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Film industry


Film industry

The film industry or motion picture industry comprises the technological and commercial institutions of filmmaking, i.e., film production companies, film studios, cinematography, film production, screenwriting, pre-production, post production, film festivals, distribution; and actors, film directors and other film crew personnel.

Though the expense involved in making movies almost immediately led film production to concentrate under the auspices of standing production companies, advances in affordable film making equipment, and expansion of opportunities to acquire investment capital from outside the film industry itself, have allowed independent film production to evolve.

India is the country that produces more films annually and has the largest number of admissions, while the United States has the largest number of screens and the largest market by box office gross.


  • Modern film industry 1
    • United States 1.1
    • China 1.2
    • India 1.3
    • Nigeria 1.4
    • Hong Kong 1.5
    • Pakistan 1.6
    • Indonesia 1.7
    • Egypt 1.8
  • History 2
    • Hollywood 2.1
    • China 2.2
    • Bollywood 2.3
  • Statistics 3
    • Largest markets by box office 3.1
    • Largest markets by number of admissions 3.2
    • National film production 3.3
    • Number of screens 3.4
  • See also 4
  • Footnotes 5
  • Bibliography 6
  • External links 7

Modern film industry

Currently, the largest markets by box office are United States, China, and Japan; and the countries with the largest number of film productions are India, Nigeria, and the United States. Other centers include Nepal, Pakistan, Hong Kong and in Europe the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Spain, and Germany are the countries that lead movie production.[1]

Distinct from the centers are the locations where movies are filmed. Because of labor and infrastructure costs, many films are produced in countries other than the one in which the company which pays for the film is located. For example, many U.S. movies are filmed in Canada, many Nigerian movies are filmed in Ghana, while many Indian movies are filmed in the Americas, Europe, South Asia etc.

United States

The United States has one of the oldest film industries (and largest in terms of revenue), and North Carolina.


The Cinema of China is one of three distinct historical threads of Chinese-language cinema together with the Cinema of Hong Kong and the Cinema of Taiwan.

China is the home of the largest film studio in the world, the Hengdian World Studios, and in 2010 it had the third largest film industry by number of feature films produced annually. In 2012 the country became the second-largest market in the world by box office receipts. In 2014, the gross box office in China was ¥29.6 billion (US$4.82 billion), with domestic films having a share of 55%. The country is predicted to have the largest market in the world in 2017 or 2018.[4][5] China has also become a major hub of business for Hollywood studios.[6][7]


A scene from Raja Harishchandra (1913) – credited as the second full-length Indian motion picture, after Pundalik (1912).

India is the largest producer of films in the world and the earliest film industry in the world which originated around about 103 years ago.[8][9] In 2009 India produced a total of 2,961 films on celluloid, that includes a staggering figure of 1,288 feature films.[10] Indian film industry is multi-lingual and the largest in the world in terms of ticket sales and number of films produced and 7th largest in terms of revenue.[11] The industry is supported mainly by a vast film-going Indian public, and Indian films have been gaining increasing popularity in the rest of the world—notably in countries with large numbers of expatriate Indians. Largest film industry in India is the Hindi film industry mostly concentrated in Mumbai (Bombay),[12] and is commonly referred to as "Bollywood", an amalgamation of Bombay, which produces around 20% of films in India. The other largest film industries are Telugu cinema, Tamil cinema, Malayalam cinema, Bangla cinema, and Kannada cinema, which are located in Hyderabad, Chennai, Kochi, Kolkata and Bangalore are commonly referred to as "Tollywood"(Telugu), "Kollywood"(Tamil), "Mollywood"(Malayalam), "Tollywood"(Bangla) and "Sandalwood"(Kannada).[13] The remaining majority portion is spread across northern, western, and southern India (with Gujarati, Punjabi, Marathi, Oriya, Assamese Cinema). However, there are several smaller centers of Indian film industries in regional languages centered in the states where those languages are spoken. Indian films are made filled with musicals, action, romance, comedy, and an increasing number of special effects. The Indian film industry produces more than 1000 films a year. "Bollywood" is the largest portion of this and is viewed all over the Indian Subcontinent, and is increasingly popular in UK, USA, Australia, New Zealand, Southeast Asia, Africa, the Gulf countries and European countries having large Indian population.


Nigerian cinema is Africa's largest movie industry in terms value and the number of movies produced per year. Although Nigerian films have been produced since the 1960s, the rise of affordable digital filming and editing technologies has stimulated the country's film and video industry. Nigeria's film industry is currently ranked as the 2nd largest film industry in the world (after India) based on the number of films released per annum and it is worth over US$3.5 billion.

