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From Ashok Kumar’s Kismat to Aamir Khan’s Dangal, let’s have a look at the 17 All-Time Grossers of Hindi Cinema.

From Ashok Kumar's Kismat to Aamir Khan's Dangal, let's have a look at the 17 All-Time Grossers of Hindi Cinema.
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From Ashok Kumar’s Kismat to Aamir Khan’s Dangal, let’s have a look at the 17 All-Time Grossers of Hindi Cinema.

From Ashok Kumar’s Kismat to Aamir Khan’s Dangal, let’s have a look at the 17 All-Time Grossers of Hindi Cinema.

From Ashok Kumar’s Kismat to Aamir Khan’s Dangal, let’s have a look at the 17 All-Time Grossers of Hindi Cinema which broke box-office records and created new ones for the films to come. You know, massive All-time Blockbusters like Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge, Raja Hindustani, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, and Bajrangi Bhaijaan failed to beat their previous all-time grosser’s record. Surprised? Yes, take a look at the list.

Kismat (1943)

Directed by Gyan Mukherjee, written by Mukherjee with Aghajani Kashmeri, and produced by Bombay Talkies, during the Second World War period, It stars Ashok Kumar, Mumtaz Shanti, and Shah Nawaz. The film came with some bold themes for the first time in the history of Indian cinema, showing an anti-hero character with two roles and an unmarried girl getting pregnant.

The film was the first big hit in the history of Bombay cinema, and the first blockbuster in Indian cinema, the first-ever film to rake in over 1 crore at the Box-Office. The record stood unchallenged for nearly 6 years.

Barsaat (1949)

Directed by Raj Kapoor. The film stars the famous duo of Kapoor and Nargis as well as Prem Nath. It was also the introduction of actress Nimmi in her first film role. Barsaat was one of the first major hit films directed by Kapoor. This success allowed Kapoor to buy RK Studios in 1950.

Barsaat collected 1.10 crore at the Box-Office thus becoming the highest grosser of all time.  One of the posters showing the heroine dangling on the arm of the hero would go on to inspire the R K Studios’ famous logo.

Aan (1952)

Also released as The Savage Princess in the United Kingdom and the United States, produced and directed by Mehboob Khan. It was India’s first technicolor film, as it was shot in 16mm Gevacolour and was blown up in Technicolor. It stars Dilip Kumar, Premnath, and Nimmi, and marked the debut of Nadira. It was the most expensive Indian film ever at that time.

The movie went on to collect nearly 1.50 crore at the Box-Office and surpassed the collections of Barsaat. Not only that, but it was also the highest-grossing Indian film ever at that time, domestically and overseas both. Aan was the first Indian film to have a worldwide release in many countries, subtitled in 17 languages and released in 28 countries, including the United Kingdom, United States, France, and Japan. The film also received critical acclaim in the British press at the time. In South India, it was also dubbed and released in Tamil with the same title.

Shree 420 (1955)

Directed and produced by Raj Kapoor, written by Khwaja Ahmad Abbas, and starring Raj Kapoor and Nargis. The movie raked in 2 crores at the Box-Office thereby becoming the first film to attain the feat.

It was released in the Soviet Union in 1956, coming second on the Soviet box office charts that year. Despite being imported at an unusually high price, it was the most successful foreign film of the year at the Soviet box office, drawing an audience of 35 million viewers.

Mother India (1957)

Directed by Mehboob Khan and starring Nargis, Sunil Dutt, Rajendra Kumar, and Raaj Kumar. A remake of Khan’s earlier film Aurat (1940), it is the story of a poverty-stricken village woman named Radha (Nargis), who in the absence of her husband, struggles to raise her sons and survive against a cunning money-lender amidst many troubles. The film which gave a new dimension to the female characters in Bollywood films shattered all previous records by a huge margin. The movie collected 4 crores at the Box-Office.

Mother India became a definitive cultural classic and is regarded as one of the best films in Indian cinema. The film won the All India Certificate of Merit for Best Feature Film, It was also nominated for the Academy Award for Best International Feature Film, becoming the first Indian film to be ever nominated.

Mughal E Azam (1960)

Directed by K. Asif and produced by Shapoorji Pallonji. Starring Prithviraj Kapoor, Durga Khote, Madhubala and Dilip Kumar, it follows the love affair between Mughal Prince Salim (who went on to become Emperor Jahangir) and Anarkali, a court dancer. Salim’s father, Emperor Akbar, disapproves of the relationship, which leads to a war between father and son.

It is considered as a textbook for making period saga’s in Bollywood. The film has lived on for nearly 6 decades and the songs are hummable even today. The Dilip Kumar film raked in 5.50 crore at the Box-Office thereby becoming the first ever to do so. The film witnessed several re-runs in the 1960s and the unaccounted ticket sales would take the numbers even further.

Also Read: Indian Cinema’s Classic Mughal-E-Azam Celebrates Its 60th Anniversary.

