Aladdin Gets Better Opening in India Than India's Most Wanted: Cause for Worry?
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Aladdin Gets Better Opening in India Than India's Most Wanted: Cause for Worry?

After Avengers Endgame, it's Aladdin that has wrecked the box office over local films in India

After Avengers: Endgame decimated all  indigenous competition, John Wick Chapter 3  posed a stiff threat  to the Ajay Devgn starrer De De  Pyar De. And  now this week  Aladdin has out-performed this week’s two Hindi releases India’s Most Wanted and  PM Narendra Modi. Says trade pundit Amod Mehra, “Since the last few years Hollywood films have made their presence felt at the Indian  box-office.Slowly and steadily they have now started becoming a threat to Bollywood. So it's no surprise that the first day collection of Aladdin is more than the combined collections of India’s Most  Wanted   and  PM  Narendra Modi.”

Should Bollywood be running scared?

Counter-questions filmmaker Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, “Running scared off what? We give ourselves too much importance by thinking our film are comparable  with theirs. If you see the world boxoffice we don’t even move the needle. We need to up the quality and come up with some big-ticket numbers .Also, a network of screens and  world distribution, the focus of our studios need to shift our focus from merely signing stars to investment in infrastructure and management.”
Hindi films that take a beating  from Hollywood don’t necessarily deserve  to  fall. 

Defending his film India’s Most Wanted, director Raj Kumar Gupta says,  “For those  critics  who think my  counter-terror is  not gripping enough,  let me ask them one question: would they have preferred  if I added extra masala  to the original story  of  a braveheart and his  associates who nab India’s most wanted terrorist without funds or  ammunition? I didn’t think the story  needed spicing up. I wanted the  plot to remain as humanly  faithful as possible to what  originally happened . If I tailor my vision to  define what  mass entertainment is, then I wouldn’t be able  to tell the stories I want to.”

So is Hollywood a threat  to Bollywood? “Of course  it is. Let’s not turn a blind eye  to the ground reality.However I couldn't sacrifice the facts to make my  narrative dramatic and viewer-friendly,” says Gupta.

The coming week another Hollywood franchise film Godzilla: King Of  The Monsters  hits the theatres in  four languages  on May 30, a day before  it releases in other parts of  the world.

Says  trade  expert Girish  Johar, “This is bound to happen. Audiences only want good and quality content.  Hence besides the Hollywood  invasion, regional cinema is also picking up strongly. So at the end of the day its purely the content, packaging and the power  of the theme  that matter. This is where Hollywood is scoring. Because of their global reach, economics help them to make rich and super quality content, which is liked in all film-loving markets across the globe. So yes,Bollywood has to pull up its socks, give good quality content m, or perish.”

Adds trade analyst Atul Mohan, “No doubt Hollywood is getting bigger with every  Friday. Aladdin has registered a bigger and better opening than Hindi releases of this Friday .But one point to be noted here is that as of now, it's only the big titles from big Hollywood studios which is scoring better. The real quality work  from Hollywood like Call Me By Your Name  and Leave  No Trace don’t even get a release in India. At the same time you can't ignore the  juggernaut of  superhero/Marvel  film from America.Yes, the  time has come for Bollywood to do some serious introspection. Remember, Hollywood is growing at an pace of 12-15% every year.What about us?” However  the prolific filmmaker  Priyadarshan is hopeful, “We still have  our own cinematic identity. Films  on our culture and social  surroundings will always be attractive to our people, thought when it comes to entertainment we watch  films from Hollywood. But Bharat will always have  more for  Indian  audiences than John Wick.”

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