By: Rumnik K Ghuman
As the entire world has come to enjoy being at home and watching their favorite movie stars at the ease of their sofas. Bollywood directors and producers now release the future scope of streaming services within India. Due to the pandemic and having two strict lockdowns, no movies were released in the theatres or as it’s said in Bollywood the Box Office. Box Office India is the home for the latest movie news from India, this platform gives information about how much money each movie is earning in the theatres, what the critics have to say, and multiple awards are given out based on the Box Office data. What’s interesting is why are the movies released on streaming services, Netflix or Amazon Video Prime, not included in the count of the Box Office data?
There are pros and cons to releasing a movie in theatres. Some positive things are the fact of getting more accurate data about how much gross the film has achieved, the number of people who actually went to the movie theatres, and to be acknowledged on a big platform in India. The ranking you get in the box office is very important to each actor’s career. The negative things are that your audience only sees the movie for a limited time period, they only pay once for the film, and they have to leave their houses in order to see the movie.
Compared to streaming services, a huge number of fans can see the movies at the ease of their homes with only paying a monthly fee for a service where they can watch any movie or show unlimited times. The gross will not be counted when releasing a movie via streaming services, but it does give more views for anyone to see the movie for multiple years based on the contract with the streaming services as well as how well the movie itself does on the platform. Not many negative things have come out of streaming services as it’s a universal service now and almost everyone has access to it. Its been a big decision for multiple directors and producers to make the switch of only releasing on streaming services and not being known in the Box Office.
Some streaming services released multiple Hindi movies since the pandemic has begun. Some which were very controversial topics or include some major events that happened in Indian history, for example, Udham Singh, a freedom fighter in 1947, Shershah, a story about an army officer who lead a mission that led him to die at the age of 26, and Mimi, a struggling dancer needs money to get a role in a movie and she goes into being a surrogate for a white couple. These movies were well-praised and multiple people wanted them to be in the Box Office as they would have ranked very highly on the list of movies this year. These movies have a great and effective storyline that was unfair for the creators as they reached multiple people in India compared to the theatres. Some other movies that didn’t get the appreciation they should have were Meenakshi Sundareshwar and Sherni, these two movies didn’t promote as much, but still did well as they are more progressive movies.
The audience worldwide was very pleased to gain a more broad option of movies through streaming services and enjoy that they can watch all these movies on the first day of release and access it as many times or even replay it. Streaming services have grown very late in India as most of Bollywood followed the cinema route, but streaming services have brought more opportunities for small artists to get time to shine and blow up their acting, directing, or writing careers. Multiple producers are saving on money as they only have to promote online via social media and release parties are optional now. More controversial topics are coming up in the movie industry and have brought more light for Indian society to have a broad state of opinions. Releasing movies on streaming services gives more attention to Indian movies as more of an international audience can see the movie and watch it with subtitles. People are able to watch their movies on replay or whenever they want to so this gives more views to the movies. This count of lasting views brings more attention to movies in a multiple-year span rather than just a couple of weeks as compared to the Box Office.
The growth of Bollywood has been great as it expanded to more series rather than movies. As the countries population has grown to love the series that are on streaming services, they like having a longer storyline and creating a fanbase for certain star casts. It’s interesting to see how much has changed because of the pandemic, which has expanded Bollywood to international countries. Bollywood has started to create web series on different platforms they have created themselves within the industry. It’s commendable how fast series have been growing especially the culture of binge-watching in India. As it is very common for daily soap shows that release an episode every day, but now audiences would like to see the entire series in one sitting. This is slowly affecting channels that are very popular in India to this day. Multiple tv channels, for example, Star Plus, Colors TV, and Sony Entertainment Television have created their own streaming services to give more content to multiple people. In India, they call it OTT as a term that stands for “Over The Top” media services in some sense. The amount of movies, shows are releasing via these streaming services is quite the talk in Bollywood to even release movies in Theatres at this point.
360 Magazine is pleased to see a new start of web series for Bollywood, but there is something special about Hindi movies that represent Bollywood. Bollywood and the tv industry are very important in India and seeing that change can be a positive or negative thing. Only certain people can make that judgment.