The writer here seems to be confused between nett/gross amounts and also domestic/worldwide totals .. but still an interesting narrative here.
By far the biggest hit of the year is undoubtedly Rajkumar Hiraniâ€™s latest magnum opus â€œ3 Idiotsâ€™. The film has witnessed unprecedented opening collections including the paid preview collections. Perhaps for the first time in the annals of the Hindi cinema, â€œ3 Idiotsâ€™ had as many as 38 shows starting from the unearthly hour of 6 am. Besides â€œ3 Idiotsâ€™, there were only ten out of the 240 plus films made in Hindi during the year, which proved to be hits. They were â€œLove Aaj Kalâ€™, â€œKamineyâ€™, â€œAll The Bestâ€™, â€œWantedâ€™, â€œDe Dana Danâ€™, â€œNew Yorkâ€™, â€œWake Up Sidâ€™, â€œRaaz- The Mystery Continuesâ€™, â€œDev Dâ€™, â€œPaaâ€™ and last but not the least â€œAjab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahaniâ€™.
â€œLove Aaj Kalâ€™, director Imtiaz Aliâ€™s third directorial venture and Saifâ€™s first attempt as a producer, which was appreciated by both critics and audiences. Though it was made on a budget of Rs.48 crore, it did business of about Rs.75 crore in its first week itself. Spanning two different eras, the romantic drama starred Saif Ali Khan, Deepika Padukone and newcomer Giselle Monteiro.
The unprecedented success of Vishal Bhardwajâ€™s â€œKamineyâ€™ made on a budget of Rs.35 crores was a gamble at making a crime thriller that succeeded in talking both director Vishal Bhardwaj and actor Shahid Kapoor to a different level. Also starring Priyanka Chopra, the filmâ€™s box office earning was close to Rs.63.75 crore in India.
â€œAll The Bestâ€™, directed by Rohit Shetty was the solo survivor during the Diwali week, which saw the release of â€œBlueâ€™ as well as â€œMain Aurr Mrs. Khannaâ€™ too. The laugh riot opened to a slow start, but picked up gradually, thanks to word of mouth. Starring Ajay Devgn, Bipasha Basu, Sanjay Dutt, Fardeen Khan and Mugdha Godse, it grossed Rs.50 crore out of its about Rs.30 crores investment.
Salman Khan ended up as a wanted actor by every one in Bollywood after his film â€œWantedâ€™, the Hindi remake of the Telugu hit â€œPokkiriâ€™, which sent every oneâ€™s adrenaline pumping by showing the power of single-screen theatres in the country as the maximum collections came from there. Directed by Prabhu Deva, the filmâ€™s total cost was Rs.35 crores but it recovered the investment by earning Rs.38 crores in its first week itself!
Though â€œDe Dana Danâ€™, directed by Priyadarshan had stars like Akshay Kumar, Sunil Shetty, Paresh Rawal, Katrina Kaif and Sameera Reddy, and started with a good box office response, it started limping gradually and will take some time before it makes a kill at the box office. Made at a budget of Rs.37 crores, it managed to rake in around Rs.68 crore at the domestic box office and is still running.
Kabir Khanâ€™s â€œNew Yorkâ€™ broke the dry spell at the ticket counters as the first hit after the producer-distributor and multiplex strike over revenue sharing got over. The film dealt with terrorism and had John Abraham, Katrina Kaif and Neil Nitin Mukesh as key players. Where producer Karan Johar was unlucky with his film on terrorism- â€œKurbaanâ€™ flopping at the box office, Aditya Chopra was happy with handsome rewards at the box office for his film. Aditya, however, was disappointed with the outcome at the box office of both his ambitious films â€œDil Bole Hadippaâ€™ and â€œRocket Singh- Salesman Of The Yearâ€™ directed by Shimit Amin.
â€œWake Up Sidâ€™, not an expensive film by any standard hit the bullâ€™s eye at the box office though it had an unusual lead pair – Ranbir Kapoor and Konkona Sen Sharma. Made on a low budget of Rs.15 crores by Karan Johar under his banner Dharma Productions, the debutant director Ayan Mukherjeeâ€™s film collected Rs.42.75 crores in India. .
