Bollywood: Selling Indian Movies in the West

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BOLLYWOOD Selling Indian Movies in the West INTRODUCTION India’s most prominent movie industry is known by the name of Bollywood. It recently became the largest movie industry in the world (Jones, Arora, Mishra and Lefort, 2005; Srinivas, 2002). The name Bollywood is a reference to Hollywood, in which the “B” stands for Bombai, the city in which Bollywood originated. Bollywood is making thousands of movies every year with one of the world’s largest audiences. Bollywood has always exported their movies to the exSoviet Union, the Middle East, parts of Africa, South-East Asia, the Mediterranean, the Caribbean and wherever there are Indian immigrants in for instance North America, Australia, Hong Kong and the U.K. (Srinivas, 2002).…show more content…
When Hindi moviemakers remake Hollywood movies they “add emotions”. However, instead of referring to internal states, moviemakers refer to social life in their discussions about emotion. “Adding emotions” then means adding characters to make a broader network of social relations (Ganti, 2004). Another universal element of Indian cinema is its audience. Bollywood movies cater to a diverse audience (Srinivas, 2002). They have a very broad appeal, attracting viewers from different classes, religious and educational background, age and gender (Srinivas, 2002). Due to diaspora, in 2000, there lived nearly 2 million Indian people in the U.S. alone according to estimates by U.S. Census. This large amount of Indian-American people living in the U.S. implies that there is a huge potential target market for selling the Bollywood movies in the U.S. Movie themes are the same in Indian movies as in all other movies, therefore they can be considered universal. In addition, although Indian movie plots are often inspired by religious epics (Hogan, 2005), religious elements in social Hindi movies tend to be noncontroversial given government censorship and a market with all type of religious backgrounds (Babb and Wadley, 1997). One specific feature regarding themes in Bollywood movies is that they usually contain all elements: romance, comedy, drama, and action. These are themes that are also very often used in Hollywood movies.
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