In today’s modern times, there is almost nothing untouched by competition. From politics to movies, the rivalry has always followed the path of success. Bollywood, which is considered to be the major entertainment segment of India, is now in a state of recession. It is because regional films especially from south India like Telugu and Kannada among others have now become dominant in the film industry.
The initial rise and further decline of Bollywood
India has long been known for its prestigious contribution to the worldwide film industry. It remains the biggest producer of films in the world, while continuously expanding the global reach of Indian cinema. Today, Bollywood has expanded its market base beyond the traditional territories of South Asia.
With its burgeoning success, it brought unprecedented scholarly interest and media attention to the world’s largest producer of films. According to Statista, in the year 2020, the Indian film industry’s box office revenue was valued at around 139 billion Indian rupees. Additionally, it also enjoys the highest viewership in the world.
But, Bollywood is now gradually moving on a downward graph. It is continuously losing audience retention in view of the emerging Telugu and Kannada films. While the Kannada and Telugu industries have seen their share of success with movies like KGF, the biggest advantage that the Telugu film industry has over its regional counterparts is a strong domestic market.
Read more: Tollywood is becoming what Bollywood could have become
Apart from this, the biggest money-spinner for Telugu films has been its overseas market. Notably, in 2019, Telugu and Kannada carried a 14 and 12 per cent share of film releases, respectively.
Without a doubt, nowadays, film making has become more expensive than ever before. However, some filmmakers bring out the best creative ideas during production to cut down the budget of their films, while still maintaining the highest standards of entertainment. South Indian Telugu and Kannada films seem to perfectly fit the frame.
Comparing the popularizing Telugu and Kannada films with the decline of Bollywood
The biggest reason for the huge popularity of Telugu and Kannada films is their context derived from the roots of Indic culture. The best message that any movie could get is its promotion through audience’s word of mouth.
This was seen in case of the recently released Kannada film “Kantara” which is an action thriller written and directed by Rishab Shetty. The film is about a Kambala champion, which is a buffalo race held in Karnataka every year. This simply connects the audience because the movie is rooted in Culture.
It simply could have used some dramatic VFX features to create a sway of sensation and excitement, the same way Bollywood wanted to leave people awestruck with its high-resolution visual effects. However, the technique shook the big starrer film itself as it carried no particular story and resulted in a huge ratio of critics.
Read more: Bollywood feels threatened by the emerging multilingual cinema, and they should be
Apart from this, low budget movies are also a buzz while grabbing large chunks of revenue and audience retention. There are many incidents where low budget movies made more money than high budget films.
For instance, it could be 2021 released movie “Jathi Ratnalu”. It was a complete entertainer which engaged the audience across the globe. Reportedly the movie made more than Rs.75 crore of gross collection and was the first Indian movie to collect more than $1 million gross from Overseas in 2021.
On the other hand, Bollywood has produced several flop films with huge budget spent over it. The biggest and most relevant example could be “Brahmastra”. This Ranbir Kapoor and Alia Bhatt starrer movie comprised of a huge budget of nearly Rs. 410 crores. However, it managed to earn just around Rs. 254 Crores in domestic collection. Another example of it is “Bombay Velvet”. This Ranbir Kapoor and Anushka Sharma movie had a budget of Rs. 125 crores but only managed to earn around Rs. 43 Crores.
This state of affairs gives an opportunity to Telugu and Kannada movies as they seem to connect more with the masses. Just like “RRR”, which is based on Hindu mythology and the freedom fighters that fought against British colonialism. The movie was simply successful in retaining the audience through its depiction of Indian culture and Indian independence, which plays a pivotal role for all of us.
Bollywood is going full woke and is busy disconnecting with the audience, while South Indian movies are being made for connecting India. They do not degrade the family system on the name of criticism. It is high time that Bollywood should start working on its creative aspects as the South Indian industry is all set to throw it out of the cinema world.
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