Keeping everything aside, a film’s fate is primarily determined by its box office collections, with the latter being solely based on audience response. How a project fares in the domestic market is the ultimate indication of success or failure. It is also the criteria to decide whether a film has been a flop, hit, semi-hit or block buster. To sum it up, the power lies in the hands of cinemagoers and movie connoisseurs. On another note, highest-grossing films of the yesteryear cannot be compared to those of recent times, with the most pivotal reason being cinema screens. While earlier films were shown on single screens, multiplexes have taken the world by storm today. Hence, millennial filmmakers are at a greater advantage. This factor contributes greatly to a film’s destiny. Having said this, here is a list of fairly recent hits that went on to become Bollywood’s highest-grossing productions of all time.
1. Dangal (2016)
The Aamir Khan-starrer was hands down the best film to come out of parallel cinema in Bollywood. The block buster raked in an estimated INR2, 100 crore worldwide ($312–340 million). The biographical sports drama film was directed by Nitesh Tiwari and produced by Aamir himself. The film bagged several accolades, especially for its depiction of a real-life story and Aamir’s performance.
2. Baahubali 2 (2017)
Released on 28 April 2017, the film stars Prabhas, Rana Daggubati, Anushka Shetty and Tamannaah in prominent roles. The second cinematic part in the ‘Baahubali’ franchise, it servedas both a sequel and a prequel. The film sold an estimated 100 million tickets during its box office run and gained the title of the highest estimated footfall for any film in India since 1975’s ‘Sholay’. It raked in INR1, 810 crore worldwide.
3. Bajrangi Bhaijaan (2015)
The film received wide acclaim from critics and was a commercial success. The Indian comedy-drama was written anddirected by Kabir Khan with superstar Salman Khan as its protagonist. It is reported to have accumulated approximately INR970 crore globally, making it one of the highest-grossers of all time. It was also one of the most relatable films to come out of Bollywood, narrating the story of a pious Hindu man (Salman) escorting a mute six-year-old girl stranded in India, back to her hometown Pakistan.
4. Secret Superstar (2017)
The musical drama film tells the coming-of-age story of a teenage girl who aspires to be a singer, uploading videos on YouTube while disguising her identity with a niqab. The film was lauded for focusing on social issues including feminism, gender equality and domestic violence. It garnered an estimate of INR965 crore internationally.
5. PK (2014)
It hit screens in 2014 and set cinemas ablaze from its first run. PK grossed INR175 crore worldwide in its first week. It became the highest-grossing Indian film, in both domestic as well as international markets. The film's final worldwide gross wasapproximated at INR832 crore. The Rajkummar Hirani-helmed satirical comedy had one of the most unique storylines. It saw Aamir Khan in the avatar of an alien who sets on a research mission.
6. 2.0 (2018)
The Indian Tamil-language science fiction action film is written and directed by S Shankar. It received positive reviews upon release, with critics particularly praised the film's visual effects and performances of Rajinikanth and Akshay Kumar. However, the screenplay received criticism. It earned an estimate of INR648 crore worldwide.
7. Sanju (2018)
Sanju, the Indian biographical film directed by Rajkumar Hirani explored the life and struggles of superstar Sanjay Dutt. It shed light on his personal and professional life. Featuring Ranbir Kapoor’s best performance to date, Sanju had a final worldwide gross of INR570 crore.
8. Sultan (2016)
Falling just a little behind ‘Sanju’, the film collected INR623 crore worldwide. The film focuses on Sultan Ali Khan, a fictional pehlwani wrestler and former world wrestling champion from Haryana whose successful career has created a rift in his personal life. Starring Salman Khan as the Sultan, Anushka Sharma was the leading lady in the film.
9. Tiger Zinda Hai (2017)
It set a new non-holiday record in India after collecting INR34.1 crore on its first day. The film stars Salman Khan, Katrina Kaif and Sajjad Delfrooz in leading roles and is a sequel to 2012’s ‘Ek Tha Tiger’. It made a whopping estimate of INR565.1 crore!
10. Padmaavat (2018)
Last but not the least, is everyone’s favourite Bollywood jodi of Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone. The film was lauded for its cinematography, choreography, acting and drool worthy outfits. Despite not being released in some states of India, the Sanjay Leela Bhansali directorial grossed over INR585 crore worldwide, becoming a commercial success and one of the highest-grossing Indian films of all time.
While these are the highest Bollywood grossers to date, they are followed by films like ‘Dhoom 3’, ‘Chennai Express’, ‘Simmba’, ‘3 Idiots’ and ‘Bajirao Mastani’ among others. For now, the Katrina Kaif and Salman Khan-starrer ‘Bharat’ continues a successful run in cinemas worldwide. While its overall box office collection is not finalised, we are sure it’ll join the highest-grosser club soon. Shahid Kapoor recently released ‘Kabir Singh’, however, seems to have bleak chances. This is because it has been greatly criticised by critics and audiences alike for its alleged portrayal of toxic masculinity and domestic violence and abuse. Share your thoughts below!