Hollywood Wants Deepika and Priyanka NOT Hrithik or Salman

by P Sinha

 Posted on 01-Mar-2016 11:23 PM

Hollywood has captured most of the world markets it can. China is Hollywood’s second biggest market. It has been trying to find a foothold in the Indian film market, but hasn’t been able to achieve much so far. Sure, we have Hollywood films playing the same week of their release in the West, however in terms of collections, none of the Hollywood movies can match the business of a PK or a Bajrangi Bhaijaan.

The reasons Hollywood wants a stronghold in India are pretty obvious:

  • Huge Market – We are more than three times the number of US viewers. A potentially significant source of revenue!
  • Price of Admission – The price of a ticket is comparable to the ticket prices in the USA –even after considering the exchange rate.
  • The movie is already made, an additional screen is revenue with little variable cost.
  • Sphere of Influence – It is no secret that Hollywood uses cinema to influence viewers. Currently the US government is working with Hollywood Studios to counter threats from terrorists.

What they have missed out is less obvious. They have not been able to tap into the sensibilities of the Indian moviegoers. Western cultures are less community based, more rational and emotionally restrained. We on the other hand are stark opposites. We like watching films where not just the main leads but the whole extended family or community is involved. I doubt the West can ever make and profitably market a “Prem Ratan Dhan Payo”. We are highly emotional; our heroes never shy from shedding tears and screaming out lengthy dialogues…and of course dance around in jazzy outfits! As a student studying in an American University fifteen years ago, I was surprised that my American friends found Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam illogical and hard to sit through. They couldn’t fathom why a girl, with a husband in tow, would search for an ex-lover half way across the globe. Breakups happen, people move on, so what’s the big deal? They just didn’t get it.

But Hollywood is tenacious. They realized to win over Indian viewers they need to have something local in their production. Now, they can’t make movies like we do, but they can have Indian elements that can draw a larger Indian audience. In some respects, Hollywood and Bollywood are similar. Both need big MALE stars for big openings. And in both cases, most of the major male stars are in their late forties, fifties or even sixties who are paired with much younger, pretty young things.

If they replace their Vin Diesel with a Salman Khan, they may attract Indian viewers but will completely lose the American market. Even our most likely Hollywood material, Hrithik Roshan is finding it tough to find a foothold in Hollywood. However, if they replace a Jessica Alba or a Mila Kunis with Priyanka Chopra or Deepika Padukone, suddenly it makes sense. Americans will still flock to see Vin Diesel and Indians will warm up to the film because of Deepika or Priyanka. Due to the increase in Indian diaspora in the US, our representation in the US media has grown. Be it animated shows (Sanjay and Craig), sitcoms (Big Bang Theory, Quantico) or Hollywood flicks (Life of Pi, much-awaited The Jungle Book) the lead characters are Indians. There is power in numbers.

I strongly feel this trend of Indian actresses in Hollywood will continue if it generates more revenue in India. More power to the Indian leading ladies!



Picture Source- By Adrian104 - Own work, Public Domain,

TAGS : indian actresses Hollywood priyanka chopra deepika padukone hrithik roshan salman khan

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