New Delhi: That the Indian film industry is the world’s largest in terms of number of films produced as well as the number of cinema-goers is perhaps known.
But you really get an idea of its size when you discover that it produces almost as many films as the next three - the US, Japan and China - combined.
The Indian film industry, with its major centres at Mumbai, Chennai and Hyderabad, produced 1,132 feature films in 2007. In comparison, the American film industry in 2008 produced 520 feature films, Japan 418 and China 400. The fact that India also has the cheapest movie tickets for any major film producing nation may help explain the high cinematic churn as well as India’s huge movie-going audience.
As for theatre admissions, India’s count of 3.3 billion for 2008 was higher than the combined total of the next nine biggest film producing countries. The US was the only other country to have more than a billion admissions.
These facts have been put together by European Audiovisual Observatory, a public service body gathering and distributing information on the audiovisual industry, in its publication, ‘Focus 2009-World Film Market Trends’. While data for other countries pertains to 2008, in India’s case it had 2007 data for some parameters.
Of the major film markets, India has the cheapest ticket price averaging $0.5 (Rs 22). That`s a fraction of what movie-going costs elsewhere. The average price of a ticket in the nine other big film producing countries ranges between $2.2 in China and $11.7 in Japan.
The low ticket price accounts for the fact that gross box office collections of the Indian film industry — $1.8 billion in 2007 — are behind those of the US and Japan.
With $9.7 billion collected at the American box offices in 2008, the US tops the charts followed by Japan with $1.9 billion. But India`s film industry isn`t just unique for its size. Among the major film markets, India is the only one in which Hollywood blockbusters, even after being dubbed in the local language, have not managed to give local movies a serious challenge.
Not one of the top 10 films in India ranked by admissions or box office collections was from the US. In contrast, 8 of the top 10 films in the UK and Spain originated from America, Germany had 7 US films in its top 10, Korea and Italy 6 each, Japan 4, France 3 and China 2.
In terms of sheer numbers of films, the Nigerian film industry annually makes nearly a 1,000 low budget films with average budgets ranging between $5,000 and $10,000.
However, most of these films are produced in the video format and are produced largely for home viewing. One respect in which India does not lead is the number of multiplex screens. Against the over 29,000 such screens that the US had, India had only 850, ahead only of Korea among the top 10 film markets of the world.