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The first six months of the year are up and it’s been a surreal one. It’s been surreal because this year we have had a mix bag of movies doing really well at the box-office, but not consistently enough. in January Akshay Kumar Starrer AIRLIFT came like a knockout punch and really stirred the patriotic feeling in the audiences and went on to be a big winner. In fact AIRLIFT is still the highest grossing Hindi movie this year. Sonam Kapoor starrer NEERJA in February did some great business and finally became that one clear cut hit Sonam and also the studio FOX Star who were backing the project wanted and needed for a long time. Also in February one of the biggest disasters of the year FITOOR released on Valentine’s Day and tanked. Dharma Production’s KAPOOR & SONS was another big winner this year when it released in March this year. At the start of April everyone thought that it would be the month of Shah Rukh Khan starrer FAN which eventually turned to be one of the biggest disasters of the year. The month Why is Bollywood turning blind eye to the obvious! belonged to KI & KA initially but the Hollywood mega release THE JUNGLE BOOK emerged as the highest grossing movie released in the first half of 2016. May was a month of misses more than hits, however SAIRAT the Marathi movie shocked everyone with sensational numbers in the month. And in June although the controversy of the censor board helped get a great initial number for UDTA PUNJAB the movie will be an average affair at the national box-office.  Many would say that it’s a good thing that smaller movies and movies with good/different stories are doing well but there is hardly any truth to it. These first six months are a clear indication that we as an industry needs to pull up our socks and start looking out for the future. In the West television industry is as strong as the film industry and they take immense pride in putting out original content for the telly as they do for the big screens. Have you all noticed that there is an increase in the larger than life, over the top kind of big budgeted movies which the West is producing on a large scale now! The reason for that is that the already existing television market and the blooming digital content space there is at its peak. People can watch their favourite shows or now even specially made for digital movies at the comforts of their home hence the studios in the West are looking to give the audiences which they can’t watch on their tablets but they need that ‘cinema’ experience for the same. And you notice that all the big movies now have the tag line that experience it in IMAX or watch it in 3D. There is a reason for that.

So many in Bollywood actually think that this digital boom we are seeing now is merely a fad. Let me tell you it’s not that, it’s a fad which is very soon going to become a habit for most of the nation. We are a young nation with faster broadband and data plans just around the corner, folks in Bollywood are going to be daft if they think this fad of being digital and watching cheap content from a deceive in our pocket is going to go away. We need to start making content for the big screens which is like an event which a Salman Khan movie or an Aamir Khan movie is already doing. We need to give our young and enterprising and advancing audiences something they’re not going to get on their phones. If we sit like we are and doing nothing about it we are going to keep facing hit and miss kind of years like we did with the first six months of this year! Trade Magazine



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