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Alia Bhatt, Deepika Padukone, Kangana Ranaut, Priyanka Chopra – the 10 most powerful women in showbiz today

International Women’s Day! Check out CineBlitz’s powerlist of most influential women in showbiz including the likes of Alia Bhatt, Deepika Padukone, Kangana Ranaut, Priyanka Chopra, Kareena Kapoor Khan, Ekta Kapoor, Reshma Shetty and so on…

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alia bhatt priyanka chopra deepika padukone kangana ranaut women's day power list 2019

Some women lead by sheer power. Charisma is their middle name, and commanding professional excellence, their forte, for themselves as well as those they work with. CineBlitz puts together a Power List of 10 hugely successful women from different aspects of the entertainment industry. They range from stars and actors, to filmmakers and corporate heads. Needless to say, the industry is strengthened by their contribution. These are women of strength and determination, and are unapologetically ambitious. The usual suspects Priyanka Chopra, Deepika Padukone, Kangana Ranaut, Kareena Kapoor Khan, Alia Bhatt are a part of our list. But who is the surprise package? Find out!

1. Ekta Kapoor

Ekta Kapoor CB Powerlist

She is the TV Czarina who has made content for cinema just like she does for television. Ekta has one of the sharpest brains in the business and doesn’t like to take the conventional route. She started with horror films. But now she has several successful films like Dirty Picture and Veere Di Wedding. She is unafraid of backing the dark horse. And her business acumen is so keen, she invariably emerges the winner. Even as a young girl in the business, Ekta was instrumental in changing the face of Indian television.

Famed for her temper, Ekta expects nothing short of perfection from her staff. That’s the reason at any given point in time, Balaji Telefilms has a host of serials on air leading the TRP ratings. She has given middle-class housewives aspirational living on a platter. She has created trends from the characters and costumes in her soaps. Forward thinking, savvy and completely in love with work, Ekta parties equally hard. She is also the pioneer of young content, putting Alt Balaji way ahead of other contenders in India.

Ekta recently made the news when she had a child via surrogacy, cocking a snook at the ticking biological clock. She’s reigned over television for two decades and counting. In fact, she has probably snagged that spot till eternity. Ekta’s successes could fill the pages of a novelette. Defiant, that she is! Conformity is not a word in Ekta Kapoor’s dictionary.

2. Deepika Padukone

Deepika Padukone CB Powerlist

She is the reigning industry queen and the only Indian actor to be on the Time 100 Power List last year. She has crossed the heights of success, leaving her contemporaries far behind. She is also the highest paid actress in Hindi films currently. On her throne right now, Deepika is as versatile an actor as she is the classic Indian beauty. She fits into the Bollywood heroine mould effortlessly. But is yet capable of surprising you as the girl next- door, like she did in Piku. She can even stun you with her valour and grace as Padmavati and Mastani.

Respected, loved and sought after, Deepika is currently the envy of half the nation’s populace, since she married her love, Ranveer Singh. For all the superlatives defining her, Deepika Padukone remains grounded and natural. She does not wear two faces. Her very presence stirs one to a state of joy and happiness, such a blithe spirit is the lovely Deepika.

3. Alia Bhatt

alia bhatt cb powerlist

No one would have thought that after doing Student Of The Year, she would carry off a Highway. Barely 26 now, Alia Bhatt has already racked in seven years of consistent success. Her impeccable career track record and the range of roles that she has portrayed are screaming proof of her outstanding talent. At a time when other kids were partying away, Alia was familiarising herself with the craft of acting. And for someone so young, she has a tremendous understanding of the craft.

Her assumption of characters  arefar beyond her reality and maturity. In fact, the delivery of her roles is uncommonly insightful. Understandably, she has delivered one hit performance after another. While in her early years, Alia faced numerous blindsided detractors. She wisely chose to ignore them as she laughed her way to the bank. The little girl has blossomed into a woman of substance. Today, Alia Bhatt is a name every filmmaker worth his salt wants to work with.

4. Kangana Ranaut

Kangana Ranaut CB powerlist

She is an edgy actress who has never played a conventional heroine. She may be the controversy queen but has gone ahead and directed a film like Manikarnika. She has faced brickbats, and stood her ground, at the cost of alienating industry toadies. She was a gauche 18-year-old who set the screen ablaze from her performance in Anurag Basu’s Gangster. Her ascent up the ladder to success and fame was quite rapid since then. And it is all because of her raw passion. Her unpolished talent was soon buffed to a glossy sheen, with time spent learning the ways of the industry.