Sholay (1975)

Written by Salim-Javed, directed by Ramesh Sippy and produced by his father G. P. Sippy. The film is about two criminals, Veeru and Jai (played by Dharmendra and Amitabh Bachchan respectively), hired by a retired police officer (Sanjeev Kumar) to capture the ruthless dacoit Gabbar Singh (Amjad Khan). Hema Malini and Jaya Bhaduri also star, as Veeru and Jai’s love interests.

The dynamics of business in Indian cinema changed post-Sholay. Although the movie was a slow starter at the Box-Office, the tremendous word of mouth made it the longest-running films of that era. The Amitabh Bachchan – Dharmendra film broke the 15 years long-standing record of Mughal-E-Azam by collecting nearly 3 times more than the record holder. Owing to the lack of digitization and enormous re-runs over the decades, it is difficult to track the unaccounted ticket sales. The collections of the movie in its lifetime run stood close to 15 crores at the Box-Office.

Maine Pyar Kiya (1989)

Directed by Sooraj Barjatya who made his directorial debut and also co-wrote the film starring Salman Khan in his first leading role and Bhagyashree in her debut. Maine Pyar Kiya along with Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak marked the beginning of a new era in India cinema and changed the audience’s perspective towards romance. While the decade of the 1980s is considered to be the worst ever for Bollywood in terms of content as maximum films were formula revenge film, Maine Pyar Kiya served as a breeze of fresh air.

The Sooraj Barjatya directorial established Salman Khan as the ‘Prem’ of Bollywood and the movie surpassed the 14-year-old standing record of Sholay. The film collected a little over 15 crores at the Box-Office.

Hum Aapke Hai Koun..! (1994)

Again written and directed by Sooraj Barjatya and produced by Rajshri Productions. The film stars Madhuri Dixit and Salman Khan and celebrates the Indian wedding traditions by relating the story of a married couple and the relationship between their families; a story about sacrificing one’s love for one’s family. It is an adaptation of the studio’s earlier film Nadiya Ke Paar (1982), which was based on Keshav Prasad Mishra’s Hindi novel Kohbar Ki Shart.

5 years after Maine Pyar Kiya came Hum Aapke Hai Koun! The movie was panned all across by the critics with the majority of them labeling the film as ‘Shaadi Ki Cassette’, however the movie is credited to get the families back to theatres in large numbers. The Indian cinema is divided into two eras: Pre-Hum Aapke Hai Koun and Post-Hum Aapke Hai Koun. The Salman Khan – Sooraj Barjatya film shattered the previous record by a humongous margin of 367%. It was the first Bollywood film to collect more than 20, 30, 40, 50, and 60 crores at the Box-Office. The film collected about 69 crores at the Box-Office and the record stood unchallenged for 7 years. Also, it was the first Hindi film to make gross more than 100 crores worldwide.

Gadar: Ek Prem Katha (2001)

Directed by Anil Sharma starring Sunny Deol, Amisha Patel, and Amrish Puri in lead roles, set in the time of the Partition of India in 1947. The story of this film is loosely based on the life of Ex-Soldier of British Army Boota Singh.

Sunny Deol was at the peak of his career in 2001 delivered the biggest blockbuster of all time in the form of Gadar. What makes this feat commendable is the fact that the film clashed with another blockbuster film, Lagaan at the Box-Office. The Anil Sharma directorial collected around 75.50 crores at the Indian Box-Office.

Dhoom:2 (2006)

Directed by Sanjay Gadhvi and produced by Aditya Chopra and Yash Chopra under the Yash Raj Films banner. The film stars Hrithik Roshan, Abhishek Bachchan, Aishwarya Rai, Uday Chopra and Bipasha Basu in the lead roles.

The second installment of YRF’s big franchise Dhoom starring Hrithik Roshan set the Box-Office on fire upon its release in 2006 as the film surpassed the collections of Gadar by collecting 80.25 crores at the Indian Box-Office and grossed over 150 crores worldwide.

Ghajini (2008)

Written and directed by A. R. Murugadoss and produced by Allu Aravind, Tagore Madhu, and Madhu Mantena, it stars Aamir Khan, Asin, making her Hindi cinema debut, Jiah Khan and Pradeep Rawat in lead roles.

Ghajini was the beginning of the Aamir Khan era, Ghajini collected 114 crores at the Indian Box-Office thereby becoming the first-ever Hindi film to earn more than 100 crores, also the first Hindi movie to gross over 200 crores worldwide. Inspired by Christopher Nolan’s Memento, it was a remake of a Tamil film made by the same director, though Aamir co-wrote an altered the climax of the film.

3 idiots (2009)

Co-written (with Abhijat Joshi) and directed by Rajkumar Hirani, the film stars Aamir Khan, R. Madhavan, Sharman Joshi, Kareena Kapoor, Boman Irani, and Omi Vaidya. The film follows the friendship of three students at an Indian engineering college and is a satire about the social pressures under an Indian education system. The film is narrated through parallel dramas, one in the present and the other ten years in the past.

