The Bollywood film industry is one of the largest cinema hubs in the world. It is renowned for glamour, vibrancy, and culturally enriched drama. From historical adaptations to heart-plucking romances to eyebrow-raising thrillers, Indian cinema has something for everyone.
In simple terms, Bollywood is the Hindi language film industry. And there are over 30 industries based on regional languages. Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada, and Tulu are among the top languages that make up Indian film.
An audience comprising of the world’s second-largest population consumes nearly 1800 films annually. That’s a boat-load of customers. And a boat-sized bag.
The chart below depicts past revenue generated and forecasts of the Indian film industry.
The Indian film generated roughly $2.5 billion in revenue in 2020 (slightly lower due to COVID-19 lockdowns).
With that given context, a question arose: what are the budgets for Indian films in 2021?
We took a look at the top -5 most expensive Bollywood film budgets in the works for 2021:
1. Ponniyin Selvan – Lyca Productions – ₹500 crore (US$70 million) (Tamil)
This upcoming Tamil-language film is a historical drama adaptation of the novel of the same name. Written five decades ago by Indian writer Kalki Krishnamurthy, the film revolves around the main hero Vandiyathevan.
He is a charming young man who sets out to the Chola land to deliver a message to the King and the Princess from the Crown Prince Aditya Karikalan. The story flickers between Vandiyathevan’s travels in Chola country and the young Prince Arulmozhivarman’s travels in Sri Lanka.
It has a star-studded cast that includes: Vikram, Karthi, Jayam Ravi, Amitabh Bachchan, Jayaram, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Trisha, Vikram Prabhu, Aishwarya Lekshmi, Sobhita Dhulipala
2. RRR – DVV Entertainment – ₹350–400 crore (US$49–56 million) (Telugu)
This Telugu period action drama film is set during the British Raj (1858 to 1947). The story is about two of India’s freedom fighters, Alluri Sitarama Raju and Komaram Bheem, who each take on the British Raj and Nizam of Hyderabad.
Like most big-budget films, the cast is filled with top talent including N. T. Rama Rao Jr., Ram Charan, Alia Bhatt, Olivia Morris, Ray Stevenson, Alison Doody, Samuthirakani, Chatrapathi Sekhar, Ajay Devgn, and Shriya Saran.
3. Indian 2 – Lyca Productions – ₹200 crore (US$28 million) (Tamil)
Filmed almost 25 years after its original release, Indian 2 will follow up on its predecessor’s success by following a similar storyline that takes place in the present.
Using modern age tactics, the protagonists of this film will battle against bureaucratic corruption. The movie’s plot has been kept under wraps for now. More updates are expected as the filming progresses.
The cast for this Tamil-language action film includes legends and today’s hottest stars: Kamal Haasan, Kajal Aggarwal, Siddharth, Rakul Preet Singh, Priya Bhavani Shankar, and Bobby Simha
4. KGF Chapter 2 – Hombale Films – ₹100 crore (US$14 million) (Kannada)
Officially the most expensive movie budgets in the history of the Kannada film industry, KGF Chapter 2 is a sequel to K.G.F.: Chapter 1. The plot centers around Rocky, a power player in the gold mafia.
His pursuit of greatness will take him from the gold mines to the urban jungle in this sequel. He’ll face challenges from the law and order of the government and opposition from other power players in the mafia.
The KGF Chapter 2 cast includes Indian film heavy-hitters Yash, Sanjay Dutt, Srinidhi Shetty, Raveena Tandon, and Prakash Raj amongst others
5. Marakkar: Lion of the Arabian Sea – Aashirvad Cinemas – ₹100 crore (US$14 million) (Malayalam)
Set in the age of exploration and imperialism, this film depicts the 16th-century battles of the naval admiral of the Samoothiri, Kunjali Marakkar IV.
The film follows Marakkar as he organizes the first-ever naval defense of the Indian coast from Portuguese invaders.
Priyadarshan directs this Malayam-historical war film and casts Mohanlal in the lead role. Supporting roles include Arjun Sarja, Suniel Shetty, Prabhu, Manju Warrier, Keerthy Suresh, Mukesh, Siddique, and Nedumudi Venu.