Why there is a stir in Bollywood: Why are most of the theatres closed?

2023 was not very good for Bollywood. Now four months of 2024 have passed and Bollywood has suffered a lot of loss in these four months. There was a stir in Bollywood as two big-budget films failed at the box office on the occasion of Eid in 2024.

By Bollyy
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Why there is a stir in Bollywood Why are most of the theatres closed
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2023 was not very good for Bollywood. Now four months of 2024 have passed and Bollywood has suffered a lot of loss in these four months. There was a stir in Bollywood as two big-budget films failed at the box office on the occasion of Eid in 2024. On the occasion of Eid, along with Akshay Kumar and Tiger Shroff's film "Bade Miyan Chhote Miyan", Ajay Devgan's film "Maidan" was released. The budget of 'Bade Miyan Chhote Miyan' is Rs 350 crores and this film is a box office hit. Till now it has been able to earn only Rs 64 crore in office. Whereas the film 'Maidan', made with a budget of Rs 250 crore, earned Rs 48 crore eighty-five lakh. After this, from April 19, Manoj Desai, owner of Mumbai's 'G7' multiplex, locked his eight hundred-seat screen 'Galaxy' in the name of renovation. Discussions had started from February itself that the country's two largest multiplex chains PVR Cinemas and Inox have prepared to give up 80 percent of their properties by the end of 2024. Because the screens of their multiplexes are going blank, due to which they are incurring huge losses. Perhaps the result of this is that from April 26, almost all the theaters in the entire country were closed. Single theaters are running only one show a day. Whereas only one screen is running in all the multiplexes. A theater in Agra is showing a movie for thirty rupees, yet it is not getting viewers. This has never happened before in the 111 years of Indian cinema. Even the medium and small-budget films released during and after Eid could not do anything at the box office. Now no one in Bollywood can understand how to save the sinking Bollywood from sinking or in other words perhaps the people associated with Bollywood themselves want to destroy Bollywood.

Cinemas Struggle: PVR Inox, Mirage Group Rent Crisis

PVR Inox's share prices fell to their lowest level in a year. The situation has become so bad that now PVR Inox has announced to show four movies to the viewers for Rs 349, yet viewers are not getting it. They are not even able to pay the rent. The condition of Mirage Group's multiplexes is very bad. Ram Jaiswal, owner of Jugul Palace, a single-screen theater in Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh, told us, “Multiplexes are like water bubbles. Gurudev Palace is a famous theater in Kanpur. Its owner Gurudev Singh ji has given his cinema hall on rent to 'Miraj Group'. He was telling that Miraj had not paid him rent for six months.

Lucknow resident 81-year-old famous scientist, Sangeet Natak Akademi awarded theater artiste, film and TV artist Dr. Anil Rastogi says – “Earlier there used to be single cinema halls instead of multiplexes, I think their number was around eighty, which has now come down to barely fifteen. There was Elphinstone and Jagat Cinema, and Aminabad Royal Cinema in Kaiser Bagh. The owner and manager of all three were the same. Middle-class people used to go to the Royal Cinema. Elphinstone used to be visited by the upper-class people, it has now become Anand Cinema. In those days, working in films was not considered good. There was Sudarshan in Charbagh, Novelty in Ali Ganj, 'Odeon' in Lalbagh, Nishant and Jaihind in Kesar Bagh, 'Mayfair' in Hazratganj, which showed only English language films. These days, where Prince Market is located, there used to be a 'Prince' cinema hall. Regal Cinema has now become Sahu. Prince and Regal used to be both up and down. Standard films were shown in Regal and newly released films in Prince, their audiences were also divided in the same way. After being released from Novelty and Elphinstone, the film used to come to Naz Cinema. Eighty percent of Naaz cinemas were closed due to multiplexes. But multiplex is also not successful. Multiplexes are also closing. Now in the digital age, people watch movies sitting at home. Well, I see a bright future for films. Yogi government is doing a lot of work for the development of cinema.

Earlier there were three single theaters in Barabanki, Uttar Pradesh, but these were closed within the last three years. There were five cinema halls in Unnao, but now only two are left there. There were forty-five single theaters in Kanpur, and now only 12 single theaters remain. It is difficult to say how many theaters will remain after two months.

Bollywood: Where did it start from, where did it reach:

There is a dialogue in Rajesh Khanna's film "Anand" - "This is also a period that too was a period." This dialogue was in a different context in the film, but this dialogue fits perfectly in Bollywood also. Since the beginning of Indian cinema in 1913, cinema has been being made in South India along with Bollywood. Dadasaheb Phalke, who started cinema in India, believed that cinema is the mirror of society. Those stories related to society should be presented in a cinema, seeing that the audience can connect with those stories. Due to this, there was a time in Bollywood when apart from 'Alam Aara', 'Do Bigha Zameen', 'Mother India', 'Bandini', 'Sholay', 'Mughal-e-Azam', Raj Kapoor, Shyam Benegal, Hrishikesh Mukherjee, Basu Filmmakers like Chatterjee used to make films, all those films are evergreen even today because they used to contain the truth of the society. Amitabh Bachchan's films of the eighties were also related to the common people. The films starring Amitabh Bachchan as an angry young man dealt with the psyche of the poor class. That means films used to take common people into their world. It is a weakness of the human mind to see a person victorious in the face of great difficulties. That's why Bollywood movies were watched the most. But in the last fifteen to twenty years, apart from South Indian cinema and Hindi remakes of successful Hollywood films, films full of extra-marital affairs, love tangles, sex, and violence, biopic films have also become a trend in Bollywood. Bollywood cinema has gone far away from the ground reality. Bollywood producers and directors have forgotten that the cinema which is seen in Mumbai from Colaba to Andheri, is not liked in areas outside Mumbai. Whatever today's filmmaker thinks while sitting within the four walls of his home and office, he wants to impose it on the entire country. This thinking of producer directors is ruining cinema.

