Missed Box-office Targets This Decade

Let’s figure out some best movies of this decade which somehow missed at box-office. Interesting aspect of this list is that these movies can easily be considered as best movies of associated artistes like SRK(Swades), Ajay Devgan (TLOBS), Amitabh (Khakee, Nishabd), Neil (Johny Gaddar), Urmila (Rk Hasina Thi), Saif (Omakara). Same we can say about directors. RKS(Khakee), Sri ram raghavan(EHT, Johny Gaddar), RGV (Nishabd), Ashutosh ( Swadesh). This is amazing to see how best efforts of this became dud at box-office. 

  1. The Legend Of Bhagat Singh : If I need to chose top three best movies of this decade then without any shreds of doubt and conflicts “The Legend Of Bhagat Singh” will be one of them. This is best movie of all creative persons associated with movie, from director Raj Kumar Santoshi to actor Ajay Devgan to character artiste Sushant, everyone is proud to be part of this project. There was as much as 5 simultaneous releases based on Bhagat singh, TLOBS and Shaheed starring Bobby Deol and Sunny Deol released on same day. Despite being best critically acclaimed movie, TLOBS box-office collections(7 Crore) were lower than Shaheed(10 Crore). This movie was victim of disinterest  arouse due to simultaneous releases of same topic. Ajay Devgan got best actor National award for this movie. I visit this movie for around 10 times every year and counting is still ON. Do I need to elaborate more about my passion for this one.
  2. Swadesh : Ashutosh after Super success of Lagaan , There was much hype around this mega budget(25 crore) movie . Ashutosh name became synonym of class after Lagaan, Loaded with super-hit Music, combined with boxoffice king Shahrukh Khan, this movie was considered sure shot winner before release. But to utter shock movie was non opener at box-office and destined to become huge flop (17 crore NETT). But Shock was BIG because It was one of best movies to come out in that time. In-fact if I say it is way better than many super hit movies around, will not be a tall claim. As of now decade is close to end and no Shahrukh movie is  going to release in this year, I can safely say this is Best Shahrukh movie in this decade (which is unfortunate FLOP). Shahrukh was in career best role in Swadesh. Movie was deserved to be Big Success which is missed due to unknown reasons ( many claims due to Offbeat theme, but in multiplex era and with multiplex king, failure of this movie is not understandable)
  3. Khakee : Don’t know how Raj Kumar Santoshi will take this list(considering his two movies are in top three) ? Either one can proud to part of this list or take it otherwise (box-office point of view). First thing first, Khakee was not box-office failure, But it was neither Clean HIT.  Khakee was based on Indian cop and their modus operandi.It also face similar circumstances like TLOBS. Khakee face competition from several other movies based on similar topic in 2003 (Like AAN, Ab Tak Chappan etc). But just like TLOBS , Khakee was clear winner here in terms of content. Khakee will always be considered as best cop movie in bollywood. Amitabh bachchan in Khakee was in TOP form, This was Amitabh movie all the way. Ajay Devgan plays first time complete negative character (Deewangee was grey shades) and got accolades. Akshay was first time recognized as accomplished actor from this movie. He was first rate and his death scene will remain one of best death scenes in Bollywood. This movie was above average at box-office (27 Crore NETT) but deserved much better fate.
  4. Nishabd : This will not be tall claim if I say this is most controversial movie of decade.  Love story of ODD age couple, refined version of Lolita. This is arguably the best movie from Ram Gopal verma this decade. I can divide audience of this movie into three categoriesFirst, who take this movie as unacceptable truth exist in this world and enjoy the brilliance cinematic liberties of escapist cinema, Second, who didn’t able to buy the story at first visit but looking around world some similar cases, with time they understand the explicit emotions and defied logic behind this brilliant piece and able to give this movie the due credit after their own logical development. Third, who explicitly don’t want to buy this breaking rules of society and don’t wanna give this movie a chance. These are some pseudo responsible citizens of India who can raise voice over any innocent human error committed(Like why Amitabh say he want Grandson, why not Granddaughter), but will never appear when they supposed to (26/11 attacks). Well coming to Nishabd, this was again arguably best movie of year(2007) for every person associated (Amitabh, Ram Gopal verma, Jia Khan). And for me arguably was the best deserving candidate for some awards (specially best actor should have been given to Mr. Bachchan, now given that it was not even nominated, this defines all credentials of Indian award system)
  5. Ek Hasina Thi : I can rank EK HASINA THI as one of the best thrillers ever made. If I say Bollywood has dearth of excellent thrillers will not be over-complaint. Bollywood has exceeded its limit of love stories and Family dramas but underdeveloped in Thriller and Spy genre. Raghavan is one such talanted Director and Script writer who is contributing his best efforts to bollywood in this genre, Ek hasina Thi and Johny Gaddar was his first installments in thriller genre, Agent Vinod be next in Spy genre. Thanks Sriram Raghvan for your valuable and highly appreciable contribution. Again this movie is best movie for associated artiste (Saif and Urmila), However Urmila has given some other top notch performances as well but this one is easily the best in my books (given the fact it was psychological revenge thriller and Urmila excels in it). If saif character as Langra Tyaagi in Omakara was Evil then this character (karan) is heights of evil senses any human can have. Sadly movie was not a success at box-office for which it was highly deserved.
  6. Johny Gaddar : After Raj kumar santoshi, Raghavan is second director whose two movie are listed here. Interestingly both belongs to same genre i.e. crime thriller.  This is mind blowing thriller where killer reveals at first instance itself, but thrill lies in suspense that who will ultimately kill the killer. Execution of movie was tribute to 70’s thriller movies. There is reference of Parwana(1971) movie in the narration. I have visited this movie at 10 different times now and can easily cast it best tribute to 70’s cinema (OSO, AAG and others were just nonsense in front of this). In-fact screenplay and technical aspects of this movie are best material to be studied. This is true comeback of Dharmendra in small role. It was so refreshing and stunning to see Dharam paji in his real sense for which he always remember. Neil’s debut movie and simply his best performance to-date.   Why this movie fails at box-office ? This is still a mystery ? Even strong WOM couldn’t help to save this movie. It was only 5 Crore earner at box-office.
  7. Omkara : Shakespeare’s stories and characters have always transcended the times. His Othello (The Tragedy of Othello, the Moor of Venice), set against the backdrop of the late 16th century battles between Venice and Turkey, is considered one of his best tragedies. Vishal Bharadwaj’s adaptation does a good job of showing how Iago’s wanton evil schemes slowly poison and ultimately bring total destruction to Othello. the engaging nature of the adapted storyline coupled with well-replicated characters (Othello : Omkara / Ajay Devgan, Desdemona : Dolly / Kareena Kapoor, Iago : Langda / Saif Ali Khan, Cassio : Kesu / Vivek Oberoi, Bianca : Billo / Bipasha Basu, Emilia : Indu / Konkana Sen etc), powerful casting and acting (especially by Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor), explicit attention to drama and production values (especially music by Vishal himself,lyrics by Gulzar, and vocals by Sunidhi, and cinematography by Tasaduq Hussain) make it a outstanding and refreshing effort (towards serious cinema, away from the rehashing of boy-meets-girl themes), which went wrong at box-office. Omakara Grossed 27 crore at box-office and was Below Average.


