Small films, huge returns.
While it’s expected of the top guns of Bollywood to fire regularly, the real wonder is when the unusual suspects work well. That’s what happened with the Adah Sharma starrer, The Kerala Story.
Joginder Tuteja takes a look at 10 small-scale films which made big bucks.
The Kashmir Files
Box office collection: Rs 253 crore (Rs 2.53 billion)
The biggest such success story is 2022’s The Kashmir Files.
The film had an opening day of just Rs 3.55 crore (Rs 35.5 million) (which was quite good for its genre and cast) but went on to do more than 70 times its business, going past the Rs 250 crore mark.
It was so successful that Director Vivek Agnihotri re-released the film a year after its initial release.
Box office collection: Rs138 crore (Rs 1.38 billion)
When Badhaai Ho hit the screens, Ayushmann Khurranna hadn’t scored a century yet.
He had scored a hat-trick of successes in the form of Bareilly Ki Barfi, Shubh Mangal Savdhan and Andhadhun, but the big league still awaited him.
All of that changed when Badhaai Ho, which also worked wonders for Neena Gupta and Gajraj Rao’s careers, became a superhit.
The Kerala Story
Box office collection: Rs 136 crore/Rs 1.36 billion* (still running in theatres)
The Kerala Story has entered the Rs 100 crore club, and may go on to enter the Rs 200 Crore Club.
Made at a cost even lesser than The Kashmir Files, and with a predominantly new cast with only Adah Sharma as a relatively known face, The Kerala Story is the biggest success story ever for a small film.
Box office collection: Rs 130 crore (Rs 1.3 billion)
Rajkummar Rao, Aparshakti Khurana and Abhishek Banerjee came together for Stree with Pankaj Tripathi enhancing the show.
Shraddha Kapoor played the lead.
Made at a nominal budget, Stree turned out to be a dark horse and scored a century.
Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety
Box office collection: Rs 109 crore (Rs 1.09 billion)
Kartik Aaryan had found success with Pyaar Ka Punchnama 2, but was still looking for that one big film, which would make him a star.
All of that happened with Luv Ranjan’s Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety, which also starred Sunny Singh and Nushrratt Bharuccha.
Once the songs were out and the film released, it went on to score a century.
Box office collection: Rs 102 crore (Rs 1.02 billion)
Never before had an adult comedy scored even a half century at the box office. The closest that came to that was Kya Super Kool Hain Hum, which earned Rs 45.14 crore (Rs 451.4 million).
Buoyed by the super success of the genre, Director Indra Kumar went on to make Grand Masti.
Starring Vivek Oberoi, Riteish Deshmukh and Aftab Shivdasani, the film entered the Rs 100 crore club and is the last theatrical success in this genre.
OMG Oh My God!
Box office collection: Rs 81 crore (Rs 810 million)
With Paresh Rawal leading the cast — Akshay Kumar had a cameo — and a first-time Director Umesh Shukla calling the shots, one wondered what OMG Oh My God would offer to the audience.
Moreover, the film was about religion, and may have led to controversy.
Instead, it ended up catching the audience’s fancy and emerged a huge success.
Box office collection: Rs 80.32 crore (Rs 803.2 million)
When Fukrey became a surprise hit at the box office, its makers were convinced that a franchise could be made out of it.
So Fukrey Returns arrived and made waves at the box office once again.
The Pulkit Samrat, Manjot Singh, Ali Fazal, Varun Sharma, Pankaj Tripathi and Richa Chadha starrer has become so popular that Fukrey 3 is arriving as well.
Box office collection: Rs 78 crore (Rs 780 million)
Like the first Aashiquiin 1990, Aashiqui 2 was a small film too, and went on to become a big hit, thanks to its soulful music, heartfelt performances (Aditya Roy Kapur, Shraddha Kapoor), sensitive direction (Mohit Suri) and a restricted budget (Mukesh Bhatt).
A decade after its release, its music is still popular.
Box office collection: Rs 69.59 crore (Rs 695.9 million)
Audiences were in for a surprise when Irrfan came up with a brilliant performance in Hindi Medium, which carried emotions that every Indian parent could relate to.
Producer Dinesh Vijan and Director Saket Chaudhary had a certain vision for Hindi Medium and though the sequel Angrezi Medium was not as impactful, this one got its fair share of success.
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