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Can Bollywood Be An Alternative For Hollywood?

by Mert CENGİZ

Have you heard about Bollywood (yes, not Hollywood)? You have presumably heard Hollywood, the most significant film industry in the USA; however, Bollywood may seem relatively unfamiliar. Bollywood is a part of the Indian cinema industry and followed by many people worldwide like Hollywood despite its unpopularity. Since masses follow these two cinema industries, an important question should be asked: “Can Bollywood be an alternative for Hollywood?” A brief insight into them might help to answer this question.

Hollywood is the biggest cinema industry in the USA, and its language is English. Contrary to widespread belief, the name “Hollywood” is not just an industry. The name of this California-based film industry derives from a district located near Los Angeles. That’s why the famous Hollywood sign is where it is today. On the other hand, the name of the biggest Hindi-language cinema industry, Bollywood, originated from Bombay, the former name of a city in India called Mumbai. Therefore, no famous “Bollywood” signs exist in India.  

Unlike Bollywood, in Hollywood, films are categorized for their subjects such as horror, romance, science-fiction, comedy. In Bollywood films, a film includes many topics; for instance, one film may consist of horror, comedy, and romance at the same time. This situation is not extraordinary in the Indian-based industry yet is an essential aspect of Bollywood.      

In the economic aspect, Hollywood is far more extensive than its Indian version. Its annual revenue was $9.2 billion, even 15 years ago. Such an amount of money is fascinating if $1.75 billion, the annual income of Bollywood 15 years ago, is considered. However, in terms of the number of audience and products produced annually, Bollywood precisely dominates its “rival.” Bollywood has a greater audience of 3 billion, yet Hollywood has only 2.6 billion viewers per year. Furthermore, Indians produce roughly 1000 films in one year, whereas Americans do 500. Thus, in these terms, Bollywood virtually dominates Hollywood.

All in all, Hollywood and Bollywood compete in many aspects. In some ways, Hollywood is better than the Indian film industry; in contrast, Bollywood dominates the other somehow. If everything is considered, Bollywood might be an alternative for Hollywood. Of course, being an alternative depends on individuals. Choosing between Aamir Khan and Brad Pitt cannot be explained objectively. Hollywood versus Bollywood is subjective.   



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