寶萊塢和印度其它幾個主要影視基地如克萊塢、塔萊塢（泰米爾語 - Kollywood，泰盧固語，孟加拉語——Tollywood，坎拿達語和馬拉亞拉姆語等）構成了印度的龐大電影業，每年出產的電影數量和售出的電影票數量居全世界第一，其製作的電影是以印地語為主要語言，特色是時間長、兼有大量歌舞場面。
The name "Bollywood" is a portmanteau derived from Bombay (the former name for Mumbai) and Hollywood (in California), the center of the American film industry. The naming scheme for "Bollywood" was inspired by "Tollywood", the name that was used to refer to the cinema of West Bengal. Dating back to 1932, "Tollywood" was the earliest Hollywood-inspired name, referring to the Bengali film industry based in Tollygunge (in Calcutta, West Bengal), whose name is reminiscent of "Hollywood" and was the centre of the cinema of India at the time. It was this "chance juxtaposition of two pairs of rhyming syllables," Holly and Tolly, that led to the portmanteau name "Tollywood" being coined. The name "Tollywood" went on to be used as a nickname for the Bengali film industry by the popular Calcutta-based Junior Statesman youth magazine, establishing a precedent for other film industries to use similar-sounding names, eventually leading to the coining of "Bollywood". "Tollywood" is now also popularly used to refer to the Telugu film industry in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.
The term "Bollywood" itself has origins in the 1970s, when India overtook the United States as the world's largest film producer. Credit for the term has been claimed by several different people, including the lyricist, filmmaker and scholar Amit Khanna, and the journalist Bevinda Collaco. Bollywood does not exist as a physical place. Some deplore the name, arguing that it makes the industry look like a poor cousin to Hollywood.