No matter the movie genre or which movie star is featured in the leading role of a big-budget movie; the overall criterion for judging the success or failure of such a movie is how much it can generate in revenues at the end of the day.
Whether in Hollywood, Bollywood, Nollywood, or some other lesser-known movie industry; we have all seen movies that starred some A-list actors/actresses and yet failed miserably at the box office. Some of such movies’ budgets ran into several tens of millions and then were unable to recoup even the budgetary cost at the theatres.
While the internet is replete with examples of such films; our attention in this article takes a look at five of Bollywood biggest box office takings in recent times. It is noteworthy to say that, though this movie made good in global box office revenues; it does not, however, suggest that these mentioned movies are the best movies ever made in Bollywood; because as we all know, some movies take a while to grow on us and even become a cult classic eventually but do not really hit it big at the cinemas, financially speaking.
While the title of this article uses “Bollywood” as a generic term - as Hindi films have since 2014 consistently led the Indian film industry in terms of volume of production and ticket sales revenue - this ranking, however, is of highest-grossing “Indian” films which include films from various languages based on reported domestic and global box office figures from markets around the world.
So, here are the top 5 grossing movies from the Indian film industry in terms of revenue:
1. Dangal (2016)
This movie which was made in 2016 was directed by Nitesh Tiwari, a recipient of the National Awards for Best Feature Film in Hindi for the movie “Chhichhore” and Filmfare Award for Best Director for the movie “Dangal” amongst others for several other films.
Dangal follows the story of Mahavir Singh Phogat, a former amateur wrestler who was forced to abandon his dream of winning a medal for his country; dejected and resigned to fate when he felt that his hope of having a son who would win a medal in his stead would not be fulfilled because he could only father four girls; discovers the potential of achieving that after all through two of his daughters, Geeta and Babita.
Initially maligned by his villagers for breaking tradition in training his daughters in wrestling, and detested by his daughters who felt that his training methods were a harsh treatment of them; his daughters would go on to win his long-hoped-for medals against all odds and oppositions even from their national team trainer and fulfill a dream he once so wished to achieve.
Dangal starred Aamir Khan as Mahavir Singh Phogat, Fatima Sana Shaikh played the role of adult Geeta Phogat, while Zaira Wasim played that of young Geeta Phogat. Both actresses received praise from many film critics for their roles. The roles of young and adult Babita were played by Sushani Bhatnagar and Sanya Malhotra respectively.
The movie has taken in over 2,024 crores (US$311 million) in total worldwide revenue making it the highest-grossing Indian movie of all time. The movie dies particularly well in the Chinese markets with takings of over US$196.89 million in China, US$5.7 million in Taiwan, and US$3.2 million in Hong Kong.
2. Baahubali 2: The Conclusion (2017)
Directed by S.S. Rajamouli, this Indian action movie was made simultaneously in both Telugu and Tamil languages set in medieval Indian, it tells the continued story of Amarendra Baahubali, who after the defeat of the Kalakeyas is declared the future king of Mahishmati and Bhallaladeva its Commander-in-Chief.
When Shivudu, the son of Baahbuli, learns of his heritage as a prince of Mahishmati, he begins to seek answers that would help him achieve the revenge he seeks against Bhallaladeva for all the wrongs he did against Amarendra Baahbuli, his father, and to eventually dethrone him and assume the throne as the rightful heir to the kingdom of Mahishmati.
Produced under the banner of Arka Media Works, the film received generally positive critical reviews as well as doing well in the box office with revenue of over US$257 million, with US$200 million coming in from the Indian markets.
3. Bajrangi Bhaijaan (2015)
An India Hindi film produced by Salman Khan and Rockline Venkatesh, this comedy-drama was directed by Kabir Khan; it stars Salman Khan, Kareena Kapoor Khan, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, and debutante Harshaali Malhotra in the lead roles.
The movie narrates the story of Pawan Kumar Chaturvedi, a devoted worshipper of the Hindu deity, Hanuma, who goes on a journey to take a mute six-year-old Pakistani Muslim girl named Shahida, who had been separated in India from her parents, back to her hometown in Pakistan.
The movie turned out to be a huge commercial success racking up 969 crores or US$154 million in cinema takings worldwide. The film won the National Film Award for Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment at the 63rd National Film Awards; as well as the Filmfare Awards for Best Story.
4. Secret Superstar (2017)
Produced at the Aamir Khan Studios, this film received overall positive reviews with Zaira Wassim winning the National Child Award for Exceptional Achievement. Starring other great actors like Meher Vij, Raj Arjun, and Aamir Khan himself; the movie storyline takes a critical look at the changes a teenage girl with aspirations of becoming a singer who uploads her videos to YouTube while hiding her true identity under a niqab.
The film attempt to bring the controversial issues of feminism, gender equality, and domestic violence to the fore as it sheds light on how her aspirations impact her relationships with her mother, father, and mentor.
Secret Superstar received ten nominations including Best Film, Best Director, Best Actor, and Best Supporting Actress at the 63rd Filmfare Awards, winning three of the awards in the Best Actress (critics) category for Zaira Wassim, Best Supporting Actress category for Vij, and Best Playback Singer (Female) for Meghna Mishra.
Secret Superstar's total worldwide revenue reached the US$150 million mark with its highest returns coming from China with US$124.4 million.
5. PK (2014)
A satire comedy-drama; PK centers around an alien who arrives on Earth on a research mission but losses his remote control to a thief, who tells it to a godman. The alien, in a bid to retrieve his remote, befriends a TV journalist and his quest makes him question long-held religious dogmas and superstitions. The film stars Aamir Khan in the lead role alongside Anushka Sharma, Shushant Singh Rajput, Sanjay Dutt, Boman Irani, and Saurabh Shukla.
With worldwide total revenue of 854 crores (US$140 million); the movie currently sits as the fifth best-grossing movie in the Indian film industry.
There you have it. The 5 current highest-grossing Indian movies of all time and hopefully, we will see another box office blockbuster from the #1 movie industry by volume in the nearest future that may just knock ‘Dangal’ off its number one perch that it has been sitting on since 2016.
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Jun 10, 2021
by Eguaogie Eghosa