Along the years, Kangana steadily mapped a charted course, goal to goalpost. She broke many a hidebound convention and sculpted her career with a high degree of finesse. Unconventional in her choices, both personal and professional, the mercurial actress’ forte is intense psychological drama. She’s done wonderful work, whether in a Queen (which won her a National Award), a Tanu Weds Manu and its sequel, or a Manikarnika: The Queen Of Jhansi.

Today, Kangana is justifiably counted amongst the top three heroines in Bollywood. And her gutsy bets have reaped rich dividends professionally for her. She manages to be in the headlines primarily for her outspokenness. Though she has held herself distinctly apart from the rat-race, which she is not running. Her life choices (and her keen sartorial ones too) are an extension of her multi-dimensional moods and personality.

5. Zoya Akhtar

Zoya Akhtar CB powerlist

Zoya has changed the grammar of Hindi cinema with Gully Boy. Her deep understanding of the milieu she creates in her films is testament to her talent. She has given Bollywood a new face and new music that is completely original. Like cousin Farah Khan, she never fell into the trap of making women-centric cinema. A maverick who works at her own unhurried pace, Zoya is not racing towards expected goals. But when she does put out her work for judgement, you can be sure it touches a chord in our collective desi hearts. Today, Zoya Akhtar is a director that every actor wants to be cast by!

6. Priyanka Chopra

Priyanka Chopra CB powerlist

She is a global icon and India’s face in Hollywood. She may not have seen unlimited and unbroken success at the box office here, but Priyanka Chopra is definitely a commercial success in Hollywood. Like Sarah Jessica Parker in Sex And The City, her face adorns the surfaces of buses and hoardings in America. She has literally bridged the gap between the two industries with her marriage to singer Nick Jonas. With a carefully crafted career that straddles two continents, Priyanka wears her achievements with grace. She rubs shoulders with country heads, Prime Ministers and the who’s who of Hollywood. She is possibly one of the country’s best representatives in the way she carries herself at all times. In fact, she is an invaluable export that we should claim back in Bollywood.

7. Jyoti Deshpande

Jyoti Deshpande CB powerlist

Jyoti is leading the charge to make Jio’s Studios the Numero Uno player in the content space. They want to lead not only in the Hindi content, but also in regional based movies and in digital shows. She took over as the President (Media and Entertainment Business) at Reliance Industries Ltd. in 2018. This, after six years served as Group Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Eros International Plc. There she spearheaded Eros’ growth as a global leader in Indian film entertainment.

She brings a wealth of two-and-a-half decades of experience in the media and entertainment world. It spans experience in advertising, television, media consulting, and films. Her leadership in Eros had her heading business strategy and operations. In the early millennium years, she was part of the senior management team that founded B4U Television Network. She is a regular speaker at industry forums. Jyoti is also a member of the British Film Institute. Her skill set is a coveted one and she is also on the board of 10 other companies, when she is not helping Reliance build its humungous profile in the entertainment space.

8. Simran Sethi

Simran Sethi CB powerlist

Simran is the most sought after executive for OTT. All the big Bollywood producers and directors are chasing her to green-light their shows on the international streaming platform. The former Freeform executive is based in L.A. and serves as creative executive for India. She is also a part of Netflix’s International Originals Production Group. Before Freeform, Simran held coveted posts at NBC, Adam Sandler’s Happy Madison Productions and Sony Pictures Television. Currently, the Netflix bosses are making concerted efforts to align with top Bollywood talent. They want to break into the Indian market before their staunchest competitor, Amazon captures that space, as a giant step in global expansion. With the dynamic Simran at the helm, a great future is predicted.

9. Kareena Kapoor Khan

Kareena Kapoor Khan CB powerlist

Mother, mate or marquee diva, she sashays through each role with the utmost panaché. When you want to define glamour, one automatically thinks Kareena. She’s the undisputed empress of style, sass and seduction. Kareena Kapoor Khan is a blue-blooded Bollywoodian. She is also probably the front-runner in carrying forward the glorious Kapoor legacy. You see, the Kapoor’s didn’t allow actresses in the family till Karisma entered films. And that paved way for Kareena’s eventful and illustrious trek onwards. The actress is truly a modern actress juggling several roles.