The movie capital of the country is majorly Lagos. However, regional films are also produced in various parts of the country depending on the language.

Hong Kong

Zhuangzi Tests His Wife (1913) is credited as the first Hong Kong feature film

Hong Kong is a filmmaking hub for the Chinese-speaking world (including the worldwide diaspora) and East Asia in general. For decades it was the third largest motion picture industry in the world (after Bollywood and Hollywood) and the second largest exporter of films.[14] Despite an industry crisis starting in the mid-1990s and Hong Kong's return to Chinese sovereignty in July 1997 Hong Kong film has retained much of its distinctive identity and continues to play a prominent part on the world cinema stage. Unlike many film industries, Hong Kong has enjoyed little to no direct government support, through either subsidies or import quotas. It has always been a thoroughly commercial cinema, concentrating on crowd-pleasing genres, like comedy and action, and heavily reliant on formulas, sequels and remakes. Typically of commercial cinemas, its heart is a highly developed star system, which in this case also features substantial overlap with the pop music industry.


First Pakistani film Teri Yaad (film) (1948).

Lollywood (Urdu: لالی وڈ) is a nickname used for the part of Pakistan's film industry based in the city of Lahore. The word "Lollywood" was first coined in the summer of 1989 in the now-defunct magazine Glamour published from Karachi by a gossip columnist Saleem Nasir, in line with the Hindi film industry's nickname Bollywood. Most of the feature films shot in Pakistan are in Urdu, the national language, but may also include films in English, the official language, and regional languages such as Punjabi, Pashto, Balochi, and Sindhi. Lahore was the epicentre of Pakistani cinema and Pakistan's largest film industry is Lollywood.


The biggest film studios in Southeast Asia has been soft opened on November 5, 2011 on 10 hectares of land in Nongsa, Batam Island, Indonesia. Infinite Frameworks (IFW) is a Singapore-based company (closed to Batam Island) which easy to approach or be approached by international clients and is owned by a consortium with 90 percent of it hold by Indonesian businessman and movie producer, Mike Wiluan.[15]


Egyptian cinema is the flourishing cinema of the Middle East. Since 1976, Cairo has held the annual Cairo International Film Festival (CIFF), which is accredited by the International Federation of Film Producers Association. Most of today’s Egyptian movies and TV series are produced in the Egyptian Media Production City which is equipped with the latest equipment for shooting in outdoor and indoor studios.[16] It includes about 64 high tech studios. Censorship, formerly an obstacle to freedom of expression, has decreased remarkably. The Egyptian cinema has witnessed a remarkable shift in terms of the taboos it may address. It has begun to tackle boldly issues ranging from sexual issues[17] to heavy government criticism.[18]


A still from The Story of the Kelly Gang (Australia, 1906; 80 min.)

The first feature film to be made was the 1906 Australian silent The Story of the Kelly Gang, an account of the notorious gang led by Ned Kelly that was directed and produced by the Melburnians Dan Barry and Charles Tait. It ran, continuously, for eighty minutes.[19] By the time other countries began making feature films, in 1911, a further fifteen feature-length films had been made in Australia.

In the early 1910s, the film industry had fully emerged with D.W. Griffith's The Birth of a Nation. Also in the early 1900s motion picture production companies from New York and New Jersey started moving to California because of the good weather and longer days. Although electric lights existed at that time, none were powerful enough to adequately expose film; the best source of illumination for movie production was natural sunlight. Besides the moderate, dry climate, they were also drawn to the state because of its open spaces and wide variety of natural scenery.

Another reason was the distance of Southern California from New Jersey, making it more difficult for Thomas Edison to enforce his motion picture patents. At the time, Edison owned almost all the patents relevant to motion picture production and, in the East, movie producers acting independently of Edison's Motion Picture Patents Company were often sued or enjoined by Edison and his agents. Thus, movie makers working on the West Coast could work independently of Edison's control. If he sent agents to California, word would usually reach Los Angeles before the agents did and the movie makers could escape to nearby Mexico.


The Hollywood Sign as it appears today

The first movie studio in the Hollywood area, Nestor Studios, was founded in 1911 by Al Christie for David Horsley in an old building on the northwest corner of Sunset Boulevard and Gower Street. In the same year, another fifteen Independents settled in Hollywood. Hollywood came to be so strongly associated with the film industry that the word "Hollywood" came to be used colloquially to refer to the entire industry.

