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Monday, July 09, 2007

Bollywood song-and-dance fails to attract audiences

Bollywood, India's prolific film sector, is experiencing a startling 40 per cent drop in revenues in 2007 compared to the same period the previous year.

Trade analysts say losses from films coming out in the first half of 2007 amount to an estimated $36 million US. About 45 of the 55 films that have made it to screens so far have bombed.

"Content in many films was not strong," said Taran Adarsh, an Indian film-sector analyst.

Considered Bollywood's biggest star couple, Abhishek Bachchan, right, and Aiswarya Rai are shown at last year's world premiere of their film Guru in Toronto.

Bollywood — which refers to India's movie industry based in Mumbai (formerly Bombay) — is the world's biggest film producer.

Adarsh said it's especially shocking to have plummeting sales this year given that Bollywood had a record year in 2006, with a quarter of the 200 films released recovering their costs.

Six films grossed almost a billion rupees ($26 million Cdn), compared to two this year.