The father of famous producer-director Sunil Darshan was a famous producer and film distributor of his time. After completing his studies, when Sunil Darshan wanted to enter film production, his father sent him to work in his film distribution office in Indore for six years. While living in Indore for six years, Sunil Darshan kept visiting nearby villages and meeting people, knowing about their likes, hobbies, etc. He also kept roaming in village fairs. And then he understood what Indian cinema is. Some time ago, Sunil Darshan himself told me – “My six-year stay in Indore was very effective in developing my understanding of cinema. There, by going to villages and small towns meeting people, and talking to them, I truly developed an understanding of Indian cinema. After that, Sunil Darshan made successful films like 'Janwar', 'Ek Rishta', 'Barsaat', 'Andaz', 'Dosti', 'Ajay', 'Lootera', 'Mere Jeevan Sathi' and 'Intekaam'.


Baldev Raj Chopra alias BR Chopra needs no introduction. He made about sixty films including 'Naya Daur', 'Kaanoon', 'Sadhana', 'Gumrah', 'Insaaf Ka Taraju', 'Nikah', Babul' and 'Bhootnath' and a successful serial like 'Mahabharat'. Till the end of his life, he not only remained connected with the common people but also always remained connected to the land. I still remember that I interviewed him in 2002, which was published in 'Mayapuri' magazine. Then BR Chopra sent me a self-signed letter through courier, thanking me and writing in the letter that he had also been a journalist. He worked for a few days in Lahore in the printing press of the magazine ‘Mayapuri’ in which his interview was published. Today's successful directors do not even like to talk about their past. Because he is not connected to the ground.

Yes yes! Today's filmmakers have lost their ground, which is affecting their work and their films are failing.


Yes yes! Describing this bitter truth, Ajay Gupta, owner of Kanpur's cinema hall 'Shyam Palace', says - "I believe that the passion for watching films or entertainment cannot end. But nowadays the audience is not able to connect with the films being made in Bollywood. People like Southern films. The films here are down to earth. In proportion to the population, the number of viewers has decreased instead of increasing. The competition for single theater is multiplex and mobile. Secondly, Bollywood is making films according to the upper class. Amitabh's films of the eighties and nineties represented the lower class people. Nowadays, the hero of Bollywood films travels by plane and holds board meetings in the plane itself. Speaks less Hindi and more English. Our audience wants to watch Hindi films, not English. The common audience does not understand the meaning of board meetings. Even today in his personal life, Rajinikanth meets people only wearing a lungi. Hindi heroes talk to common people in English instead of Hindi, which is why people are moving away from Hindi films. People like Akshay Kumar started running towards OTT because they feared that people would not watch their films in theatres. Whereas people from the South are coming to theaters instead of OTT. He is confident that his films doing well. ‘RRR’ and ‘Pushpa’ are examples of this. If the producers, directors, and actors of Bollywood still do not take precautions, they will sink and we too will have to suffer the consequences. Today people are waiting for 'Pushpa 2', while people will not watch 'Singham Again'. Bollywood people are busy copying and pasting. The kind of films that Karan Johar, who made 'Kuch Kuch Hota Hai', is making now, the film industry is sure to sink. The production houses of Rajshree, Yash Chopra etc. have become mere factories. To put it in one sentence, the era of 80's was over in Single Theatre. Only when single theaters survive will film distributors, film producers, directors and artists benefit."

Ram Jaiswal, owner of the 'Jugul Palace' cinema hall in Kanpur, says, "Many cinema halls have been closed in Kanpur city. Our ‘Jugul Palace’ is the only single theater running within a radius of ten kilometers in Kanpur. However, after the arrival of OTT, people also started trending towards OTT. Vulgar content is being served on OTT, which attracts more viewers. ‘Animal’ was successful. Both filmmakers and the government are responsible for the closing of theaters and the ruin of the film industry. I am openly alleging that the government is exploiting cinema. So Bollywood filmmakers are no less guilty. Family films have been completely suppressed. The viewer wants to watch the film with his entire family without any hesitation. Some people definitely like films like 'Animal'. BR Chopra's film 'Baghban' had the highest gross. Earlier Aamir Khan also used to do good films, but now I don't know where he has gone astray. Southern films have content and message. That's why southern films like 'Baahubali', 'RRR', and 'Pushpa' earned bumper. For the last seven to eight years, films containing propaganda, pro-government, and patriotism have been made, from which the audience is running away. The viewer understands what will happen in the film by looking at the poster. People do not want to watch films with political stunts. Today's audience wants to stay away from films that give political lessons. The audience wants light entertainment. But the kind of films being made these days are ruining the film industry and theatres. Not only this, but now the filmmaker does not even pay attention to publicity.

