Namaste, Sat Sri Akal, Assalaam-o-alaikum and welcome to my Christmas and new year present to all you Bollywood fanatics – a countdown of top the 10 grossing films of 2011. It’s been a year that saw 107 Bollywood releases, 5 of which made it into the list of the highly coveted ‘The Highest Grossing Films of Bollywood’.
2011 also saw four films cross the 100 crore mark for the first time in Indian cinematic history . Several films released this year experienced major commercial success worldwide, and if it’s possible to comprehend, the total net collections of the top ten films of 2011 is estimated at 840.31 crore (US$170.41 million), which is already 14% up from 2010’s 735.07 crore (US$149.07 million). 2011 has thus set the record for biggest cumulative top-ten-films collections of all time, and I thought we were experiencing a major worldwide financial crisis!
There has been some major movement from the mid – year review you saw in June so, without further delay, I give you (in reverse order) the top 10 films of 2011.
Starring – Imran Khan, Vir Das, Kunaal Roy Kapur, Poorna Jagannathan, Shenaz Treasurywala
Director – Abhinay Deo
Producer – Aamir Khan, Kiran Rao, Ronnie Screwvala, Jim Furgele
Music – Ram Sampath
Release Date – July 1, 2011
Figures – 57 Crore
‘Bhaag D.K. Bose Bhaag’. Who can forget the controversy surrounding the Delhi Belly soundtrack? The fact that when certain lyrics were put together and sung at a quick pace, a popular expletive in North India was formed and it created more than just ripples in the media. The film also managed to land The Central Board of Film Certification into trouble when they apparently approved the song first time round without even batting their eyes, even though sections of the people were angry at the obscenity of the lyrics.
The issues didn’t end there. On 3 July 2011, the Government of Nepal banned screenings of the movie later agreeing to clear the film for viewing by theatre goers aged above 16. An offending scene showing one of the protagonists, played by Kunaal Roy Kapur, visiting a brothel was cut and some expletives in two scenes were muted.
The film is written by Akshat Verma, a Los Angeles based writer who first wrote the screenplay as a part of his studies at the screenwriting programme at UCLA, under the title Say Cheese. However after losing his job as a copywriter in 2005 he revived the script, compiling 15 drafts before the movie went to floor. The hard work obviously paid off. The film opened very well at the box office. It collected approximately 36 crore in first week of screening all around India and 7.25 crore overseas. The film collected 55 crore in India by the end of its third week, being declared a super hit. Delhi Belly grossed 92 crore worldwide
Reviews for the film included Taran Adarsh comment ,“The unblemished, racy screenplay coupled with super performances and a chartbusting musical score will make it a WINNER all the way”, giving the film a 4.5/5.
Pankaj Sabnani reviewed for Glam Sham commenting, “You do hope the narrative was a bit tauter as it seems a bit lacklustre in portions”, while giving the film 3/5.
I reviewed the film for BollySpice and gave it a 4/5 and still say that it is one of the must watch films of 2011. Either you will love it – or hate it, but it deserves a watch.
Delhi Belly – 2011’s tenth highest grossing film.
Starring-Imran Khan, Katrina Kaif, Ali Zafar
Directed by-Ali Abbas Zafar
Produced by-Yash Raj Films
Music by-Sohail Sen
Release Date – September 9, 2011
Figures – 59 Crore
Mere Brother Ki Dulhan – the romantic comedy film that marked the writing and directing debut of Ali Abbas Zafar after his role as the assistant director for Jhoom Barabar Jhoom, Tashan, New York and Badmaash Company. Announced by Yas Raj Films in August 2010, Mere Brother Ki Dulhan was the second Yash Raj Films production in a row to be helmed by a first time director.
The film was in the news frequently throughout production, be it for the accidental bloody nose that female lead Katrina Kaif received from costar Imran Khan, the sixteen takes that Khan insisted on giving to find the perfect slap for the film or the quick thinking from parallel lead actor Ali Zafar whilst rescuing Kaif when her hair got caught in a fan.
The critic’s reports were mixed for this film. “There’s not much on offer in this film. Whatever is there is finished off in the first half hour” was the round up given by Martin D Souza for Glamsham giving the film 2 out of 5. Taran Adarsh on the other hand believed that Yash Raj were “on to a winner” when he stated that Mere Brother Ki Dulhan was a “delectably wholesome, heartening, feel-good entertainer”, giving the film 4 out of 5. Githa Vanan reviewed the film for BollySpice and opined Mere Brother Ki Dulhan lacked in the originality department and gave this September release 2 out of 5.