Bebo is not in a hurry to prove a point to the world. But if she is in a film, she unabashedly steals the show. She has inspired so many actresses including the current darling – Alia Bhatt. Kareena is not unaware of her inherent glamour. But she hasn’t exerted herself in exploring more of it! Who would’ve thought that as a radio jockey, she’d outperform the regular dudes at the job? Witty, blunt and open, Kareena’s inner goddess dances to many tunes. There’s no one that quite matches the wholesome package that is Kareena Kapoor Khan.

10. Reshma Shetty

reshma shetty cb powerlist

She is the sole intellect that redefined Salman Khan’s career and gave it direction and dimension. Reshma Shetty took Salman’s talent, charisma, shenanigans and all, and sent him hurtling to the top of the Bollywood heroes brigade. And it is a position that still remains unshakeable, flop films notwithstanding. Currently, she is helping Akshay Kumar and Abhishek Bachchan steer their careers in making the right deals. She has consistently displayed the Midas touch in turning around the fortunes of actors that she backs. She is the queen of strategy.

As a Bollywood agent, Reshma’s mantra is simple, “Build the client’s trust, reputation, and wealth.” In fact, it works even in the face of the toughest of issues. Now who would want to deny that logic? More than half the top actors in Bollywood are managed by Reshma Shetty’s company Matrix. She puts them in the limelight and keeps them there. And she herself has consistently made it to power lists down the years. Considering a large part of her job involves keeping her clients in the media spotlight, strangely she’s known to be camera-shy and media-averse.

Well, these were our picks of the most powerful women in the Entertainment space. But who is the most powerful woman according to you? Share with us your thoughts in the comments section below! In the meantime, here’s wishing every lady out there a very Happy Women’s Day. Also stay tuned to CineBlitz for more news and updates from the world of Bollywood.


Alia Bhatt, Deepika Padukone, Varun Dhawan to spearhead Bollywood brand endorsement deals by 2020?

A shift in the trend, of stars being signed by brands has been noticed, and looks like Alia Bhatt, Deepika Padukone, Varun Dhawan, Ranveer Singh will make a big shift in the coming years!

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Alia Bhatt, Varun Dhawan, Deepika Padukone. Pic courtesy: Instagram

Bollywood and brand endorsements go hand-in-hand. Every company wants stars to endorse their products simply because the countless fans of the star will buy it. The product also gets accepted and validated only because a star is endorsing it, the trust from consumers builds. With the Khans, Amitabh Bachchan, Akshay Kumar and Ajay Devgn ruling Bollywood over the past few decades, the biggest brand endorsement deals featured them. However, it looks like this trend is soon changing! In fact, Alia Bhatt, Deepika Padukone and Varun Dhawan might spearhead Bollywood brand endorsement deals by 2020. And it’s not us, but an independent market survey and report that says so!

The Showbiz 2.0 report by Group M’s ESP Properties is a consolidated Indian Entertainment Marketing Report. It covers the Entertainment Industry in four parts – Film Marketing, Brands & Films, Celebrity Endorsements and Licensing in India. In the report, we found several trends. One aspect the report stated was, “One of the key trends seen in choices that brands are making to market their products is the shift in focus towards targeting a younger audience. As India is on its way to become the youngest country in the world by 2020, with a median age of 29, it is no wonder that every brand’s first choice is a youthful face which can connect well with this audience.”

The Shift:

The report further stated, “Alia Bhatt, Deepika Padukone, Varun Dhawan and Ranveer Singh have emerged as the top favorites in tandem with this shift, to be the millennials who can be the brand’s voice to speak with the millennial consumer population. The extravagant image of India’s favorite millennial celebrities goes hand-in-hand with the upcoming generation. Both are quite different from their predecessors in terms of spending-power and lifestyle. There is no denying that this wave is hitting the conventional celebrities hard. The proof of which can be seen all over the brand marketing industry. Time and again, brands are choosing newer, fresher, youthful millennials over older Bollywood names.”

“To reach out to the younger consumer segments, Axis Bank leveraged the ‘strong, independent woman’ reputation of Deepika Padukone for its #ExperienceAxis campaign. Her trustworthy attitude towards health and fitness was recognized by Tetley Green Tea. And that, they used to validate the shift of Indian youth towards green tea’s health benefits. In 2016, for the first time since 2012, Superstar Salman Khan’s contract for Thums Up was not renewed. Instead they went with Ranveer Singh, citing that the latter, “symbolizes youth” and thus “fits better” with the brand,” added the report.