Manoj Desai, the owner of 'Maratha Mandir' and 'Zee 7' in Mumbai, has said in an interview with 'Bombay Times' - "Promotion of the film is very important, otherwise your film will not work. Nowadays artists do not promote their films. This is limited to social media only. Whereas in the past every artist used to give countless interviews to journalists."

Changed way of film promotion: Bollywood ruined

The method of film promotion has changed in recent times. Film producers and artists are busy trying to earn maximum publicity and money by spending less time and money. All of them consider it their duty to post something on social media. They think that whatever we have tweeted, whatever we have posted on Instagram, the audience will rush to watch their film. The harsh truth is that with the promotion of the film on social media, the actors are flying in the air after seeing their followers on Instagram, all this is harming them and their films. The bitter truth is that a great artist has one crore followers on social media, but unfortunately, not even one lakh viewers go to watch his film. Many artists go to visit some city and by speaking some dialogue or dancing to some song in front of lakhs of people in some college or ground of that city, they assume that all these people will watch their film, this is their mistake. How do these people forget that when the crowd gathering at a politician's election meeting is not necessarily the voters who voted for him, then the one who takes a selfie in college and posts it on his social media can boast among his people? It is such a big mistake on the part of both the artist and producer of the film to believe that the young man will go to watch his film, which has led to the cinema being locked.

Bullying of PR companies

With the advent of corporations during the last ten years, the way of film promotion has completely changed. The PR agencies working for the promotion of the film and the people associated with them, instead of carrying out their work responsibly, behave rudely with the journalists. Some PR girls do not even desist from abusing and threatening the journalist. These PR agencies consider themselves bigger than journalists. The owner of the PR Company directly answers "Now the artists do not have confidence in giving interviews to the journalists." Their way of working is also completely responsible for the sinking of every film. The first need is to fix the accountability of every PRO and PR Company.”

The filmmaker's tendency to hide everything about his film also sank the cinema.

In the seventies, eighties, and nineties, every filmmaker used to get the entire story of his film published in the magazine two months before the release of the film. In some magazines of Delhi, the entire script of the film was published even before its release. At that time films used to run in theaters for 25 weeks, 50 weeks, and 75 weeks. Because in those days filmmakers and artists used to make films with dedication. He had confidence in the content and quality of his film. But in the last ten years, every film producer and director has avoided telling the story of his film. The artist avoids revealing even the name of his character. Despite this, his films could not run in theaters even for three days. Nowadays everyone is only concerned about filling their pockets. No one has to make films with dedication. Now no one has any connection with 'art'.

Importance of money, not art:

Selection of the wrong actor for the role:

In Bollywood, money is given more importance than art. Every artiste extorts a huge amount as remuneration, in return you can get him to do anything. He falsely claims that he likes to choose challenging characters and relatable stories. These money-greedy star actors have been keeping their distance from films based on great stories like 'Nil Battey Sannata' or 'Masaan'. In Bollywood, everyone only talks about earning money. Not only is this but in Bollywood, the artist is glorified instead of the character or story.

By the way, indirectly pointing towards the situation that has arisen today, during the promotional interview of the film "Phata Poster Nikla Hero" in 2013, the director of the film Rajkumar Santoshi told me in the context of Bollywood - "Soon that The time is coming when the artist himself will go to the door of the audience and ask them to buy the ticket of his film. ''What was said eleven years ago seems to be true today? Almost the same situation has happened.

Distance from Hindi language: familiarity with English

The biggest reason for the sinking of Bollywood is that every person associated with Bollywood is making films in the Hindi language to earn money, but he does not speak Hindi. He thinks only in English. Speaks only in the English language. The promotion of the film is also done in English only. Speaks in English even in press conferences. On the contrary, if we talk about South India, actor Yash of the film 'KGF Chapter 2' is a Kannada speaker, but he was talking to journalists in Hindi in Mumbai. Allu Arvind also speaks in Hindi. All South-speaking actors including Mammootty, and Kiccha Sudeep speak in Hindi. 'The dialogues are also written in English and Roman, not in Devanagari. The posters etc. of the film are also in the English language. When the film started, the credits were also in English. Three years ago, when the Censor Board used the rule that if the name of the film is not written in Hindi and the credits are not in Hindi, then the film will not get the censor certificate. Since then, the names of credits have been given in English as well as in Hindi, but Hindi is so impure that what can be said. Whereas this situation did not exist 15-20 years ago. At that time, every work was done in Hindi only. Many actors like Dilip Kumar used to ask for scripts in Urdu. When you are allergic to the language in which you are working, the language in which you are making the cinema, then how can you make a down-to-earth cinema?

Bollywood should understand well that language is no longer a restriction for the audience. They need a good story and a good performance.

-Shantiswarup Tripathi

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