India’s biggest festival Diwali is here and everyone is vibing with the festive season. It’s also the time when some of the big-budget Bollywood movies release to packed crowds in the theatres. However, this year being a little different, we will see most Diwali releases streaming across different OTT platforms with just ‘Suraj Pe Mangal Bhari’ releasing in the theatres. But, over the years Bollywood has seen some amazing movies hitting the screens during this time.
Today, we will take a look at some of the biggest Diwali releases.
Biggest Diwali Hits of Bollywood
Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge
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Starting off, we have the longest-running film of the Indian cinema. ‘Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge’ not just established as the King of Romance but also ruled the hearts of the audience and it continues to do so. It netted around ₹ 60 crore during its release and continues to inspire spin-offs 25 years later.
Kuch Kuch Hota Hai
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Karan Johar’s by now iconic directorial debut was a trendsetting film for its time. It earned more than ₹ 40 crore at the box office in India and is considered one of the highest-grossing Indian films overseas. The National Award-winning movie had released along with Amitabh Bachchan and Govinda’s comedy ‘Bade Miyan Chote Miyan’.
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Diwali of 2004 saw four releases: ‘Veer-Zaara’, ‘Aitraaz’, ‘Naach’ and ‘Mughal-E-Azam’ which was re-released in colour. While Akshay’s Aitraaz went on to be a decent commercial success and a good critical success, ‘Veer-Zaara’ was among the top earners of the year. A business of IN 40 crores was considered very huge a decade ago and the Yash Chopra – Shah Rukh Khan combo stayed on undefeated at the box office.
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The Akshay Kumar – John Abraham combo worked wonders with their comic timing. They managed to beat none other than Salman Khan – Kareena Kapoor, whose Kyunki had released on the same day. Interestingly, both films had the same director: Priyadarshan. While he gave his ‘Hera Pheri’ hero a hit, Priyadarshan ended up apologising to Salman for letting him down with a major commercial flop.
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With Don, Shah Rukh Khan realized it was time to explore new avenues of marketing and promotion. The actor, therefore, embarked on multiple city tours and paid previews screening, something that was hitherto unexplored. Following the unique marketing, the film took a thunderous start and was the biggest ever Diwali success.
Om Shanti Om
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2007 was one of the best years for the industry. Akshay Kumar was at the top of his game, with all his 4 films emerging victorious. However, SRK emerged as the vox office winner on Diwali as ‘Om Shanti Om’ literally crushed out competition from Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s ‘Saawariya’ in 2007. Ranbir Kapoor – Sonam Kapoor’s debut film was shown no compassion as SRK and director Farah Khan methodically planned their campaign and made their film a super hit at the box office.
Golmaal Returns and Fashion
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2008 again had two films clashing on Diwali and for the first time, both films did well at the box office. Acclaimed director Madhur Bhandarkar released his film ‘Fashion’ starring Priyanka Chopra and Kangana Ranaut. The film won a huge appreciation and won National Awards. Ajay Devgn made his first major impact at the box office with ‘Golmaal Returns’ in 2008. Though the film was panned by critics, audience didn’t seem to mind it at all and helped the film take a superb opening at the box office. The film managed to cross the INR 50 crore mark, and the franchise was well established.
Happy New Year
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Farah Khan’s heist film despite poor reviews entered the ₹ 100 crore club in its opening weekend itself. The multi-starrer, complete with songs, dances, comedy, action and lots of bling, earned a total of INR 203 crore in India and another INR 90 crore worldwide.
Clearly, King Khan rules Diwali as far as the commercials are concerned having delivered hit one after the other on Diwali. This year we have quite a few releases like ‘Ludo’, ‘Suraj Pe Mangal Bhari’, ‘Laxmii’ and ‘Chhalaang’ as they are set to square off against each other in terms of content. The films won’t eat into each other’s business because most of them are releasing on the OTT where the content can be viewed multiple times under the subscription model as per the convenience.