â€œRaaz- The Mystery Continuesâ€™ proved to be an unexpected success and the first hit of the year. The movie proved that content rules at the box office. Made on a shoestring budget of Rs.9 crore, producers Mahesh and Mukesh Bhatt managed to earn Rs.33 crores in India. Director Mohit Suriâ€™s film had Emraan Hashmi, Kangana Ranaut and Adhyayan Suman in the lead roles. The Bhatts tasted failure with their next venture â€œJashnâ€™, which had Shekhar Sumanâ€™s son Adhyayan leading the star cast with Anjana Sukhani and Shahana Goswami.
Abhay Deol scored a high as an actor with his hit film â€œDev Dâ€™, a low-budget film with not so big co-stars like Mahi Gill and Kalki Koechlin. It was writer Anurag Kashyapâ€™s take on Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyayâ€™s classic Bengali novel â€œDevdasâ€™. Director Anurag Kashyap presented the doomed love story with chutzpah and people loved watching the tragic love story in its new avatar. While the total money invested in the movie was a meager Rs.6 crores, it earned Rs.23.25 crores.
â€œAjab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahaniâ€™ directed by Rajkumar Santoshi who tasted a big hit after his film â€œHulla Bolâ€™ flopped last year, proved to be the savior for Ranbir Kapoor, besides â€œWake Up Sidâ€™, though his â€œRocket Singh- Salesman of the yearâ€™ bombed, like Madhur Bhandarkarâ€™s â€œJailâ€™. The Ranbir-Katrina star pair was liked by the audiences, so much so, that the media was full of stories about how Ranbir had dropped his lady love Deepika for the sake of Katrina, in spite of Salman Khan, though both Ranbir and Kat denied the stories vehemently.
Amitabh Bachchan proved that he is indeed the Shahenshah at the box office by coming up with an award winning performance as Abhishek Bachchan and Vidya Balanâ€™s child afflicted with illness called Progeria in â€œPaaâ€™. The film directed by R. Balki who had earlier made â€œCheeni Kumâ€™ was made on a budget of Rs 16 crores but can be safely called a hit because Amitabh Bachchan, Abhishek Bachchan and directors R. Balki reportedly did not charge their market price for the film and also the Bachchans- both Amitabh and Abhishek have reportedly kept the satellite rights of the film which is valued at Rs 10 crores.
Though Priyanka had a hit in the form of â€œKamineyâ€™, she tasted failure when â€œWhatâ€™s Your Raashee?â€™ proved that she couldnâ€™t carry a film on her shoulders. Ditto was the case with Rani Mukherjee who could not carry â€œDil Bole Hadippaâ€™ on her shoulders. Though the year proved to be dismal for Shah Rukh Khan whose â€œBilluâ€™ flopped at the box office, in spite of having Priyadarshan as the director. Kareena tasted failure with both â€œMain Aurr Mrs Khannaâ€™ as well as â€œKurbaanâ€™ though she had a hit in the form of â€œ3 Idiotsâ€™. Bipasha had a hit in â€œAll The Bestâ€™ though her film â€œAa Dekhe Zaraâ€™ sank without a trace.
As far as the actors are concerned, it was certainly a bad year for Akshay Kumar, since every film of his flopped- â€œ8 X 10 Tasveerâ€™, â€œChandni Chowk to Chinaâ€™, â€œKambakkht Ishqâ€™ and â€œBlueâ€™. To some extent â€œDe Dana Dhanâ€™ helped him resurrect his sagging career. Saif Ali Khan had a hit in â€œLove Aaj Kalâ€™ and a flop in â€œKurbaanâ€™. It is Aamir Khan who scored a high with his film â€œ3 Idiotsâ€™ which was an icing on the cake for Rajkumar Hirani whose third film it was, after â€œMunnabhai MBBSâ€™ and â€œLage Raho Munnabhaiâ€™.
On the whole, it was a lackadaisical and lackluster year for Bollywood which faced the worst set back during the year when the multiplexes remained closed for almost two months crippling the film industry badly. One hopes the year 2010 is able to bring cheers to Bollywood!