Box office wise the release generally had good collections across the board. A good first weekend saw collections of 25.50 crore net, and by the end of its run, the worldwide collections averaged out to 59 crore. Not bad for 2011’s ninth highest grossing film.
Starring – Ranbir Kapoor, Nargis Fakhri, Shammi Kapoor
Director – Imtiaz Ali
Producer – Shree Ashtavinayak Cine, Vision Ltd, Eros International
Music – A. R. Rahman
Release Date – November 11, 2011
Figures – 70 Crore
Rockstar. A film that had a tailor made role for Ranbir Kapoor that is rumoured to be loosely based on director Ali’s Jat friend, was originally cast opposite female actor Kareena Kapoor. But the script involved a few romantic scenes between the two leads leaving the production team with a decision to make – cut the scenes allowing the cousins to work together or let one of the two leads go. As the role had been tailor made for Ranbir Kapoor a joint decision was made to let Kareena Kapoor go.
Shot in reverse as the crew didn’t want to break the continuity of Ranbir’s hairstyle, the film saw Kapoor make many efforts to transform himself into a rockstar including practising the guitar at A. R. Rahman’s studio for many days, reading rocker Kurt Cobain’s biography and familiarising himself with Jats.
The film opened to mixed reviews from the critics. Shubra Gupta, film reviewer for IndianExpress gave the film 2 out of 5 and remarked, “And true to type, the actor is better than the film. Rockstar disappoints; Ranbir doesn’t.” However, Nikhat Kazmi was at the other end of the spectrum awarding the film 4 out of 5 stars and stating, “Savour a beautiful experience. Watch Rockstar and wait for Imtiaz Ali’s next from his compendium of love.” Rumnique Nannar (reviewer for BollySpice) said that the film was a “must watch” for 2011 and gave the film a 4 out of 5.
Now the nitty gritty. Despite the mixed reviews, this Ali offering opened well with multiplexes seeing collections averaging in the 60–70% range; however single screens witnessed a lower capacity at around 30–40%. The good opening was attributed to the multiplexes across cities, and to the star power of Ranbir Kapoor as well as the youthful theme of the film. The good collections were only sustained for the first week after which the film saw them drop. Declared a hit, this November offering lands itself as the eight highest grossing film.
Starring – Vidya Balan, Naseeruddin Shah, Emraan Hashmi, Tusshar Kapoor
Director – Milan Luthria
Producer – Ekta Kapoor Shobha Kapoor
Music – Vishal-Shekhar, Bappi Lahiri
Release Date – December 2, 2011
Figures – 73 crore
Directed by Milan Luthria and produced by Shobha Kapoor and Ekta Kapoor, with the screenplay written by Rajat Arora, The Dirty Picture saw the return of the team behind the 2010 hit film Once Upon A Time in Mumbai, in their second venture together.
Rumoured to be based on the life of Silk Smitha, an actress noted for her erotic roles, the team behind the film stated that the story was not an official biography for just Smitha. Covering the lives of Smitha’s Southern contemporaries Nylon Nalini and Disco Shanti, The Dirty Picture was an apparent amalgamation of all these artists as well as including aspects of Hollywood sex symbol Marilyn Monroe’s distressing personal life as well.
The Dirty Picture released worldwide on Silk Smitha’s birthday – December 2, 2011 and received a strong opening with an average of 65% collections around India with the strongest collections being in Maharastra (80%).
A good opening does not necessarily mean that the critics will be appeased. However Ekta Kapoor knew she was onto a winner before the film’s release when she declared that she would be surprised if the film and her female lead, Vidya Balan, did not garner critical acclaim. And right she was. The Dirty Picture received positive reviews from majority of the critics. Tarun Adarsh reviewed the film for Bollywood Hungama and gave the film 4 out of 5 stating that “it is one of the most comprehensive scripts to come out of the Hindi film industry in 2011”. On the other end of the scale was Shubra Gupta, reviewing for Indian Express ,who was less than complimentary – “The writing is confused as to point of view and weightage, and post-interval, like most Bollywood films, The Dirty Picture, dives”, giving the film a 2.5 out of 5. BollySpice Reviewer Prateeksha Khot gave the film a 4 out of 5 – “Once in a while comes a movie which dares to break the conventional decorum and bring something new to the audience especially something which the audience enjoys. In spite of some flaws The Dirty Picture manages to do just that. Take a bow Ms. Balan. You definitely are entertainment!”