Stating more examples, the report added, “Alia Bhatt was roped in by Nokia as a part of its brand strategy to appeal to the younger crowd. Flipkart’s signature ads also featured Alia as the theme goes well with her bubbly and youthful image. Similarly, Varun Dhawan was another young and energetic millennial celebrity who was brought on board by Maruti. They did this to shift its focus towards millennial car-buyers of the country.”

Other Trends:

Apart from the Millenials and Gen-now stars, the report also states how influencer advertising is on the rise. It shows a shift in trend by the celebrities too. They are procreating brands more than promoting them. Like, after Being Human by Salman Khan, stars like Sonam and Rhea Kapoor (Rheason), Anushka Sharma (Nush), Deepika Padukone (All About You) moved to establishing their own clothing line. Hrithik Roshan also started his athleisure line (HRX) and so did Shahid Kapoor (Skult). What do you have to say about this dynamic development? Share with us your thoughts in the comments section below!

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Salman Khan, Deepika Padukone, Ranveer Singh – Top 10 Bollywood celebrities with the highest search volume

Salman Khan, Deepika Padukone, Ranveer Singh, Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Shah Rukh Khan, Alia Bhatt – Who has the highest search volume among Bollywood celebrities?

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Ranveer Singh, Deepika Padukone and Salman Khan. Pic courtesy: Instagram

Bollywood celebrities are one of the most-widely searched names across the globe. Every fan, admirer or Bollywood buff wants to know everything and anything about the stars. For years, the Khans as well as Sunny Leone has been ruling the search volumes. But who is the top Bollywood celebrity with the highest search volume in 2018? Well, you will be surprised to know what we got our hands on! We saw several trends for 2018.

In fact, Search Volumes around celebrities seemed to be driven by their personal lives as far as names like Deepika Padukone, Alia Bhatt, Salman Khan and Katrina Kaif are concerned, driving the numbers to dizzying heights. Also, while Shah Rukh Khan and Salman Khan have moved down in the bottom-half of the Top 10 celebrities in terms of endorsement monies, when it comes to Social Conversations both of them are way above the rest.

This is as per the Showbiz 2.0 report by Group M’s ESP Properties, which is the entertainment and sports division of the company. For those of you who don’t know, the report is a consolidated Indian Entertainment Marketing Report. It covers the Entertainment Industry in four parts – Film Marketing, Brands & Films, Celebrity Endorsements and Licensing in India. In the report, we found out several trends.

According to the report, Salman Khan is the leader with Search Volume of more than 19.85 million. Deepika Padukone comes in at number Two with a search volume of 15.22 million. Alia Bhatt completes the top Three with a search volume of 10.59 million.

Check out the whole list right here:

Sr NoBollywood CelebritySearch Volume (in million)
1Salman Khan19.85
2Deepika Padukone15.22
3Alia Bhatt10.59
4Katrina Kaif10.17
5Shah Rukh Khan07.04
6Kareena Kapoor Khan06.86
7Ranveer Singh05.92
8Amitabh Bachchan05.80
9Varun Dhawan05.67
10Akshay Kumar00.65

What do you have to say about these numbers? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below! Also stay tuned to CineBlitz for more Bollywood news, updates and gossip right here.

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Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hotstar – the top 5 OTT Power Players!

From Netflix to Hotstar, we look at the top five leading OTT platforms, which have unleashed a change in consumption of content

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Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hotstar, Eros Now, ALT Balaji are the top OTT Platforms in India

The past few years have seen OTT platforms mushrooming in dozens, and with a few more in the pipeline, it seems the invasion of Indian drawing rooms has truly begun. The streaming platforms have surely and certainly created a dent in the traditional viewing pattern of the average Indian. If Amazon Prime and ALT Balaji are offering their content for less than Rs 150 a month, it is nothing short of a revolution in the domain of entertainment.

But amidst the barrage of OTT platforms, it’s the quality of the content that remains the differentiating factor. Abhishek Srivastava lists the top five leading OTT platforms which have unleashed a change.

