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India's Hindi-language film business, often known as Bollywood or Bombay cinema, is located in Mumbai and is recognised for producing films in Hindi (formerly Bombay). "Bombay" and "Hollywood" are combined to form this phrase. Associated with the Cinema of South India and other Indian film industries, the industry contributes to the development of Indian cinema, which ranks first in the world in terms of the number of feature films made.

2017 saw a total of 1,986 feature films made in India, with Bollywood producing 364 Hindi films that year, making it the country's leading producer. According to the Indian Box Office Report 2014, Bollywood accounts for 43 percent of net box-office earnings, followed by Tamil and Telugu cinema at 36 percent and the other regional cinemas at 21 percent. Indian film production has surpassed that of the United States to become the world's most important film production hub. The Indian film industry (including Bollywood) sold an estimated 3.6 billion tickets globally in 2001, according to reports, compared to Hollywood's 2.6 billion ticket sales in the same year. Hindustani is a dialect of Hindi that is mutually comprehensible to persons who self-identify as speaking either Hindi or Urdu, and recent Bollywood films increasingly include parts of Hinglish into their dialogue.

For more than four decades, Bollywood's masala film has been its most successful commercial genre, combining elements of action, comedy, romance, drama, and melodrama with musical numbers in a way that is completely uninhibited by classification. Masala films are generally classified as musical films, of which Indian cinema has been the leading producer since the 1960s, when it surpassed the total musical output of the American film industry after musical films declined in the West; the first Indian musical talkie was Alam Ara (1931), which was released several years after the first Hollywood musical talkie, The Jazz Singer (1931). (1927). Parallel cinema, a different genre of art film that exists alongside commercial masala films and avoids the use of musical numbers, is a form that has existed alongside commercial masala films.