Box office collections are no doubt big in Bollywood but of late regional films are calling the shots. Led by the Tamil and Telugu film industries, regional cinema contributed a chunky 47% to the film industry’s overall revenues in 2019 while Bollywood’s share of the pie stood at 40%, according to Deloitte-MPA. India’s film industry is expected to clock in estimated revenues of $4.3 billion (approximately Rs 33,000 crore) by FY24 from $2.7 billion in FY19, a report released at the Ficci Frames Summit on Friday noted.
Regional content is also expected to play a big role in the growth of online video services (OVS), a segment that’s estimated to grow at a CAGR of 30% during FY20-24 to reach $2.5 billion. OVS revenues were pegged at about $0.6 billion in FY19.
The greater availability of regional content has expanded the addressable customer base. Hotstar, for instance, counts users from West Bengal and Bihar as the largest on its platform. The share of consumption by non-metros stood at 63% in 2019, higher than the share of metro cities at 37%. Ali Hussein, CEO at Eros Now, believes the growth of online video services business will be driven by regional strategies on content.
Still, Bollywood is expected to post its “highest domestic collections ever” in FY20, the report noted. The Hindi film segment is estimated to have registered a record Rs 4,350 crore in net box office collections in CY2019.
Even as regional films attract more viewership and investments, winds of change are blowing across Bollywood. No longer is the industry’s fortune dependent on big stars; content has started playing a big role. Films made on large budgets but low on content have raked in good collections only in the initial weeks after which ticket sales have been dull. “Big stars bring in a strong pull factor but the reviews and sales of movies such as Thugs of Hindostan and Zero suggest that story and content still largely dictate the performance of movies in the long run,” analysts in the report said.
Several films that did not have big stars nevertheless fared well at the box office. For instance, January 2019 saw Vicky Kaushal’s Uri raking in a whopping Rs 244 crore at the box office and Aysuhmann Khurrana’s Dream Girl crossing the Rs 100-crore mark. Another Khurrana starrer, Bala earned over Rs 100 crore. These movies were made at a cost of less than Rs 40 crore.