Netflix India

When it comes to content, Netflix remains the numero uno leader of the Indian market. It must be noted here that the streaming giant reached the shores of this country much before, but took its own sweet time to acclimatize itself to the Indian palate. When the initial research got over, they came up with their first offering in the form of Sacred Games.


Saif Ali Khan and Radhika Apte in a still from Netflix’s Sacred Games Season 1

The series, helmed by Anurag Kashyap and Vikramaditya Motwane, proved to be a game-changer and created a grammar for other platforms. The success of Sacred Games was soon followed by the supernatural thriller Ghoul, which further cemented their reputation that when it comes to content, the word ‘compromise’ simply does not exist in the dictionary of the Netflix mandarins.

The gap between their launches clearly indicates that the streaming platform is here for the long haul. Their recent success story has been the gritty Delhi Crime, and their victory is reflective in the fact that the series, loosely based on the infamous Nirbhaya case, did not receive a single negative review across publications. With films like Love Per Square Foot and Once Again, their strategy is clear that riveting content is sacrosanct.

Amazon Prime Video

Amazon India was the first to ride the crest of the OTT wave in the country when it announced that 15 top filmmakers of the country would be making content for the platform. The announcement was made more than two years ago in Dec 2016, when leading filmmakers of the country gathered under one platform at a five-star hotel.

The association included production houses like Excel Entertainment (Farhan Akhtar), Equinox Features (Ram Madhvani), Abundantia Entertainment (Vikram Malhotra), AIB, OML, Phantom Films (Anurag Kashyap, Vikramaditya Motwane, Vikas Bahl & Madhu Mantena), D2R films (DK & Raj Nidimoru), Raapchik Films (Raj Kumar Gupta), Pritish Nandy Communication (Pritish Nandy), and Fission Features (Asif Kapadia) among others, but barring Excel Entertainment, PNC, Abundantia and OML, the content of the other production houses is yet to see the light of day.


Cast of Amazon Prime Video’s Made In Heaven Season 1

After the exit of Nitesh Kripalani, the big boss at Amazon Video, things went for a toss and it took a while for the streaming platform to get their house in order. With Inside Edge, they started their journey, and with Breathe, Mirzapur and the more recent Made in Heaven, they communicated to everyone that they are determined to make up for lost time.

Hotstar India

Disney considers Hotstar India a jewel in their crown when it comes to their Indian operations. The merger of Fox with the biggest entertainment company of the world, ensured that Hotstar India would now be governed by Disney management. Though Hotstar India remains the oldest and the biggest in terms of subscribers, somehow it was sports more than the original programming which drove the platform.

It was primarily foreign content acquired from HBO, Disney, Hulu and Showtime which ensured that viewers had their quota of entertainment. Local content was just not on their radar. But the strides Netflix and Amazon have made in the past few months have forced Hotstar to change their strategy.


Poster of Hotstar Specials’ Criminal Justice

The recent launch of Hotstar Specials is an indicator of the heat they have been feeling because of the onslaught of desi content by videshi giants. Roar of the Lion (helmed by Kabir Khan) and Criminal Justice (Tigmanshu Dhulia as the show runner) prove that they too are ready for the competition. Up next will be Shekhar Kapur’s special for the platform.

Eros Now

It’s been a while for Eros Now, since they started offering content through their platform, but their lackluster content has not really helped them in getting to the next level. Smoke, Metro Park and Flip have been their big ticket, but none of them could manage an audience.


Ranveer Shorey in Eros Now Original Flip

Even the presence of seasoned actors like Jim Sarbh, Kalki Koechlin, Neil Bhoopalam and Gulshan Devaiah could not save the below par script of Smoke. The streaming platform has an uphill task ahead of them with three of the major players – Netflix, Amazon and Hotstar upping the ante.

ALT Balaji

ALT Balaji it seems, is in the volume game. When the platform launched Bose and The Test Case, the message was loud and clear – good content remains their only prerogative. But with the passage of time, quality somehow has taken a backseat for the streaming platform, and instead, volume seems to have become their mantra.


Poster of ALT Balaji’s Ragini MMS Returns

When offerings like Haq Se, Home, and Class of 2017 came, the platform then resorted to the cheap gimmick of offering sleaze to their viewers, and thus came series like Gandi Baat, XXX, Dev DD and Ragini MMS Returns. Though none of their offerings could repeat the magic of Bose, the platform is still on the lookout for their next tent pole.

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