In 1913 Cecil B. DeMille, in association with Jesse Lasky, leased a barn with studio facilities on the southeast corner of Selma and Vine Streets from the Burns and Revier Studio and Laboratory, which had been established there. DeMille then began production of The Squaw Man (1914). It became known as the Lasky-DeMille Barn and is currently the location of the Hollywood Heritage Museum.

The Red Skelton, who used the sound stages for his CBS TV variety show; and CBS, who filmed the TV series Perry Mason with Raymond Burr there. It has also been owned by Herb Alpert's A&M Records and Tijuana Brass Enterprises. It is currently The Jim Henson Company, home of the Muppets. In 1969 The Los Angeles Cultural Heritage Board named the studio a historical cultural monument.

The famous Hollywood Sign originally read "Hollywoodland." It was erected in 1923 to advertise a new housing development in the hills above Hollywood. For several years the sign was left to deteriorate. In 1949 the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce stepped in and offered to remove the last four letters and repair the rest.

The sign, located at the top of Mount Lee, is now a registered trademark and cannot be used without the permission of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, which also manages the venerable Walk of Fame.

The first Academy Awards presentation ceremony took place on May 16, 1929, during a banquet held in the Blossom Room of the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel on Hollywood Boulevard. Tickets were USD $10.00 and there were 250 people in attendance.

From about 1930 five major Hollywood movie studios from all over the Los Angeles area, Paramount, RKO, 20th Century Fox, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and Warner Bros., owned large, grand theaters throughout the country for the exhibition of their movies. The period between the years 1927 (the effective end of the silent era) to 1948 is considered the age of the "Hollywood studio system", or, in a more common term, the Golden Age of Hollywood. In a landmark 1948 court decision, the Supreme Court ruled that movie studios could not own theaters and play only the movies of their studio and movie stars, thus an era of Hollywood history had unofficially ended. By the mid-1950s, when television proved a profitable enterprise that was here to stay, movie studios started also being used for the production of programming in that medium, which is still the norm today.


Motion pictures were introduced to China in 1896. The first recorded screening of a motion picture in China occurred in Shanghai on August 11, 1896, as an "act" on a variety bill.[20] The first Chinese film, a recording of the Peking opera, The Battle of Dingjunshan, was made in November 1905 in Beijing.[21]


A shot from the first film of the India Film Industry.

Bollywood is the informal term popularly used for the Hindi-language film industry based in Mumbai (formerly known as Bombay), Maharashtra, India. The term is often incorrectly used to refer to the whole of Indian cinema; however, it is only a part of the total Indian film industry, which includes other production centres producing films in multiple languages.[22] Bollywood is the largest film producer in India and one of the largest centres of film production in the world.[23][24][25]

Bollywood is formally referred to as Hindi cinema.[26]

The Wrestlers (1899) and The Man and His Monkeys (1899) directed and produced by Harischandra Sakharam Bhatawdekar (H. S. Bhatavdekar) were the first two films made by Indian filmmakers, which were both short films. He was also the first Indian filmmaker to direct and produce the first documentary and news related film titled The Landing of Sir M.M. Bhownuggree.

Pundalik (Shree Pundalik) (1912), by Dadasaheb Torne alias Rama Chandra Gopal, and Raja Harishchandra (1913), by Dadasaheb Phalke, were the first and second silent feature films respectively made in India.[27][28][29][30] By the 1930s the industry was producing more than 200 films per annum.[31] The first Indian sound film, Ardeshir Irani's Alam Ara (1931), was a major commercial success.[32] There was clearly a huge market for talkies and musicals; Bollywood and all the regional film industries quickly switched to sound filming. Joymoti (1935 film) by Jyoti Prasad Agarwalla was the first Indian dubbed film, released in Calcutta on 10 March 1935. Till then, all dialogues of all talkies were had to be recorded at locations during the shooting of the film. Through Joymoti (1935 film), dubbing technology was successfully introduced to Indian cinema by Assamese filmmaker Jyoti Prasad Agarwalla.[28]

The 1930s and 1940s were tumultuous times: India was buffeted by the Great Depression, World War II, the Indian independence movement, and the violence of the Partition. Most Bollywood films were unabashedly escapist, but there were also a number of filmmakers who tackled tough social issues, or used the struggle for Indian independence as a backdrop for their plots.[31]

In 1937 Ardeshir Irani, of Alam Ara fame, made the first colour film in Hindi, Kisan Kanya. The next year, he made another colour film, a version of Mother India. However, colour did not become a popular feature until the late 1950s. At this time, lavish romantic musicals and melodramas were the staple fare at the cinema.


