‘Sooryavanshi’: Bollywood revving up its engines for bumper year-end
Like every film industry around the world, Bollywood has not enjoyed the best of times in 2020, and it is looking to make up for it with a strong finish to the year.
Five news films on the horizon
To hit the ground running and set itself up for a bounce-back year in 2021, Bollywood is set to release no less than five highly-anticipated blockbusters in the next 12 months.
The most hotly-anticipated is Ranveer Singh’s ‘83, which is centered around legendary Indian cricketer Kapil Dev as he led the country to World Cup glory in 1983. It has been the talk of the town since Singh originally signed on for the project and will finally be released this year.
Then there is Sooryavanshi, a Hindi-language action film directed by Rohit Shetty and set for release in November. It is the fourth instalment in the wildly popular police universe created by Shetty and is likely to draw massive crowds on opening day.
Another film directed by Shetty, Cirkus is a modern, Indian take on William Shakespeare’s famous play The Comedy of Errors. It will see Shetty reuniting with star Ranveer Singh after the runaway success of their last project Simmba and will release towards the end of 2021.
Badhaai Do is the sequel to the much-loved Badhaai Ho, released in 2018. It will be directed by Harshavardhan Kulkarni, of Hunterrr fame, and starring Rajkummar Rao and Bhumi Pednekar in the lead roles. Production is expected to start at the beginning of next year.
The final release to keep an eye out for is titled Unfair & Lovely. While it does not have the same fanfare as the previous four films, it marks the directorial debut of Balwinder Singh Janjua. He is a well-respected screenwriter, and it will be interesting to see how his first crack at directing turns out.
Bollywood by the numbers
The Indian film industry has experienced consistent and impressive growth over the last six years. In 2014, the value of Bollywood was rated around $1.7-billion, and it grew steadily year-on-year to $2.1-billion in 2018 before exploding to $2.5-billion 12 months later.
Bollywood has consistently produced more films per year than any other film industry in the world since 2007 and India is also the world’s leading market in terms of cinema tickets sold. Bollywood films are so popular they have led to Bollywood, as well as Indian fashion and dance, being embraced across the world.
There are plenty of examples in the fashion industry, such as Karl Lagerfeld drawing inspiration for the Chanel 2012-13 pre-autumn/winter collection or Marchesa’s Spring/Summer 2013 collection that incorporates elements from quintessential Indian saris. The popularity of Bollywood can even be seen in the iGaming industry, which offers Bollywood-themed slot games at some of the most popular Indian casinos like Bollywood Bonanza, Bollywood Story and Bollywood Nights.
With most cinema’s being closed for a significant portion of the year and filming new movies being all but impossible, Bollywood’s growth is expected to be flat this year and its value to be cut in half in 2021 before it bounces back to this level again in 2022.