It is therefore no surprise that a film that released 23 days ago to such reviews lands itself a position at number 7 in this year’s countdown.
Starring-Hrithik Roshan, Abhay Deol, Farhan Akhtar, Katrina Kaif, Kalki Koechlin
Directed by-Zoya Akhtar
Produced by-Farhan Akhtar & Ritesh Sidhwani
Music by-Shankar , Ehsaan, Loy
Release Date – September 9, 2011
Figures – 89 Crore
Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara. The story of three friends, who have been inseparable since their childhood, set off on a bachelor trip to Spain where they face their fears, deal with their issues and understand each other even more.
Rumoured to initially star Imran Khan and Ranbir Kapoor in two of the three lead roles, the pair are said to have declined because they wished to star together for the first time in their own production.
The principal shooting of Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara began in June 2010 and took place in Barcelona, Pamplona, Buñol, Andalucia in Spain, UK, Egypt and Mumbai with the trailer of the film releasing online on 15 May 2011 followed by the worldwide release in 1800 screens on 15 July 2011.
The film opened to mostly average reviews with most critics agreeing that the film was a slice of life. Taran Adarsh summed up the feeling of majority of the critics when he commented, “It’s definitely not for ardent fans of kitsch or those with an appetite for typical masala entertainers.” Raja Sen on the other hand discredited the film for its threadbare script and its fixation on trying to appear “cool” and “minty-fresh”.
Amrita Tanna reviewed the film for BollySpice and mentioned “Zindagi Milegi Dobara is full of fun, frolics and friendship. If you’re expecting a big romance, an item song with multiple changes of outfit or even a tear-jerking scene that gives you an excuse to take out those tissues, then you will be sadly disappointed.”
In India, the film was released along with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 and saw its opening occupancy range from 70-100%. With no significant competition other than Singham, Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara remained at #2 for 4 weeks after its release, making this 2011 release the sixth highest grossing film.
Starring – Shahrukh Khan, Priyanka Chopra, Lara Dutta, Om Puri, Kunal Kapoor
Director – Farhan Akhtar
Producer – Farhan Akhtar, Ritesh Sidhwani, Shahrukh Khan
Music – Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy
Release Date – 23 December 2011
Figures – 94 Crore
Yes I know that the film has been out for less than a month, but what can I do? As I write this countdown this Akhtar offering is sitting quite prettily at number 5. Now imagine if this review was done a month later and where this film will have rocketed too. Not bad huh?
Picking up the story from where Don: The Chase begins Again finishes, Don 2 was announced shortly after the release of the first film but was postponed for various reasons including Shah Rukh’s issues with his shoulder injury
With a different team of writers, Don 2 marked Akhtar’s return to the directing helm after a five year hiatus. Akhtar stated that “the first film was my father’s vision, but Don 2 is being written by fans only. These are yours truly and two new enthusiastic boys, Ameet and Amreesh, who came to me with their ideas on how the story can be carried forward. I’ve thrown my ideas at them. Don 2 is basically being written by three Don fans who are having a ball carrying the story forward.”
Critically the film has opened to a mixed bag – with Raja Sen from Rediff.com giving the film 2.5 stars saying, “The film soon flattens out into inevitable boredom, the climax dragging on and on.” Nikhat Kazmi of The Times of India gave the film 4 out of 5 stars and said, “The plot has been finely crafted, with every twist and turn falling into place like a complicated albeit neat little jigsaw.” Jay Mamtora reviewed for BollySpice and gave the film 4 out of 5 stars commenting, “Don 2 is a smashing finale to an already interesting line up of films released this year.”
Now time to talk figures. Don 2 benefitted greatly from pre release revenues with the German government providing a €3 million rebate to the producers of the film as it was shot in Berlin. Distributors, Reliance Entertainment, have bought the rights of the film from Excel Entertainment for 85 and Zee Network have acquired the satellite rights of the film for 37 crore – the highest satellite amount compared to other films released by Reliance Entertainment in 2011. The distribution rights for the film in Tamil, Nadu and Kerala were bought by the newly-formed Sudha Screen’s Sreeraj for a reportedly record but undisclosed price.
Box Office wise Don 2 took a good opening with an average of 80% occupancy levels all over India. On the first day, the film collected 13.50 crore from the Hindi version and an estimated 60-70 lakh from the Tamil and Telugu versions, making it the fourth highest opening day grosser and the second highest non-holiday first day earner after Dabangg
Don 2 – this year’s fifth highest grossing film.
