Movies are a big part of my life; I enjoy laughing, crying, cheering and hating depending on the movie I watch. There is no doubt that Bollywood is the most colourful industry in the world. The songs, the costumes and of course actors like Shah Rukh Khan, Amitabh Bachchan etc make it one of the most exciting movements. However, Hollywood is arguably the biggest in the movie industry, being the clear leader in cost of production with movies averaging £55 million whereas the average cost of a Bollywood movie is £10 million.

The Bollywood film industry is churning out movies costing more than £8 million apiece much more frequently than ever before. However, even the highest grossing Bollywood movies earn only a small fraction of what the biggest Hollywood movies make. The upside? As the Bollywood industry is becoming increasingly global, its future is very bright.

Hollywood produces 500 films per year on average and has a worldwide audience of 2.6 billion whereas Bollywood produces more than 1000 (not consistently) films every year and has a worldwide audience of 3 Billion.

This is astonishing because the Hollywood audience is based all around the world whereas Bollywood audiences are predominantly based in India.  In terms of viewership, Bollywood overtook Hollywood in 2004 and has been leading ever since, more and more people around the world are becoming aware of the colourful industry.



Avatar 2.7 billion PK 120 million
Titanic 2.1 billion Dangal 110 million
The Avengers 1.5 billion Baahubali: The Beginning 100 million
Harry Potter and the deathly Hallows II 1.3 billion Bajrangi Baijaan 97 million
Transformers: The Rise Of The Moon 1.1 billion Dhoom 3 91 million


This table shows how there is a significant difference between the gross earnings between the two industries. The average gross earnings from the top five Hollywood movies comes to almost £1.75billion while the Bollywood industry averages £103.6million which is almost 17 times more.

The highest grossing movie, Avatar has earning of more than two and a half billion dollars compared to PK which tops the Bollywood list.

Hollywood has an overwhelming domination among the top grossers worldwide – almost all of the top 50 movies are made in Hollywood. It has virtually eclipsed all other film industries except Bollywood.

One reason for this difference is that the ticket prices in India are significantly lower than anywhere in the west.

bollywood 01

However, as Bollywood is becoming global, a larger number of Indian films are being shown to a different variety of audiences meaning that the profits from ticket prices will also improve.

From my experience, one things for sure: Bollywood fans are certainly much vocal and passionate about their idols. Movie starts are treated like Gods in India and many new releases are treated religiously.

The following videos were shot from both inside and outside the cinema on the premier of the movie Thupaki (Gun). The footage speaks volumes about the passion and excitement of the fans.

You can’t help but wish red carpet premiers would be a lot more fun if they were to transform into fans and actors jumping and dancing together.


The average cost of producing, marketing and distributing a Hollywood film is more than £60 million though a Star Wars or Harry Potter costs around £100 million. At the same time Shekhar Kapur’s ‘Paani’ which is tipped to be the costliest film ever to be made in Bollywood will cost £20 million and the average cost of a big movie is around £5 Million.

50% of the movies produced in Bollywood are never released and on an average more than 95% of those released results in losses.

The graph below shows how the Bollywood industry is leading the ticket sales chart. This comes as no surprise as Bollywood releases almost twice as many movies in comparison to any other industry in the world with 2641 million sales in the last year alone.

This figure is surprising bearing in mind that on average, Bollywood audiences have 200mins of screen time per movie while in Hollywood it is only 130 mins per movie. This indicates that the movies can captivate its audiences consistently.

bollywood 02
In 2016, Hollywood sold 1.36 billion tickets compared to Bollywood’s whopping 2.6 billion. Indian films can’t match Hollywood in box office revenue, however. U.S. films grossed nearly £10.8 billion in 2012 compared to India’s meager £1.6 billion.

Revenue-wise Hollywood movies do not depend on ticket sales alone. It follows the time-tested ‘franchise-formula’ where a major part of the revenue comes from other segments like TV networks, magazines, home-videos etc. Of course, Bollywood is starting to adopt the same formula and there is no doubt that, with time, it will also master the ‘franchise formula’.

While Hollywood’s market inside the US has almost saturated, India’s 500 million population under the age of 20 will ensure that the market inside India will grow exponentially in the coming years.

Although Hollywood produces only a fraction of the number of films made all over the world, it garners a staggering 75% of total revenues. Also, 50% of its earnings (expected to grow to 80% in the next 20 years) comes from the foreign market whereas for Bollywood it is only 20%.

Both industries are flourishing due to the talent in the film industry; therefore, there is not a definite winner to the question, “which industry is better?” The more these industries expand, the more beneficial it will be for the audiences across the world.














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