Bollywood movies that have achieved a total gross

represented the 15% of India film production and justified the 40% of India’s
income, with an annual growth rate of 10 and 20%. The main cause of this is
that Bollywood was the second biggest domain of development in India. The
revenues in global markets were skyrocketed. Between 1998 and 2005, the
revenues from abroad cable and satellite broadcast were increased by 450% and
in 2009, they represented the 15% of the whole revenues. Since 2010, Bollywood
has become the biggest foreign exporter at the entertainment market of the USA
and the most successful movies were being viewed almost up to seventy-five cinemas
in the USA.  

The proceeds of
these movies can be compared to those of some of the Hollywood movies. There
are Bollywood movies that have achieved a total gross margin higher than 50%
than the international. Furthermore, the movies have gathered two to three
times higher international revenues in comparison with national bestsellers. Overall
Indian economic growth may have slowed but the entertainment industry is
in good health, contributing Rupees 50,0000 crore to the economy, equating
to 0.5% of GDP in 2013. The sector also supports 18.8 lakh jobs.

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As the the
government began to make overseas entertainment earnings tax-free, media firms
have focused on foreign markets more than ever. India’s movie exports jumped
from $10 million a decade ago to $100 million last year, and may top $250
million in 2020. That greatly surpasses Hollywood’s $6.7 billion in overseas
profits last year. But as the market has grown, even multinationals like Sony
and Universal have taken a new interest in Indian entertainment. Since New
Delhi began to ease rules on foreign investment in 1991, such companies have
set up shop in Mumbai, targeting both domestic and international markets.
Indian entertainment executive Amit Khanna, playing off of the “Pax
Britannica” of the British Raj, calls the spread of Indian pop culture a
“Pax Indiana” an empire of song-and-dance dramas, Indi-pop songs and
Hindi television soap operas.


With a move into global
territory, the concept if Indian cinema as a ‘national third world cinema’ has
been both compromised and protested. This invites new labels such as ‘Asian’, ‘global’,
and ‘transnational’. These labels help broaden understanding of the changes
that have taken place within the industry. When perceived as ‘third world
cinema’ films are analyzed as instruments of social change and homogenizing all
works. On the other hand when seen as ‘first world’ some argue that owing to
its commercial studio base and Hollywood style productions it no longer can
hold its old model. Following Rajadhyaksha’s concept of ‘Bollywoodization’, he
argues that “Bollywood’s world
profile is suspect as its impact and presence in the West has been
non-cinematic, or rather extra-cinematic. Bollywood’s marginal success
as a recognizable world cinema is therefore regarded as purely a by-product of
marketing and political multiculturalism, as the cinema fails to satisfy world
cinema’s taste for high modernism, realism, genre, serious subjects and
political engine.” This suggests that Bollywood can only push further
boundaries if the west expands its restrictive criteria of what is good and bad
in world cinema.


The most recent and
arguably the most appropriate category used to explore and analyze current
manifestation is that of ‘transnational’ cinema. Popular Indian cinema has diffused
and become infused with other cultures through a variety of ways. Not only has
it exposed itself through aesthetics and subject matters but also has promoted
and filmed abroad in seemingly exotic foreign locations. Such as the hit Race, filmed in South Africa or even Salaam Namaste, filmed in Australia.
Despite fears of appropriation and ethnocentrism, scholars have been
investigating cross-cultural and inter-cultural play within these ‘transnational’
films. Transnational cinema “self-Orientalizes through an ‘auto ethnographic
gaze’ consciously exploiting, eroticizing, parodying and critiquing both home
and foreign cultural conventions. It has enabled Bollywood cinema not only to
negotiate Indian identity among multiple identities, but also to dismantle and re-mystify Indian-ness.” (Carriere).