Starring-Ajay Devgan, Kajal Aggarwal, Prakash Raj, Ashok Saraf, Sachin Khedekar, Sonali Kulkarni
Directed by-Rohit Shetty
Produced by-Reliance Entertainment
Release Date –July 22, 2011
Figures – 100 Crore
A remake of the 2010 Tamil film Singam featuring Suriya, Singham went on floors in November 2010. The first schedule began in early March 2011 with Prakash Raj signed to reprise his original role as the antagonist, and fresh faces in the lead roles.
With Rohit Shetty and Ajay Devgn working together again, it was not possible to not include a few scenes with big numbers behind them. And Singham doesn’t disappoint. A scene with Prakash Raj and Ajay Devgn shot in Goregaon, Mumbai involved around 500 junior artists as villagers. The theatrical trailer of the film was released along with Ready on June 3, 2011 with Reliance Entertainment releasing the film on July 22, 2011 in 2000 screens.
Singham received average reviews with comparisons being made to the hit South version. Raja Sen commented, “Yes, there apparently is a new measure for tripe conveniently labelled larger-than-life”, whilst giving the film 1.5 out of 5 stars, where as Reviewer Komal Nahata gave the film a 4.5 out of 5 saying, “Singham is a sure fire hit, packed with power-packed performances, powerful dialogues and wonderful dialogues.” Githa Vanan reviewed for BollySpice and stated, “While Singham does roar his loudest, it doesn’t always frighten”, giving this Shetty–Devgan offering 2.5 out of 5 stars.
Now we know that reviews don’t always match a films performance at the box office. Singham started extremely well at single screens with occupancy reaching around 90% and saw average openings at multiplexes with 50-60% occupancy. The opening week gross collections were 44.2 crore in India giving it the second highest opening of the year. By the end of its fourth week its collections had reached 92.67 crore. Not bad for a film with average reviews.
Singham – our fourth highest grossing film.
Starring – Shahrukh Khan, Kareena Kapoor, Arjun Rampal
Directed by – Anubhav Sinha
Produced by -Shahrukh Khan, Gauri Khan
Music by – Vishal-Shekar, Ilaiyarja
Release date(s) – October 24 2011 (Dubai), October 25 2011 (London), October 26 2011 (Toronto and Worldwide)
Figures – 116 Crore
One of the most awaited films of 2011 had its concept thought up by director Sinha when he saw an ad on TV six years ago. Originally starting life as a three page short story, Sinha approached Khan who agreed to produce and star in it. Pre-production saw both Sinha and Khan research the film genre by watching over 200 superhero films in a variety of languages.
Principal photography for the film beginning in March 2009, 1.5 years after the commencement of pre-production work. The first phase of filming began in India in March 2010 after original plans to shoot in Miami were scrapped due to budget concerns. (Yes, I do realize the irony behind that statement). Production of the film’s second and third phase occurred with the entire cast in London, with the final phase commencing over seven days at Filmistan Studios in December 2010, and the remaining portions were shot in Mumbai allowing for completion in July 2011.
Originally slated for a July release, the post production work required for a 3D film saw the release date being pushed back to October, making it 2011’s Diwali release.
Generating a mixed response from the critics – Raja Sen was far from impressed by the film stating that the films narration was “disjointed and sluggish, with a mere handful of good scenes”. Whereas Taran Adarsh was incredibly impressed giving the film a 4.5 out of 5 and saying, “It’s not merely a great looking film, but also has soul, which is so essential to strike a chord with the avid moviegoer.” Anjum Shabbir reviewed for BollySpice and stated quite simply that it was “a massive opportunity gone to waste”, giving the film a 2.5 out of 5.
Ra.One saw an opening of 70-100% occupancy levels all over India and full houses in many multiplexes with many analysts stating that the lower-than-expected occupancy level was mainly due to the effect of Diwali festivities, which took a toll on the evening shows. On the first day, Ra.One collected 14.63 crore, setting records for the biggest Diwali opening day ever by beating Golmaal 3 (8.72 crore). By the end of the first week Ra.One saw its best collections come from West Bengal, Tamil Nadu/Kerala and Mysore, and by the end of the third week Ra.One lost most of its screening space due to the release of Imtiaz Ali’s Rockstar.
The overseas market saw Ra.One collect $8.6 million in three weeks making it the fifth highest grossing film ever in the overseas market. Not bad for a concept that started life as a three page short story.
