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Bollywood hits and misses in 2013

Lately, the economics of Bollywood has become a figment of imagination -- leaving very little space for rational evaluation. Given the prices multiplexes command and the trade’s adherence to the much-discussed 100-crore-club, it’s difficult to draw the line on hits and misses. However, there have been some surprises in 2013, whereby films made on tighter budgets not only broke even but also made considerable profit. And most of them didn’t feature a big name to reckon with. HitList names a few of these exceptionals...

'Aashiqui 2'
'Aashiqui 2'
Director: Mohit Suri
Budget: Rs 9 crore
Box office: Rs 82 crore
Result: It’s beyond doubt that this early release has to be the greatest surprise of the year. A love story making hay at the box-office fundamentally required a known couple on the big screen with chemistry and chutzpah to boot but this time around, we had much newer faces -- Aditya Roy Kapur and Shraddha Kapoor -- as lovestruck protagonists. Regardless, the songs were massive hits and the movie went on to bring in more than R100 crore on a global scale.

'Shahid'
'Shahi'
Director:
Hansal Mehta
Budget: Rs 1 crore
Box office: Rs 3+ crore
Result: Starring Raj Kumar in a critical role, this film travelled across the fest circuit before finally bagging a commercial release. Co-produced by UTV Motion Pictures and Bohra Brothers, this much-appreciated biopic was released in about 400 screens across the country.

'Madras Cafe'
'Madras Cafe'
Director:
Shoojit Sircar
Budget: Rs 35 crore
Box office: Rs 43 crore
Result: John Abraham’s first stint as a producer (Vicky Donor) proved to be a game-changer for him but his second stint was to be the litmus test. And going by the critical response and box-office figures, he is still in the game of coming up ‘different’ cinema. This politcal film with an acute historical conjecture starred him in a restrained role where he didn’t have to be annoyingly loud.

'Kai Po Che!'
'Kai Po Che!'
Director:
Abhishek Kapoor
Budget: Rs 30 crore
Box office: Rs 49+ crore
Result: Adapted for the screen from Chetan Bhagat’s hugely popular book, this Gujarat-centric film showcased three names -- Sushant Singh Rajput, Raj Kumar and Amit Sadh -- in the leading roles. Two of them were making their film debuts. All the three clicked. Music by Amit Trivedi raised the graph and Gattu ended up with his biggest hit so far.

'ABCD: Any Body Can Dance'
'ABCD: Any Body Can Dance'
Director:
Remo D’Souza
Budget: Rs 12 crore
Box office: Rs 32 crore
Result: When the director himself is an established choreographer and the cast includes Prabhu Deva amongst other dancing talents, everybody is bound to shake their legs. And that’s what everybody did in this film. The most admirable part about this musical venture is it was released in 3D -- a risk in itself -- but made merry of the decision.

'The Lunchbox'
'The Lunchbox'
Director:
Ritesh Batra
Budget: Rs 10 crore
Box office: Rs 20+ crore
Result: What this particular indie effort did at the box-office -- after Bollywood biggies showed interest in it -- is distinctly remarkable. In all probability, there was no precedent and thanks to encouraging word-of-mouth, its content became the ultimate winner. With 17 global co-producers on boards, the subtle love story did pretty well for a songless film.

'Jolly LLB'
'Jolly LLB'
Director:
Subhash Kapoor
Budget: Rs 10 crore
Box office: Rs 32+ crore
Result: Remember the last Hindi courtroom dramedy that was a commercial hit? Neither do we. The settings were superb in this film and the script was ably shouldered by Arshad Warsi and Boman Irani -- no A-listers by any means. And the blistering dialogues were memorable for a change. Critics were divided but the money poured in.

'Raanjhanaa'
'Raanjhanaa'
Director:
Anand L. Rai
Budget: Rs 35 crore
Box office: Rs 61+ crore
Result: Dhanush might be a National Award-winner and a popular name down south but to the Hindi film audience, he would have been just another Tamil actor. Well, this was so before he made his debut with this movie set in Benares and dragged the public to his side with his acting chops. Sonam Kapoor too saw a hit after a long interval.

