Current trends in the Bollywood industry include the reemergence of biopics, the rise of film adaptations, the use of new age media technologies, the growing focus on mutliplex audiences, and the rise of remakes of South Indian films.
REEMERGENCE OF BIOPICS
- The production of biopics has been a recurring trend in Bollywood over the past five years. The trend can be observed from the string of biopics that was released in recent years. Biopics have especially become popular again with the success of recently released Sanju.
- It all started with the release of Bhaag Milkha Bhaag in 2013. The film features Farhan Akhtar who portrayed star athlete Milkha Singh.
- Bhaag Milkha Bhaag was followed by Mary Kom in 2014, by Neerja, MS Dhoni — The Untold Story, and Dangal in 2016, and by Sanju in 2018.
- Mary Kom tells the story of champion boxer Mary Kom, while Neerja, a recipient of two National Awards and six Filmfare Awards, features the life of air hostess Neerja Bhanot.
- MS Dhoni — The Untold Story showcases the life of cricketer Mahendra Singh Dhoni, while Dangal tells the story of wrestler Mahavir Singh Phogat and his daughters.
- Veteran filmmaker Vikram Bhatt believes this recurring trend is the manifestation of mob mentality or behavior. According to Bhatt, "if a biopic works, people start making biopics." The filmmaker believes, however, that this trend will likely come to an end once three or four biopics fail at the box office.
RISE OF FILM ADAPTATIONS
- There appears to be a growing interest in film adaptations among Hindi filmmakers.
- In the second quarter of 2018, there were a number of film adaptations that the public was looking forward to.
- Among these film adaptations were Thugs of Hindostan, Raazi, Fault in Our Stars, The Accidental Prime Minister, and The Zoya Factor.
- Thugs of Hindostan is a film adaptation of Confessions of a Thug, a novel that was first introduced to the public in 1839.
- Raazi is a film adaptation of Calling Sehmat, a novel written by Harinder Sikka. The lead characters in this film adaptation were portrayed by Vicky Kausha and Alia Bhatt.
- Fault in Our Stars, which features Sushant Singh Rajput and Sanjana Sanghi, is a film adaptation of John Green's novel, and The Accidental Prime Minister, a film that Vijay Ratnakar Gutte directed, is a film adaptation of the novel written by Sanjay Baru.
USE OF NEW AGE MEDIA TECHNOLOGIES
- Technological advances are making a foray into the Bollywood industry as can be seen from the movies Dhoom 3, Ra.One, Padmavati, and Padman.
- These technological advances are mostly "new age media processes" such as special visual effects (VFX), computer generated images (CGI), 3D animation, and audio-background score synchronization.
- Some films in Bollywood have turned out well at the box office due to their use of VFX.
- The audio-background score of movies in Bollywood used to be asynchronous with visuals. This is evident in action sequences in old movies such as Deewar and Sholay. Now background score synchronization is one of the things that turn movies in Bollywood into blockbusters.
GROWING FOCUS ON MULTIPLEX AUDIENCES
- More and more films in Bollywood cater to the tastes of multiplex audiences. Multiplex audiences pertain to people who watch movies at multiplexes or movie theater complexes with multiple screens. In contrast, single-screen audiences pertain to people (usually those in small towns) who watch movies at single-screen movie theaters.
- Single screens accounted for 65% of a big-sized film's revenue ten years ago, but now, they account for only 30% to 35% of revenue. Multiplexes, in contrast, now account for 65% to 70% of a big-sized film's revenue. Moreover, 80% of the revenue from multiplexes come from the top 300 multiplexes.
- According to Reliance Entertainment Chief Operating Officer Shibasish Sarkar, "more than 2,000 single screens must have shut down over the last five to seven years." Sarkar explains that Bollywood is not creating enough films that cater to small-town audiences.
- Films with niche or experimental subjects, such as Jagga Jasoos, Jab Harry Met Sejal, and Newton, have become more common, but unfortunately, these films attract the attention of multiplex audiences only.
- This shift toward multiplex audiences appears to have started when filmmakers noticed that "the same film would sell a Rs50 ticket at a single screen versus a Rs250 ticket at a multiplex."
- There were movies created that have a small-town setting (e.g., Newton and Bareilly Ki Barfi), but the narratives of these movies do not cater to the preferences of small-town audiences.
RISE OF REMAKES OF SOUTH INDIAN FILMS
- The trend of remaking South Indian films is turning out to be "Bollywood's new formula for success." Several filmmakers have been successful in their attempts to remake South Indian movies.
- Notable examples of successful remakes include Ghajini, Wanted, Bodyguard, Ready, Kick, Force, Singham, Rowdy Rathore, and Bhool Bhulaiyaa.
- Ghajini, an Aamir Khan starrer, is a remake of the Tamil film Ghajini. Ghajini was such a hit that it was able to cross the Rs 100 crore mark.
- Wanted is a remake of Pokiri, a Telugu film, while Ready is a remake of Ready, another Telugu film. These two remakes earned Rs 164 crore and Rs 196 crore, respectively.
- Remakes Kick, Force, Singham, Rowdy Rathore, and Bhool Bhulaiyaa were all box office hits.
- This trend of remaking South Indian films appears to have been driven by the fact that most remakes have performed well at the box office. Remakes are associated with higher chances of success.