Just a year after Ghajini came the modern-day classic, 3 Idiots. The Christmas 2009 release collected over 200 crores at the Indian Box-Office and left each and every person in trade by shock, also made over 400 crores worldwide. It won the Grand Prize at Japan’s Videoyasan Awards while it was nominated for Best Outstanding Foreign Language Film at the Japan Academy Awards and Best Foreign Film at China’s Beijing International Film Festival. This film was remade in Tamil as Nanban (2012), Nanban had a Telugu dubbed version titled Snehitudu. A Mexican remake, 3 idiotas, was also released in 2017.

Chennai Express (2013)

Directed by Rohit Shetty from a story by K. Subash, with the screenplay written by Yunus Sajawal and the dialogues by Sajid-Farhad. Produced by Gauri Khan, Karim Morani, Ronnie Screwvala, and Siddharth Roy Kapur, the film stars Shah Rukh Khan as Rahul Mithaiwala, a man who accidentally boards the eponymous train and journeys from Mumbai to Rameswaram, falling in love with the daughter of a local don, played by Deepika Padukone.

Shah Rukh Khan finally delivered his first every highest grosser of all time in 2013 with Chennai Express. The Rohit Shetty directorial raked in 227 crores at the Indian Box-Office thereby surpassing the record set by 3 Idiots after 4 years.

Dhoom:3 (2013)

Written and directed by Vijay Krishna Acharya and produced by Aditya Chopra, It stars Aamir Khan, Katrina Kaif, Abhishek Bachchan and Uday Chopra.

The record set by Chennai Express could not last for a long time. Four months after the release of the film, Aamir Khan’s Dhoom 3 shattered the record by collecting 284 crores at the Indian Box-Office and also became the 1st Hindi film to gross over 500 crores worldwide.

PK (2014)

Directed by Rajkumar Hirani and written by Hirani and Abhijat Joshi. It was jointly produced by Hirani and Vidhu Vinod Chopra under the banners Rajkumar Hirani Films and Vinod Chopra Films respectively. The film follows an alien who comes to Earth on a research mission but loses his remote to a thief, who later sells it to a godman. He befriends a television journalist and in his quest to retrieve the remote, questions religious dogmas and superstitions. The film stars Aamir Khan in the titular role with Anushka Sharma, Sushant Singh Rajput, Boman Irani, Saurabh Shukla and Sanjay Dutt in pivotal roles.

Aamir Khan started the 300 crore club with PK. The Rajkumar Hirani directorial opened with glowing reviews and the same along with the audience word of mouth resulted in all records crumpling at the Box-Office. The film collected 340 crores at the Box-Office and grossed over whopping 850 crores worldwide, PK garnered the Telstra People’s Choice Award at the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne.

Dangal (2016)

Directed by Nitesh Tiwari and produced by Aamir Khan, under his studio Aamir Khan Productions with UTV Motion Pictures and Walt Disney Pictures India. Loosely based on the Phogat family, Aamir Khan stars as Mahavir Singh Phogat, a Pehalwani amateur wrestler who trains his daughters Geeta Phogat and Babita Kumari to become India’s first world-class female wrestlers. Fatima Sana Shaikh and Sanya Malhotra portray the adult versions of the two Phogat sisters, Zaira Wasim and Suhani Bhatnagar their younger versions, Sakshi Tanwar their mother, and Aparshakti Khurana their cousin.

The film was a record-breaking commercial success, becoming the highest-grossing Indian film ever, the fifth highest-grossing non-English film ever and the highest-grossing sports film worldwide. The film became the 1st Hindi film to make 387 crores at the Indian Box-office and more than 2000 crores worldwide. The film still holds the record, Dangal won the inaugural Best Asian Film award at Australia’s 7th AACTA Awards, 2017’s Best Foreign Film and Top Foreign Actor (for Aamir Khan) from China’s Douban Film Awards, and two Jackie Chan Action Movie Awards, and was nominated in the Asian Brilliant Stars category at the 68th Berlin International Film Festival. Baahubali 2 made more money in India but it was a Telugu film, though it failed to beat the worldwide collection of Dangal by a huge margin. It’s been four years now, let’s see which Hindi film will break this massive record.

Agam Anand
Agam Anand is a Novelist and a Stand-Up Artist. He has written two Novels, his 1st novel 'A Non-Entity' became an instant hit among youths while his second one 'The Colossal Illusion' ranked in the Top 100 best selling books in a day of its release on Amazon, it also won the TCK Reader's Choice Awards 2019 in the USA, for being the best Romantic Novel of the year. Anand also won the Author of the year award at the NE8x Literature Festival 2019 for 'The Colossal Illusion'. He has graduated from Patna in Accounts and did his Masters from Kolkata but he is more interested in writing, Literature, Philosophy, and the internet. He is a Cinema Buff, Cricket lover, Very Positive and wants to see everyone Happy.