'Chashme Baddoor'
'Chashme Baddoor'
Director:
David Dhawan
Budget: Rs 25 crore
Box office: Rs 42 crore
Result: When David Dhawan announced his plan to remake the 1981 comedy, there were audible apprehensions from certain sections of the trade. After all, South remakes are deemed to be a less riskier proposition. On top of that, the freewheeling director roped in upcoming names like Ali Zafar, Siddharth, Divyendu Sharma and Taapsee. And the comedy clicked with the masses.

'Fukrey'
'Fukrey'
Director:
Mrighdeep Lamba
Budget: Rs 5 crore
Box office: Rs 35 crore
Result: Featuring four young faces -- Pulkit Samrat, Ali Fazal, Manjot Singh and Varun Sharma -- on the poster, this film with a title more specific to north India turned out to be an eventual money-spinner. Although Farhan Akhtar (being one of the producers) put his weight behind the film, it was ultimately the easygoing storyline that endeared the aam janta.

'Ramaiya Vastavaiya'
'Ramaiya Vastavaiya'
Director:
Prabhu Dheva
Budget: Rs 30 crore
Box office: Rs 46 crore
Result: It released along with 'D-Day'. The difference lied in their cast and the profits they made. While 'D-Day' featured several biggies, 'Ramaiya Vastavaiya' marked Girish Kumar’s Bollywood debut. Shruti Haasan was common to both the films. By the end of the trial, 'D-Day' earned critical applause while Shruti went home with her biggest Hindi hit thanks to Ramaiya Vastavaiya.

'Ship of Theseus'
'Ship of Theseus'
Director:
Anand Gandhi
Budget: Rs 1.2 crore
Box office: Rs 3+ crore
Result: When an independent effort -- filled heavily with English dialogues -- travels across the global garnering one accolade after another, it faces an identity crisis back home, as films of such nature seldom receive a proper Friday release. With a successful opening in 20 cities across India. Bollywood was involved though as Kiran Rao’s commitment helped in its outreach.

'Murder 3'
'Murder 3'
Director:
Vishesh Bhatt
Budget: Rs 12 crore
Box office: Rs 24 crore
Result: Over the years, Bhatt camp has mastered the formulaic technique of making low-budget ventures and earning big moolah in return. What’s interesting about this particular film is it didn’t have the usual chartbusters to binge on. Starring Randeep Hooda, Aditi Rao Hydari and Sara Loren, its box-office collections were positive for the kind of money invested.

'BA Pass'
'BA Pass'
Director:
Ajay Bahl
Budget: Rs 2 crore
Box office: Rs 6+ crore
Result: Rarely does a bold effort like this get to taste critical as well as commercial success. Touted to be India’s first erotica drama, the film exhibited comparatively unknowns like Shilpa Shukla (of the 'Chak De!' India fame) and the teenaged debutant Shadab Kamal in the lead roles. All in all, a year-long struggle of fests followed by release paid off for the director-producer.

In the club
Bollywood films of 2013 which grossed over R100 crore. Their domestic revenues in crores:
>>'Race 2' (100.4)
>>'Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani' (179)
>>'Bhaag Milkha Bhaag' (108.4)
>>'Grand Masti' (102)
>>'Chennai Express' (208.7)
>>'Krrish 3' (178+)
>>'Ram-Leela' (100.2+)

Fuhgettaboutit!
Movies that rode high on expectations but low on returns...
>>'Matru Ki Bijlee Ka Mandola'
>>'Zilla Ghaziabad'
>>'Once Upon Ay Time In Mumbai Dobaara!'
>>'Zanjeer'
>>'Himmatwala'
>>'Besharam'
>>'Yamla Pagla Deewana 2'
>>'Ghanchakkar'

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