What's Really Gone Wrong in Bollywood Post-Pandemic?

The hit ratio of Bollywood or Hindi films is always on the low side. In pre-pandemic times only a few films manage to emerge as a HIT in a year. However, post-pandemic the hit ratio has gone even down. The sad part is that even big films are falling left and right. So, what has really gone wrong in Bollywood post-pandemic then? Reasons are many and let's look into a few of them.

There is no doubt that a good content film with proper emotions will definitely emerge as a success at the box office. Recent examples are Gangubai Kathiawadi, The Kashmir Files and Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2. Definitely, the good content is missing at least in most of the Bollywood films which are released post-pandemic so far. Audiences simply don't just want a message in the film. They pay their hard-earned money and want to get entertained in addition to the message the film is trying to convey to its viewers.

OTT platforms are on the rise and viewers are now spoilt for choices as lots of stuff is available on the internet. In fact, the film which is played in the theaters is also easily accessible in a month's time. So, unless a viewer is highly pumped to watch the flick on the big screen, he may skip it to watch on the OTT platform after just 30 days. Something needs to be done in this regard. 

However, makers are earning a lot from this deal with OTT and a major chunk of money is recovered via Digital and Satellite rights now. So it will need some courage to increase the OTT or Satellite window to say 8 weeks' time which was the case in the pre-pandemic times. If the movie's digital and satellite releases are delayed by 8 weeks then definitely we will see a spike in theaters. Again it is up to the makers to do that as they will have to make some compromises on the deals they have with the OTT platforms.

The sad part is that many films are now made for digital media. Actually, films are not made, projects are made. Many projects get green signaled once Digital and Satellite rights deals are locked. Makers think of recovery of their money and making a profit on the table itself. If that is the case how they can think of their films doing well in theaters. 

Earlier an average film of superstars or A-list stars used to get a good opening at the box office. However, that was missing post-pandemic. The audience's mentality and choices have changed. If a film's trailer failed to make the necessary ground-level buzz then there is a good chance of that film falling flat at the ticket counters. Hence, a good theatrical trailer is a must now.

Bollywood is now driven by unnecessary PR machinery and useless marketing and promotions. Those promotions which worked in say 2018-2020 may not work in 2022 now. Times have changed and things have changed. What is the need to waste 20-25 crores for a film doing unnecessary promotions. A good social media campaign will not generate even a 1% more footfall, however, it may help the film when it premiers on Digital media to satellite channels.

As films are getting failed, we are hoping that lots of corrections will take place now. Makers will hopefully invest more in production costs than Actor fees or promotions. Just imagine recently a two-hero project got green signaled. Those two heroes and the director of the film combinedly charged a whopping 200-210 crores for that film. And there is additional production and P&A cost. Even if we take a production cost of a minimum of 60-70 crores, the film landing cost at the time of its release will touch 300 crores or even more considering a minimal 15-20 crores is spent on P&A. Now just imagine how will the recovery take place. That film will easily need an Indian theatrical business of 250-300 crore NBOC just to break even. God forbid if that film crashes at the box office an astronomical loss is on cards. Hope a correction happens on that project also. Interestingly both these mentioned heroes' recent films have failed badly at the box office and remained under the 100 crore nett mark.

Now coming to the most important part. Films like RRR and KGF 2 have generated a whopping 1000 crores at the Indian Box Office. Why we are talking about these two films is because these films are coming from the South Indian market and are dubbed in Hindi. Many in Bollywood have a big problem with the making of such films. Although they will not mention their opinion publicly. 

These films had every ingredient that creates craze and hype to watch them on the big screen. One can't simply watch these flicks on a TV or monitor at the home. Bollywood is lacking such films. We are not saying that make another KGF or RRR. But when a big event film is made it has to be made with a lot of heart. One can't simply make it in say 50-60 days. A lot goes into the VFX and the post-production part. There is a lot going into the pre-production part. A good screenplay is a must. Above all, it has something which excites the audiences to come out of their homes to watch it in theaters. It may be a comedy, it may be action, or it may be the grand scale of the film. It can be anything. 

We are still positive that this is just a phase. Corrections are bound to happen. These films which are released now are made during pandemic times or before that. So it's ok and we can give the benefit of the doubt. However, we are hoping that the films that are planned now and will release in 2023 will have all the ingredients which will force the audiences to watch them on the first day itself on the big screen. Till then we are staying positive and waiting for the good times to come.

Oh, wait one more thing to say. Few big personalities are still giving a lot of excuses as their films (sorry projects) have failed badly. They still think that it is the fault of the audiences who are not watching their films. We simply want to say to them that wake up and don't live in a fool's paradise. Otherwise, it will be too late for you!


  1. Since someone has finally decided to discuss on what has gone wrong then let me add the most important point that has been missed, people are extremely upset with Bollywood. The primary reason for this anger is the SSR death, drug abuse, nepotism, & unnecessary political activism, nobody will support you if you go & stand with Tukde tukde gang. It can’t just be blamed on content coz even RRR, KGF, & the Kashmir files were shot before pandemic.

    1. If nepotism is problem then why Gangubai went on to become a hit, we disregard starkids and we are the ones who go and see their movies follow them on social media, even react to their new born babies and make them celebrate too.

    2. In which part of the world a movie with a 180 Cr budget earning 125 Cr be called a “Hit”?

  2. Bhai wait kr.....shamshera,bramastra,laal singh chaddha,vikram veda,pathan,tiger3,jawaan

    1. Mark my words they all will be flops

    2. Haan tu to bhawishya btata h bc

    3. Bhai Ye vikramaditya hai Radhe shyam ka

  3. Great article Addatoday.
    Maybe the SSR factor needs considering also.
    Maybe the actor's are living a life that is far removed from reality, constantly giving us their opinions etc.
    We just want to watch them on screen for the movie content and acting, nothing else.

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