To Americans the movie capital of the world is Hollywood, located in Los Angeles, California. However Hollywood has been competing with India’s Film industry, Bollywood, for decades. The name of India’s film industry is a pun on the name of America’s film industry (“The History of the Hollywood Movie Industry.”, 2017) . The B in Bollywood comes from where the film industry was originally located, in Bombay. However, Bombay was renamed to be Mumbai. However, Hollywood got its name from a district located near Los Angeles, California. When comparing Bollywood and Hollywood someone may notice the many differences and similarities between the two.
Hollywood, California was established in 1853, however the Hollywood film industry did not begin to establish until the early 1900’s. Filmmakers began moving their studios to Hollywood, California because of the strict rules Thomas Edison had on his motion picture patents company in New Jersey. However when filmmakers started over in Hollywood had they still ran into trouble with Thomas Edison (“The History of the Hollywood Movie Industry.” , 2017). Filmmakers were constantly being sued by Edison, since he owned a majority of movie making patents. The main reason why filmmakers chose to move across the country is so they could get away from Edison’s strict patent. If Edison got wind of filmmakers violating his patent the filmmakers would have ample time to either flee or stop production of their film (Lewis, 2013)
Like the Hollywood film industry the Bollywood film industry did not kick off until the 1900’s (Kiprop, 2017). In 1913 the first Bollywood movie was released. However, the first Bollywood movie was a silent film. It wasn’t until 1931 that the first talking movie was released in the Bollywood industry (Kiprop, 2017).. The Bollywood film industry quickly realized that people loved movies with talking compared to silent movies. In result the industry switched to sound filming (Kiprop, 2017). In 1937 Bollywood released the first color film. However, the color aspect of the movies did not flourish until the 1950’s (Kiprop, 2017). Between the 1940’s and 1950’s Bollywood peaked (Kiprop, 2017). These years are also known as Hollywood’s “Golden Age.” Bollywood’s Golden Age is when some of the most popular films were released. For example, Shree 420, Paisa, and Kaagaz Ke Phool just to name a few. During the Golden Age Bollywood was producing almost 200 movies a year (Kiprop, 2017).
There are many similarities and differences between Bollywood and Hollywood movies. One of the biggest differences between the two is the length of the movies. Movies released by Hollywood are typically one and a half to two hours long (Omeh, 2016). However Bollywood movies are usually three to four hours long since the Bollywood industry follows the Masala format which is why Bollywood movies sometimes have intermissions (Omeh, 2016). Bollywood movies are also longer than Hollywood movies because there are a lot of singing and dancing scenes (Omeh, 2016). Unlike Hollywood films movies that have a lot of singing and dancing scenes are not normally qualified as musicals they are just considered apart of the Indian culture. Another difference between Bollywood and Hollywood is the cost of production. To make a film in general can cost several millions of dollars, between paying actors, producers, editors, and crewmembers. In Bollywood the highest production cost so far for a movie is $27 million dollars (Omeh, 2016). In Hollywood the Pirates of the Caribbean movie costs $378.5 million dollars to make (Omeh, 2016). Hollywood spent more money on making one movie than Bollywood spends on production in one year (Omeh, 2016). However, Bollywood and Hollywood basically get the money back due to their box office earnings. However, Hollywood dominates in the movie ticket sales department. Bollywood sells half the amount of tickets that Hollywood does (Omeh, 2016). The main reason that the revenue in Hollywood is greater than Bollywood is because the industry creates franchises based off of a positive response from viewers. For example the Frozen franchises. After the positive response from the viewers a franchise was built which released products clothes, toys, and everyday household items like cups and plates (Omeh, 2016).
Another difference between Bollywood and Hollywood is the type of audience Hollywood movies is trying to target (“What Are Some Key Differences between Hollywood and Bollywood?”, 2016). In Hollywood, genres are an important part of the movie. Therefore targeting an audience with films towards a certain age group like kids, teens, and adults increases revenue and provides an opportunity for Hollywood to make more movies (“What Are Some Key Differences between Hollywood and Bollywood?”, 2016). Movies like High School Musical are known as movies for a younger audience compared to romantic movies, like The Notebook, are known as chick flicks. Unlike Hollywood movies Bollywood movies aren’t usually categorized by a certain genre. Bollywood movies have always revolved around love stories, action films and family dramas. Instead of separating these genres into different movies the industry combines them into one movie. This is the reason critics have compared Bollywood movies to Hollywood musicals. Especially since a majority of Bollywood movies have a large number of song and dance scenes (“What Are Some Key Differences between Hollywood and Bollywood?”, 2016).
One similarity between Bollywood and Hollywood is the way the two film industries handle marketing and publicity media used to attract viewers. After all the viewers decide whether a film is a hit or miss (Clode, 2012) . Bollywood publicizes its movies through billboards and film trailers. The billboards are normally setup on major roads and outside movie theaters showing images of the major actors in the movie to attract large audiences (Clode, 2012). Trailers are also a popular type of marketing tool in the film industry. These trailers show short clips of part of a movie as a preview of what viewers should expect helping them to decide whether a movie is worth spending time and money on or not. The movie trailers usually show clips of the songs, funny moments and dances in the movie to make the movie seem more attractive to viewers (Clode, 2012). Another way Bollywood and Hollywood advertise movies is having the Celebrities attend talk shows and movie premiers to attract attention and promote their movies (Clode, 2012)
Since the beginning of Hollywood and Bollywood, both film industries have influenced one another. The Bollywood industry was influenced by Hollywood in many ways. The biggest way Hollywood has influenced Bollywood is through music in movies (“What Are Some Key Differences between Hollywood and Bollywood?”, 2016). In the early years of Bollywood film music in movies was usually about love and family. Now Bollywood is changing it up and including music about a variety of things. Music has it way of connecting to people in the audience at various different levels. However, there are risks involved in making movies with music. For music to be in a movie it has to fit the scene in the right way. For example if a happy song were played during a sad scene in a movie the viewers would find it inappropriate. Therefor if the music doesn’t appeal to the audience it may damage the success of the movie. The world of Bollywood is always changing but the only thing that wont change throughout Bollywood is the song and dance scenes throughout movies (“What Are Some Key Differences between Hollywood and Bollywood?”, 2016).