The Economics Of Bollywood Has Gone Horribly Wrong

Okay, so we are jumping our gun! But it is not without good reason. Bollywood’s now become an over-used cemetery with umpteen films being buried Friday after Friday. And since the inhabitants of this ghost town (the filmmakers) refuse to face reality, the point has to be driven home hard.

“If Bollywood lost Rs.200 crore on the 70 odd releases in the first quarter, then it is set to lose at least Rs.250 crore in the second quarter,’’ says trade consultant Amod Mehra. There will be approximately 125 releases in the next 6 months.

Amod estimates that between Kites and Raavan alone the industry will reportedly lose Rs.100 crore. “Honestly, what are we doing here? Are we peddling dreams or selling nightmares,’’ asks trade guru Taran Adarsh.

Taran says the economics of Bollywood has gone so horribly wrong in the last couple of years that profits for the film corporations are a mere pittance as compared to gigantic losses they make. Estimates show that in the case of today’s most celebrated hit Raajneeti , the profits would amount to around Rs. 10 crores (on the higher side). “But when it comes to losses, the same corporation that released Raajneeti lost something to the tune of Rs.70 odd crore on Ashutosh Gowarikar’s What’s Your Raashee and Karan Johar’s Kurbaan ,’’ says an insider. “That’s how skewed the balance is or rather the film corporations balance-sheets are.’’

Why go far, in the April-June period, there have been a dozen disasters including Paathshaala, City of Gold, Badmaash Company, It’s A Wonderful After Life, Jaane Kahan Se Aayi Hai, Kites and Phoonk-2. And there have been two films that are on the plus side. Of which Housefull managed to sail home and Raajneeti will earn some profits. In the near bleak picture one bright light has emerged, though. Ranbir Kapoor has jumped up in the superstar’s hierarchy having pulled off Raajneeti on his charisma. Trade sources now see Ranbir safely ensconced in the Top-5 Bollywood superstars list.

Says a producer, “You can put Aamir Khan and Shah Rukh at No 1, Hrithik Roshan at No 2 ( Kites is a disaster but Hrithik’s magnetism got the film an opening weekend collection of Rs.30.5 crore), Ranbir Kapoor is No 3 (two hits, Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani and Raajneeti ), Akshay Kumar is No 4 ( Housefull saved him) and Salman Khan is No 5 (the accolades for Wanted continue).

As for the heroines, it is still a fight between Katrina Kaif and Kareena Kapoor. Kareena had 25 minutes in 3 Idiots , the biggest hit in Bollywood history, while Katrina with 10 hits had an equal footage in Bollywood’s latest hit Raajneeti . For the rest of Bollywood... their films and their own positions are currently lost in translation.”


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