Better Bollywood nights: How online ratings affect the box office

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A study published in the International Journal of Internet Marketing and Advertising has looked at how online rates affect box office takings with respect to Bollywood movies.

Bollywood is, as most fans of cinema will know, a portmanteau of the words Bombay and Hollywood, it is an umbrella term for the Hindi-language movie industry based in Mumbai (formerly Bombay). The industry is an artistic and economic powerhouse, making several hundred films a year which represents the biggest contribution to the vast Indian movie industry as a whole.

Girish Taneja and Anu Bala of the Department of Commerce and Business Management at DAV University in Jalandhar, Punjab, India, point out that there is a wide range of factors that influence whether or not a particular movie becomes popular and makes good takings at the . For instance, the cast, director, and composer might influence some cinemagoers while others may choose to go and see a particular movie based on reviews in the . Today, of course, everyone is a critic, as they say, and there are plenty of places online where a film fan might learn about whether a new movie production is worth seeing or not.

The researchers gathered national-level Bollywood movie data from various websites including,,,, and They then applied correlation and to determine what impact the ratings for a large number of movies had on the recorded box office revenues for each movie.

Perhaps not surprisingly, the team found a strong positive correlation between good online ratings and box office takings. This was found to be the case even when the team accounted for the number of screens at different movie theaters, the star power of cast members, the film production budget, and even the size of the distribution company. The bottom line for Bollywood is that good reviews from the media and from cinemagoers are reflected in good takings at the box office.

The implications for film producers are simple, in order to sell a movie well, they must engage more positively with critics, reviewers, and online influencers to generate stronger, positive reviews for their output if they are to attract more cinemagoers to those movies. So much has perhaps been known since the silent era, today it is even more apposite given the world of social media and ubiquitous internet connectivity where the "everyone's a critic" ethos can have an almost instantaneous and widespread impact.

More information: Anu Bala et al, Impact of online ratings on the box office collection of Bollywood movies, International Journal of Internet Marketing and Advertising (2022). DOI: 10.1504/IJIMA.2022.10050174

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Citation: Better Bollywood nights: How online ratings affect the box office (2022, September 1) retrieved 30 September 2023 from
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