Ladies and gentlemen, Ra.One the third highest grossing film of 2011.
Starring – Salman Khan, Asin Thottumkal, Paresh Rawal, Mahesh Manjrekar
Director – Anees Bazmee
Producer – Rajat Rawail, Bhushan Kumar, Nitin Manmohan, Kishan Kumar, Sohail Khan
Music – Pritam, Devi Sri Prasad
Release Date – June 3, 2011
Figures – 122 Crore
A remake of the 2008 Telugu film, Ready, shooting for the Bollywood version started on 20th June, 2010 in Sri Lanka at the request of Salman Khan. After the first schedule of shooting lasting over 27 days at locations in Colombo and the neighbouring Bentota, approximately 40% of the filming was completed. The second schedule of the film started November 3, 2010 in Mumbai with the final schedule of shooting starting in February 2011 in Bangkok.
The first of the film was revealed on 5th April 2011, with the theatrical trailer releasing on 15th April 2011.
While the film generated mixed opinions in terms of reviews with some loving it, ( Githa Vanan – “So while Ready isn’t rocket science, its Salman’s masala magic science”) and others hating it (“What really kills Ready is that its nonsense is neither inventive nor high energy”), box office wise the film rocked. Opening to an overwhelming response at the box office and packed cinema halls – single screens reported nearly 95-100% occupancy with multiplexes reporting 60% to 100% occupancy, depending on session times. The film collected 13 crore on its first day! So it is no surprise that this June release became the second highest opening day grosser, as well as the second highest weekend grossing Bollywood film, after Dabangg.
Ready is 2011’s second highest grossing film.
Starring – Salman Khan, Kareena Kapoor, Raj Babbar, Hazel Keech, Mahesh Manjrekar
Director – Siddique
Producer – Atul Agnihotri, Alvira Agnihotri, reliance entertainment
Music – Pritam, Himesh Reshammiya
Release Date – August 31, 2011
Figures – 148 Crore
I have been doing these countdowns for a few years now. And after a while you begin to notice a pattern. It wouldn’t be a complete year without a Khan featuring in the top 3, but to have two Khans ruling the roost is a feat. And to have the same Khan head the countdown two years in a row, breaking all records, is unbelievable.
The third remake of the director’s own 2010 Malayalam film of the same name, Bodyguard, is an Indian romantic action film that began shooting on January 16, 2011 at the Symbiosis International University campus situated in Lavale, Pune and then went on to Patiala, Punjab and Mumbai with plans to shoot overseas being axed due to costs exceeding budget.
Co-producers Reliance Entertainment set a marketing and print budget of approximately
22 crore for Bodyguard, one of the highest ever in Bollywood. This was possibly to ensure that this Kareena-Salman film didn’t face the same fate as their previous releases (Main aur Mrs Khanna and Kyun Ki).
The film’s first look and theatrical trailer was unveiled on 21 July 2011. The film released on Eid across 2,250 screens in 70 Indian cities and 482 prints across the overseas territory in Dolby Surround 7.1 and opened to mixed reviews. Amrita Tanna of BollySpice said “Overall, Bodyguard is a film which, although fitting to the season and celebration of Eid, may find it hard to create and leave a mark with the audiences”, giving it an average 3 out of 5. Mayank Shekhar reviewed for the Hindustan Times and gave the film a 1.5 out of 5. Taran Adarsh gave the film 4.5 out of 5 stars and said Bodyguard was “a simple, but captivating story with a dramatic twist in the tale”.
Now a look at the figures. The domestic box office response saw Bodyguard grossing 21.25 crore at its opening, breaking the record set by the 2010 release Dabangg. Due to the holidays Bodyguard had an extended 9 day first week which saw collections hit 109.47 crore. By the end of the first four weeks the reports were already indicating that the film had made 148.86 crore. The overseas markets saw Bodyguard break records set by the 2010 release My Name is Khan grossing £840,000 in six days in the UK, $3.8 million in North America in the first four days and $250,000 in five days in Australia. It doesn’t stop there. The satellite rights of the film were sold to STAR network for 27 crore for seven years. Additionally, the film has already won 12 awards (Airtel Superstar Awards and BIG Star Entertainment Awards).
Ladies and gents, I give you 2011’s top grossing film – Bodyguard.
And with that I take your leave to prepare myself for 2012’s films to watch out for as I wish you all a happy and prosperous 2012.