05 January 2010


If you've already read our first (so far) Avatar blog , you probably were as surprised as we were to read that James Cameron's blue man movie racked up a two week $560 million box office in India alone - twice it's US haul.  If nothing else already has, Avatar's Indian performance has surely made every studio in Hollywood sit up straight and take notice.  Luckily for our movie makers, India's BOLLYWOOD TV and film industry  isn't the competition  that its audiences are --yet.

We've always been curious about exactly what BOLLYWOOD is, and kinda thought we might not be the only ones.   In a nutshell, here's what we learned, Cliff's Notes style:  Bollywood  is a mash-up of Bombay (now called, Mumbai) and Hollywood, and it's stuck as the name of India's Mumbai-based entertainment mecca. When collectively combined with India's other film-centric operations, BOLLYWOOD is considered to be the world's largest entertainment (movies and TV) industry in terms of the number of movies produced as well as the number of movie tickets sold. 

After Avatar's cash-dump, we don't doubt that one bit.  A couple of other key differences are that India's film industry uses the  Hindi-language, of course, and most Bollywood productions are melodramatic song and dance flicks.  That doesn't make them Hollywood musicals; picture Sylvester Stallone breaking out with  a catchy tune and a twirl after his big win in Rocky, and you'll be on the track.

BOLLYWOOD has also earned a reputation for its close knock-off's of popular American movies and television shows.  We got a kick out of Bolly's version of NBC's Heroes  -- (which, by the way, we're hoping you caught last night).   As you can tell from the poster itself -- quite similar in composition to NBC's initial ad campaign --  India's Heroes is an entirely different ballgame from our own.  The show's tag-line and main characters' goal to travel the country and discover national pride removes any doubt that the Mumbai-made Heroes isn't every bit steeped in 'India' and not in the adventures of Sylar, Hiro, and Claire.   Like most other Indian entertainment we've seen, Heroes is very much a portrait of that country's culture. [Want more Bollywood? Go HERE]

You can tell a lot of about a place from their movie posters and ad campaigns. We still like Save The Cheerleader, Save The World -- NBC's Heroes first catchy tag - way more than its Bollywood brother.  But we're not exactly sure what Saving A Cheerleader really says about our culture to  outside nations.  If the world economy was controlled by the National Football League, that'd be a different thing all-together. 

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