Nonetheless, there are some other movies too which were much deserved candidates for boxoffice success, few are Mumbai meri jaan, Aamir, London dreams, All The Best, Luck By Chance etc. who deserved much better fate.

— BollyBusiness

~ by Yakuza on November 22, 2009.

32 Responses to “Missed Box-office Targets This Decade”

  1. Wow, 5 Ajay undeserving flops in a list of 10 .. poor guy, he’s such a brilliant actor though.

    • I am wondering if inclusion in this list will be pride for any artiste ? At one point this list is for best movies of decade, but at the same time these are boxoffice duds.

      • Ajay is one of the finest actors in Bollywood, adapting to a changing environment! The most intense actor of the lot, and a far superior actor than SRK, Salman and one to rival Aamir imo!

        • Well said Praz, even my thoughts are the same 🙂 Yakuza has stuck again with an outstanding article 🙂

          • Ajay Devgan will always be a underrated actor. He really deserve better in terms of a BO point-of-view. London Dreams is defintely amongst the best films this year which really deserve a Hit status at the BO

  2. […] Read Rest At BollyBusiness […]

  3. A perfect list Yakuza! NISHABD, SWADES are 2 of my favourite films as is OMKARA, JG, and TLOBS! All deserving hits, I would also add Emraan Hashmi’s AWAARAPAN to this list, a brilliant movie over-looked!

    BTW just watching APKGK, i can see why this is such a big winner, Ranbir is a force to reckon with with a steady rise to the top!

    • Thanks Bro, haven’t seen Awaarapan, though heard tons of praise.

      Agree on Ranbeer, His comic timing in movie was superb, Rocket Singh should pave his way to sky high success.

  4. Good post. I haven’t seen Nashabd but agree with all others. And i would also have Maqbool in the list.

  5. Nishabd was a bad movie. Aah those legs were only the good things in this film.

  6. Excellent list. Its sad that the Indian audience only want to see the garbage over and over again. Plus, when you composing a list of all of the Hits from Bollywood decade, 80%+ of the Hits were mass-oriented films, which is simply wrong. The people of India seriously needs to wake up and see different type of genres as directors like Sriram Raghavan may now make the typical Bollywood, where his previous films deserve better at the BO. My top ten would be which deserve to be Hits are:

    1) TBOBS
    2) Khakee
    3) Johnny Gaddar
    4) Pinjar
    5) Ek Hasina Thi
    6) Swades
    7) Omkara
    8) London Dreams
    9) Main Gandhi Ko Nahin Maara
    10) Maqbool

    • Hello Randy. Your list looks good but for a couple of entries – Pinjar and Maine Gandhi Ko Nahin Maara. The simple reason being, both these movies, though content-wsie good, were not commercially viable projects. Here Yakuza has considered the movies which had a lot of pre-release hype and despite having good content and star value, they flopped. Pinjar and Maine Gandhi Ko Nahin Maara both did not have any pre-release hype whatsoever mainly becuase they were non-star ventures and on top of that both had an off-beat theme. If you count movies like Pinjar in this list then we would have to include movies such as Dharm, Maharathi, Sorry Bhai, Hazaaron Khwaahishein Aisee and a lot more. This list is not about these kind of movies but its about the movies which along with good content had commercial value attached with top actors starring in it. I would say even Maqbool doesnt fit the bill (Without a shred of doubt, an amazing movie) simply because at that time Vishal Bhardwaj was not a force to reckon with which he is now.

