Bollywood films are by far the most popular in India, despite their small quantity. They are also the most popular Indian films outside of India, coming in second only to Hollywood films in terms of global box office receipts. In terms of sheer volume and viewership, India is the most prolific film business.
However, owing to its larger expenditures, Hollywood continues to dominate in terms of revenue. Other regional film industries exist in Madras, Calcutta, and other cities, and many of them avoid the songs and big-budget productions that are common in Hindi films.
Bollywood films are more about the music than they are about the story. In truth, in Hindi films, the “music videos” are shot by a different director, and the music and voices are recorded first in a studio before the cameras start rolling. The singing is done by a different cast, and the dancing portions are always lip-synced in the movies.
In rural regions, some B-town songs are played to raise literacy rates. Today, about a third of Indians are illiterate, and the majority of Indians do not understand English. There are initiatives to change this by utilizing Hindi subtitles in movies with songs that everyone recognizes and sings. Bollywood songs have been recorded by Snoop Dogg and Pitbull.
The industry is infusing rap into some tracks in a bid to appeal to a wider audience in the West. In 2009 and 2013, Bollywood songs featured Snoop Dogg and Pitbull, respectively.
Sure, you’re aware that Bollywood films are produced in India, and you’re also aware that they feature a lot of singing and dancing. But, courtesy of Sonoma State University theatre and cinema professor Ajay Gehlawat, whose new book, 21st Century Bollywood, corresponds with his recent Bollywood and Globalization class, here are some things you might not know.
While all Bollywood films are made in India, not all Indian films are made in Bollywood. Other regional film industries exist in Madras, Calcutta, and other cities, and many of them avoid the songs and big-budget productions that are common in Bollywood films.