Hollywood Vs Bollywood: Which One Rules?

While it is a well-known fact that Hollywood California is the world’s center for movies it is equally true that the heart of the movie industry, at least for  Indians lies in Mumbai and is called Bollywood. Of course the thing is that Bollywood could not be more different from Hollywood.

We could all think that it is Hollywood would be making more movies but the fact is that Bollywood makes 800 movies and USA makes only half that. Bollywood started in 1899 whereas Hollywood only started in 1910.

Actually in film production as well as the audience Bollywood comes ahead of Hollywood. Bollywood beat Hollywood since 2004 and has been ahead of the race since.

Essential disparity:

One of the main things that Hollywood and Bollywood differ is the colorful music and dance routines Bollywood has going on in the film. In fact many a times it is songs sung by professional singers and lip-synced by the actors that carry the movie. In fact the average of 1/5th time of the movie is dedicated to music in Bollywood.

A great storyline with a tight screenplay symbolizes Hollywood, whereas Bollywood also depends on dramatic element along with songs. Though Bollywood tends to lean towards musical and dramatic themes, Hollywood does not do the same. Each movie represents a wider variety of themes.

It can be fairly said that Bollywood appeals to our sentimental side and Hollywood tends to appeal to our exploratory and adventurous sides. But even then we cannot fairly say that Hollywood also does have a lot more going for it

Hollywood’s supremacy

Bollywood generated income of $1.75 Billion in 2006 (projected to move up to $3.4 Billion in 2010). This makes it only a 50% of what one Hollywood studio, Walt Disney brought in 2006. Market wise one could say that Hollywood’s market in US has matured but considering Indian demographics it is still a growing market with a lot more growth potential

In spite of Hollywood productions being only a small portion of the movies produced the world over, it still generates ¾ of the revenue Most of the income from overseas and still predicted to grow but for Bollywood it is only 20%.

Increasing expenses and hazards

The normal expense involved in the making and selling of a Hollywood movie is over US$60 million. Special effects movie like Avatar would cost more and we all know that only 10% movies make it big. On the other hand a very expensive Bollywood production would incur $20 million in expenses and most movies are in the range of$ 5 Million. Half the films made in Bollywood are never shown and about only 5% of those released make profits.

Bollywood’s foreign Link

More than 15 million Indian people have made their life abroad and they account for 1/3 of Bollywood’s income. Projected figures show an $800 spending by NRIs on in Indian films and music. US (2 million Indian expats), UK (1.5 million), South Africa (1 million of Africa’s 2 million Indian population) are main markets for Bollywood.

Resemblances and dissimilarities

Matter of taste.

As Bollywood films are shown overseas, a diverse cross-section of people can see them. Subtitles are added so that all can grasp the movie dialogues. Of course if you have a leaning towards music and over the top choreography then you will like such films a lot. Hollywood movies are also dubbed in the local language.


Many Bollywood actors have become popular all across the globe. Example: like Aishwarya Rai Bachchan. You can have a chance to see them act when Bollywood films are shown abroad or catch a glimpse in cameo roles they do in Hollywood movies. In the same way Hollywood stars are also adored across the globe.

Kind of audiences.

Bollywood is known to limit kissing and lovemaking scenes in movies to make them suitable for family viewing. Frontal nudity is also very rare in Bollywood movies. However Hollywood films can and do explore all these areas boldly in some of their films.

The Bottom Line

Maybe Bollywood has grown and developed to become a great movie entity but cannot be considered in any way a danger to Hollywood. What is more, earnings in Bollywood are still based on sale of tickets, whereas that is  strictly not the case with Hollywood. Franchising and other avenues like television, periodicals etc make up the earnings model.  Bollywood has also been thinking on similar lines but nothing has been finalized yet.

Getting finance to make a movie in Bollywood is yet another vaguely understood area. Whereas in Hollywood the whole system is setup in a better way. In spite of  Bollywood taking pride by saying that ‘Shah Rukh Khan has more followers than Tom Cruise’ ,it still has a long way to go to become the dominating force in the movie industry.

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