Hindi cinema, often known as Bollywood and formerly as Bombay cinema, is the Indian Hindi-language film industry based in Mumbai (formerly Bombay). The term is a portmanteau of “Bombay” and “Hollywood”. The industry is related to the Cinema of South India and other Indian film industries. It is the world’s largest by the number of feature films produced.
In 2017, Indian cinema produced 1,986 feature films while Bollywood alone produced 364 Hindi films. Bollywood represents 43 percent of Indian net box-office revenue while Tamil and Telugu cinema represents 36 percent, and the remaining regional cinema constituted 21 percent in 2014. Bollywood is one of the largest centers of film production in the world. In 2001, Indian cinema reportedly sold an estimated 3.6 billion tickets worldwide while Hollywood only sold 2.6 billion. Bollywood films tend to use vernacular Hindustani although modern Bollywood movies increasingly incorporate elements of Hinglish.
The most popular commercial genre in Bollywood has been the masala film. This freely mixes different genres including action, comedy, romance, drama, and melodrama along with musical numbers. Masala films generally fall under the musical film genre. Indian cinema has been the largest producer of this genre since the 1960s. This is when Bollywood exceeded the American film industry‘s total musical output. The first Indian musical talkie was Alam Ara (1931). This film came several years after the first Hollywood musical talkie The Jazz Singer (1927). Alongside commercial masala films, a distinctive genre of art films known as parallel cinema has also existed. This genre presents realistic content and avoids musical numbers. In more recent years, the distinction between commercial masala and parallel cinema has been gradually blurring.