  7. I think acting wise ajay is far better actor than other actors(aamir,srk,akshay).ajay is superb.

  8. Hi Yakuza. Superb post. One movie which I think deserves a sureshot mention in this list of yours should be Jaan-E-Mann. It was such a wonderful movie which somehow failed to make a mark on the boxoffice. Obviously bad marketing was the reason for that. Leave that aside and you are left with only the positives about the movie. Superb storyline, good dose of comedy and romance, great production values, awesome editing [With Shirish Kundar (did I spell it correctly?) at helm, it was expected], awesome music, amazing star cast and what not. Shirish Kundar showed in his very first film, he is notches ahead of so many directors in the industry. All the lead actors were in the top form in this movie and the scene where Akshay cries in front of the mirror still gives me the goosebumps. The narrative used by the director in the movie was innovative and a very refreshing change from the run of the mill stuff. I would go on to say, this surely is one of the top 5 candidates in your list. Whats your take on it? Infact, I would love to see your full fledged review on Jaan-E-Mann.

    • I completely agree with you, i am a BIG Shahrukh fan, but i liked Jaan-E-Mann more that Don when the two film released together 3 years ago. I saw Don once in the theater then never again, but i have seen Jaan-E-Mann at least 5 times, I even have the DVD in my house.

    • yeah, Jan-E-Mann is one miss from list. However i will put LD and jan-E-Mann in same frame, Nor outstanding cinema neither escapist one, but deserve must watch for immense entertainment value and performances(However Jan-E-Mann is little experimental in relative terms].

  9. I totally agree with you Pranjal…Jaan-e-mann definitley deserved to be a hit.I guess had the producers delayed the movie by say 5 days to actually release it on EID it would have made lot of difference and by then DON euphoria has settled….
    Yakuja brilliant list but to me its khakee all the way that deserved the be a blockbuster…It is the only movie i have watched 5 consecutive days in a theatre(satya being the next closest which i watched 3 times in 3 days)…In this movie everthing was just superb…

    • Exactly Topazbol! Had it been delayed by a week, it would have gone on to become a big hit. Don was such a mediocre attempt but reaped rewards coz of some superb marketing. Anu Malik never came up with a better score after Jaan-E-Mann (Taking the entire album in totality), Salman-Akshay’s outstanding chemistry, and Akki’s historic laughter (Had the movie been a hit, his laughter would have certainly become a craze) in the movie, all were the stuff which the paying public usually laps up to. Sad, movie didnt click :-(.

      • Even in an interview, Sajid NadiadWala himself took full responsibility for failure of Jaan-E-Mann, He admit his mistake for causing unnecessary clash.

  10. outstanding post yakuza , Apart from all, i am happy you include Nishabd in list, Nishabd is most underrated Gem, And i love the way you described three categories of audience for nishabd .. 😆

  11. And yes, i read each word of this post and i must say everyone is checking only list, please read the details of each movie which yakuza has described so brilliantly, He described the reasons behind the failure and Pros and cons of each flick. This info is really good.

  12. @topaz and dpranjal . .agree on jan-e-mann though, That was brilliant movie burried under wrong release strategy .. 😦

  13. I haven’t seen the movie Ek Hasina Thi, then I saw it on your list so i saw it today, and you were right, the movie was amazziinngg. Urmila should have won an award for her role.

  14. Great post and a wonderful list too. Each one really deserved to do far better at the BO. I am a sucker for dark movies, so my list wud also include the following 3 movies, though I’m not sure how well they fared at the BO.

    1) Ab tak chappan
    2) Gangajal
    3) Mithya

    • Thanks, Fortunately All three movies were success at Above average level.

    • Was about to reply the same. Yakuza did that before. 🙂 Gangajal is my personal favourite though .. Yakuza, you reply to almost all the questions, which is really a very commendable effort considering the number of comments you receive on every article/ post of yours. I started following your website around the time Wanted released and it has hooked me like ever since and now I am almost addicted to it. Its the first website I open along with cricinfo.com everyday. Even if I am neck deep into my office work I somehow manage to find some time to browse through it atleast 4-5 times a day. Just imagine what would I do when I won’t have any work :-). Man, keep up the good errr… amazing work.

      • This is flattering remark .. 🙂 , Thanks for being so kind, request you to keep coming here and rock this forum with RWC (Read, write and comment).

  15. hello yakuza.
    since u hav mentioned dat most of the movies above mentioned were average to above average.
    1) What is exactly meant by average moviei in terms of box office collections. Do the distributors just recover their money ?
    2) how is above avergae and semi hit movie different from each other?
    3) Does the producer make any loss in an average movie or its always d distributor who makes the loss?


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