Largest markets by box office

Source: Theatrical Market Statistics 2014 – MPAA

Rank Country Box Office (billions) Year Box office
from national films[33]
- World $36.4 2014
1 United States
$10.4 2014
2  China $4.8 2014 55% (2014)[34]
3  Japan $2.0 2014 58.3% (2014)[35]
4  France $1.8 2014 33.3% (2013)[36]
5  United Kingdom $1.7 2014 22.2% (2013)[37]
6  India $1.7 2014
7  South Korea $1.6 2014 48.0% (2014)[38]
8  Germany $1.3 2014
9  Russia $1.2 2014 18% (2013)[39]
10  Australia $1.0 2014
11  Mexico $0.9 2014
12  Brazil $0.8 2014
13  Italy $0.8 2014
14  Spain $0.7 2014
15  Netherlands $0.3 2014

Largest markets by number of admissions

Cinema admissions in 1995

Source:World Film Market Trends - European Audiovisual Observatory

Rank Country Number of
admissions (millions)
1  India 9,164.0 2013
2  United States
1,364.0 2013
3  China 612.0 2013
4  France 208.0 2013
5  Mexico 197.0 2013
6  United Kingdom 176.3 2013
7  Japan 171.3 2013
8  South Korea 168.8 2013
9  Germany 156.3 2013
10  Russia 146.0 2013

National film production

The following is a list of the top 15 countries by the number of feature films produced in 2011.[40]

Rank Country Films
1 India 1,255
2 Nigeria 997
3 United States 819
4 China 584
5 Japan 441
6 United Kingdom 299
7 France 272
8 South Korea 216
9 Germany 212
10 Spain 199
11 Italy 155
12 Russia 140
13 Argentina 100
14 Brazil 99
15 Canada 86

Number of screens

The following is a list of the top 10 countries by the number of screens in 2011.[41] The number of screens in China is growing rapidly, with 23,600 at the end of 2014.[42]

Rank Country Screens
1  United States 39,641
2  China 23,600
3  India 10,300
4  France 5,465
5  Mexico 5,166
6  Germany 4,640
7  Spain 4,044
8  United Kingdom 3,767
9  Japan 3,339
10  Russia 2,726

