dwarf which could be a different movie if executed well. HR ko to khud hi nahi pata kya karna hai.

    Big directors like Hirani,Aadi Chopra, Karan Johar, Kabir khan etc having their set formulas to make movies. Hardly experimented them, when they did you have Befikre and under performer like MNIK.

  • ‘He is the lifeline for exhibitors in the hindi markets’… That single line about Akshay enough to burn all the haters.

  • I am from Bollywood region but south cinema is doing films like baahubali, 2.0 . Saaho, spider
    Bollywood is still busy in making films like noor and half girlfriend or making remake of magdheera 😕😕 big concern

  • Even though southern films have fan rivalry over stars but everyone takes pride in their language and cinema..
    Which is not the case with us..
    We may fight over SK vs AK vs SRK etc. But we dun take pride over Hindi cinema..

  • South India has some of the really talented filmmakers who are capable to explore new genres like:
    SS Rajamouli: Actioner, Romantic, War
    Shankar: Coming-of-age, Thriller, Actioner, Romantic
    Meanwhile top Indian filmmakers are like:
    Rajkumar Hirani: Comedy, Comedy, Comedy, Comedy, Comedy
    Karan Johar: Urban, Urban, Urban
    Sajid-Farhad: Comedy, Comedy and only Comedy
    Neeraj Pandey: Terrorism bullshit, terrorism bullshit, terrorism bullshit
    Kabir Khan: Terrorism soulless crap, terrorism, some more terrorism, Bajrangi Bhaijaan, terrorism, Bajrangi Bhaijaan Part 2 (Tubelight)
    I think only Ali Abbas Zafar has the potential to make a good PAN INDIA film.

  • That aside, no other film has even crossed the 125 crore mark without a established star and a non-Khan film is yet to cross 200 crore ???
    What about MS Dhoni : The untold story ???

  • Great article. I wonder if filmmakers visit Indicine and take notes. Because if they aren’t, they must!

  • Next havoc is 2.0 get ready for that… Down south is technically very sound and think far as compare to bollywood… Here are few director who mold war story into love story where a great warrior commit suicide because of his love and a destroyers who made Mohan jo daro and epic comedy shivaay…. Ron com is just deliver sex scene…. Content is king and if it has right blend of screenplay story and technology then it will create Strom just like bahubali and other Hollywood movies… Indian film business has a potential and may on per with Hollywood as far as business is concern but out filmmaker have limited think and vision… Sorry if any one hurt by that.

  • Another good idea from indicine is that the smaller movie tickets (niche, experimental, art films) should be sold at cheaper prices.
    This makes sense, because their production costs are very low and no one in their right mind would be willing to pay the same amount for a small film like Manjhi, Ugly etc and festive releases or Bahubali like releases.
    Cheaper tickets = More audience = More possibility of good wom spreading = Even more audience = Good collections.

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