Bollywood, as the Hindi film industry is widely referred to, is most known for its colourful ‘song and dance’ sequences. However, this article in the Mint uses IMDB data over the last decade to show how that might not be any more than just a banal description of Hindi films. Bollywood seems to be coming of age, not just in the corporatisation of the industry but also in terms of genre mix of movies. Data shows that action and romance are no longer among top genres giving way to comedy and thriller as among the most prolific of genres in Hindi films, much like the genre mix in Hollywood.

“The most common genres in Hindi films in the 2010s were drama, comedy and thrillers, as how Hollywood has always been. This means that for the first time in the era of colour films, the action genre did not figure in the top three, and romance, too, took a hit, continuing the decline it has seen since the 2000s.

…For each decade since the 1960s, we recorded the most common genres across feature films produced in Hindi and major vernacular languages in India, and in English in the US (Hollywood). All productions tagged as “feature films” irrespective of box office performances were considered for this analysis.

Drama is the top genre across industries, across time, and covers over 50% of Hindi films released since 2010 that are listed on IMDb. Over a quarter of all Bollywood films were comedies and a fifth were thrillers. Just two decades ago, the top three genres were drama, action and romance.

.. Hindi cinema is far behind in offbeat genres such as horror and science fiction. India’s ventures into sci-fi are limited to infrequent releases such as Ra.One and Krrish, which critics say are no match to Hollywood’s seasoned forays. Just 5% Hindi films were horror, against 18% for Hollywood in the past 10 years.

…One cannot miss the rise of biographies. The genre that never made up for more than 1% of all films in previous decades, scored 2.8% in the 2010-19 period, with lives of sportspersons Mary Kom and M.S. Dhoni, actor Sanjay Dutt, and even Prime Minister Narendra Modi, adapted on screen to much fanfare in recent years.”

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