See also


  1. ^ "European Audiovisual Council" (PDF).  
  2. ^ Los Angeles Film Studies
  3. ^ Donckels, William. """Disney Raises SoCal Annual Pass Prices 30% - to Keep Locals "Out. Retrieved 28 November 2012. 
  4. ^ Patrick Frater (September 30, 2015). "IMAX China Sets Cautious IPO Share Price".  
  5. ^ Phil Hoad (December 31, 2013). "Marvel rules, franchises dip, China thrives: 2013 global box office in review".  
  6. ^ Patrick Brzeski, Clifford Coonan (April 3, 2014). "Inside Johnny Depp's 'Transcendence' Trip to China".  
  7. ^ FlorCruz, Michelle (April 2, 2014). "Beijing Becomes A Top Spot On International Hollywood Promotional Tours".  
  8. ^ Watson (2009)
  9. ^ Khanna, "The Business of Hindi Films", 140
  10. ^ "Annual report 2010" (PDF).  
  11. ^ 5th according to , But 7th according to 2014 stats of WorldHeritage
  12. ^ Raja, Aditi (31 July 2012). "Film industry threatens it might have to move out of 'unsafe' Mumbai". London: Mail Online India. Retrieved 28 November 2012. 
  13. ^ "Top 10 upcoming most anticipated malayalam movies in 2012".  
  14. ^ Gorman, Patrick J. "Hong Kong to Hollywood: A "ridiculous amount of interest" in Hong Kong cinema is redefining Tinseltown". Retrieved 28 November 2012. 
  15. ^ "Indonesia Now Home to Southeast Asia’s Biggest Movie Studios". November 14, 2011. 
  16. ^ Kandil, Heba. "The Media Free Zone: An Egyptian Media Production City Finesse". TBS. Retrieved 29 November 2012. 
  17. ^ Krajeski, Jenna. "Acclaimed Movie "678" Shows the Ubiquity of Sexual Harassment in Egypt". Retrieved 29 November 2012. 
  18. ^ El Deeb, Sarah. "Egypt court sentences 8 to death over prophet film". Associated Press. Retrieved 29 November 2012. 
  19. ^ "The Story of the Kelly Gang". Australian Screen, National Film and Sound Archive. Retrieved 29 November 2012. 
  20. ^ Berry, Chris. "China Before 1949", in The Oxford History of World Cinema, edited by Geoffrey Nowell-Smith (1997). Oxford: Oxford University Press, p. 409.
  21. ^ Martin Geiselmann (2006). "Chinese Film History - A Short Introduction" (PDF). The University of Vienna- Sinologie Program. Retrieved 2007-07-25. 
  22. ^  
  23. ^ Pippa de Bruyn; Niloufer Venkatraman; Keith Bain (2006). Frommer's India. Frommer's. p. 579.  
  24. ^ Wasko, Janet (2003). How Hollywood works. SAGE. p. 185.  
  25. ^ K. Jha; Subhash (2005). The Essential Guide to Bollywood. Roli Books. p. 1970.  
  26. ^ Gulzar; Nihalani, Govind; Chatterji, Saibal (2003). Encyclopaedia of Hindi Cinema. Encyclopaedia Britannica (India) Pvt Ltd. pp. 10–18.  
  27. ^ Robertson, Patrick (1988). The Guinness Book of Movie Facts & Feats (1988 ed.). London: Guinness Publishing Limited. p. 8.  
  28. ^ a b Deka, Arnab Jan (27 Oct 1996). "Fathers of Indian Cinema Bhatawdekar and Torney". Dainik Asam (Assamese daily). 
  29. ^ Narwekar, Sanjit (January 1995). Marathi Cinema : In Retrospect (1995 ed.). Bombay, India: Maharastra Film, Stage & Cultural Development Corporation Ltd. pp. 9–12. 
  30. ^ Rangoonwalla, Firoze (1979). A Pictorial History of Indian Cinema (1979 ed.). London, New York, Sydney, Toronto: The Hamlyn Publishing Group Limited. p. 12.  
  31. ^ a b Gulzar; Nihalani, Govind; Chatterji, Saibal (2003). Encyclopaedia of Hindi Cinema. Encyclopaedia Britannica (India) Pvt Ltd. pp. 136–137.  
  32. ^ Talking Images, 75 Years of Cinema
  33. ^ "Percentage of GBO of all films feature exhibited that are national". UNESCO Institute for Statistics. Retrieved 1 November 2013. 
  34. ^ Frater, Patrick (2015-01-04). "China Surges 36% in Total Box Office Revenue".  
  35. ^ "Statistics Of Film Industry In Japan". Motion Picture Producers Association of Japan, Inc. Retrieved 25 March 2015. 
  36. ^ Nick Vivarelli (January 15, 2014). "Italy Bucks Europe’s Downward 2013 Box Office Trend".  
  37. ^ "Statistical Yearbook 2014". BFI. Retrieved 25 March 2015. 
  38. ^ Lee Hyo-won (December 21, 2014). "2014 South Korean Box Office: 'Roaring Currents' Takes All-Time Record, Stellar Year for Hollywood".  
  39. ^ "Russian Film Market Overview: 2013 Results" (PDF). Nevafilm Research. Retrieved 24 July 2014. 
  40. ^ Feature films - Total number of national feature films produced – UNESCO Institute for Statistics
  41. ^ Feature films - Total number of screens – UNESCO Institute for Statistics
  42. ^ Kevin Ma (January 2, 2015). "China B.O up 36% in 2014".  


  • Allen J. Scott (2005) On Hollywood: The Place The Industry, Princeton University Press
  • Robertson, Patrick (1988) The Guinness Book of Movie Facts & Feats. London: Guinness Publishing Limited
  • Arnab Jan Deka (27 Oct 1996) Fathers of Indian Cinema Bhatawdekar and Torney, Dainik Asam
  • Sanjit Narwekar (1995) Marathi Cinema : In Retrospect, Maharastra Film, Stage & Cultural Development Corporation Ltd
  • Firoze Rangoonwalla (1979) A Pictorial History of Indian Cinema, The Hamlyn Publishing Group Limited

External links

  • Movie Making Manual wikibook
  • Online Movies, Taiwanese Law, and the American Film Industry at the Wayback Machine (archived March 12, 2005) - February 4, 2002 MP3 Newswire article on the potential impact of Net distribution on the film industry
  • Box Office Cinefile Review
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