Though one continues to hear negative comments around films not really being doing too well in Bollywood, the fact remains that 2010 was the first ever year that saw two movies crossing the 100 crore benchmark (earlier being set by Aamir Khan with 'Ghajini' and 'Three Idiots'), another coming close to that (Raajneeti) and third promising to repeat that feat as well ('Tees Maar Khan'). Not just that, there were three more films that crossed the half century mark (My Name Is Khan, Housefull, Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai), hence ensuring that there was a fair balance when it came to stars delivering multi crore hits.
Dabangg (140 crores)
After the release and super success of '3 Idiots', one had wondered - 'Is there any competition for Aamir Khan? Can only Aamir beat Aamir at not just the box office but also where quality of cinema is concerned?' However though '3 Idiots' looked unbeatable once, the unthinkable happened within a year with 'Dabangg' breaking the opening week record of '3 Idiots' by a small margin. It couldn't match the lifetime total of 200 crores + but still held on well to not just cross the 100 crores mark but also come close to 150 crores, hence making it industry's second biggest success ever and Salman Khan's biggest grosser till date.
Golmaal 3 (108 crores)
'Golmaal 3' turned out to be a much bigger success than what even its makers would have bargained for. With around 60 crores coming in within first week of its release, 'Golmaal 3' surpassed the entire lifetime collections of 'Golmaal Returns' in one week flat. Not just that, the film also exceeded the sum total of 'Golmaal' and 'Golmaal Returns' to turn into the biggest Bollywood franchise of all times. It won't be wrong to say that such mega success of the film was the hugest surprise of 2010. Meanwhile, though 'Golmaal 3' is the second biggest success of the year after 'Dabangg', one looks at 'Tees Maar Khan' with added anticipation to surpass the landmark.
Raajneeti (93 crores)
In 2010, Prakash Jha (before Salman Khan (Dabangg)) was the first to knock the doors of the elite club which was so far occupied only by Aamir Khan who had crossed the 100 crores milestone with 'Ghajini' and 'Three Idiots'. 'Raajneeti' didn't make 100 crores but came quite close nonetheless. Super success of 'Raajneeti' was even more important for the industry because it proved that a product doesn't necessarily need to be tagged as an 'out and out commercial entertainer' to be pitched for wider audience. If made well with just the right kind of stars and actors who suit the characters (something which fitted in perfectly well in the scheme of things for 'Raajneeti'), a film can find audiences coming in hordes.
My Name Is Khan (72 crores)
A movie belonging to the genre as seen in 'My Name Is Khan' can never be expected to take the kind of opening (at least in India)that a quintessential 'masala' or a feel good entertainer can take. Even in Hollywood a 'Harry Potter' or a 'Transformer' always does better than a 'Schindler's List' or 'The Shawshank Redemption'. In this regard 'My Name Is Khan' did quite well as it was hardly the kind of massy film that brings audience with it in hordes in every centre of the country. An experimental film by Karan Johar which was a complete shift from what one expects in a Shah Rukh Khan starrer, 'My Name Is Khan' did well to top the 70 crores mark.
Housefull (72 crores)
When released, 'Housefull' had taken the third best opening ever after '3 Idiots' and 'Ghajini', This was in fact testimony of three facts - 1) Audiences had made up their mind that they would watch this film regardless of what the critics had to say (reviews were very average), 2) Sajid's confidence in the film was not misplaced as he knew what he had in store for his audience and most importantly, 3) Akshay Kumar wasn't going anywhere (he had a mixed run of films in the year before this). The film had then taken the biggest opening ever of Akshay's career. A good stay at the box office meant that 'Housefull' crossed the collections of Akshay's biggest money spinners till then - 'Welcome' and 'Singh is Kinng' - both of which had crossed the 70 crores milestone.
Tees Maar Khan (60 crores and still counting)
'Tees Maar Khan' was one film which had to open well to safeguard Akshay Kumar's reputation as a superstar. To his good luck, the film opened phenomenally well and the opening weekend numbers (in excess of 40 crores) were like a shot in the arm for him. Even for Farah Khan, she had a point to prove to all the detractors who were keeping their eyes set on whether she would be able to emulate the success of her own 'Om Shanti Om' and 'Main Hoon Naa' which she had done with Shah Rukh Khan. As things stand today, 'Tees Maar Khan' is her biggest opener as well and should cross 70 crores at the box office.
Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai (58 crores)
After '3 Idiots' and 'Raajneeti', if there was one film which had won all around appreciation for itself in early 2010, it was 'Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai'. It was a given that the film would appeal to audience, especially in mass dominated centres. However, the way this out and out masala flick by Milan Luthria won good reviews for itself leading to critical acclaim was totally unprecedented. Even though the film hadn't opened to a fantastic response, makers didn't get into a panicky situation since the word of mouth ranged between good, very good to excellent. The film showed a jump as this Ajay Devgn and Emraan Hashmi starrer turned out to be a very good HIT at the end of it's run with close to 60 crores coming in.
I Hate Luv Storys (44 crores)
For Imran Khan, 'I Hate Luv Storys' was a very important film because other youngsters like Shahid Kapoor (Badmaash Company) and Ranbir Kapoor (Raajneeti) had delivered successful films earlier in 2010. As for Sonam Kapoor, the film was meant to be a shot in the arm, especially after 'Saawariya' and 'Delhi 6'. When released, there were voices around 'I Hate Luv Storys' being clichéd and just a repackaged affair going right due to some aggressive marketing and promotion. However, in the times when instant coffee is the name of the game and movie making stays on to be truly a business affair, a fast inflow of cash is the demand of the situation. In that context, 'I Hate Luv Storys' did well for itself by comfortably managed to sail through and turn into a clean HIT for all involved.
Badmaash Company (33 crores)
Several in the industry had believed that since Shahid's earlier releases like 'Chance Pe Dance' and 'Paathshaala' hadn't done well, 'Badmaash Company' would take a hit as well. However such perceptions were completely misplaced as 'Badmaash Company' was on pretty safe grounds on it's release and later managed a good run overall to boast of the kind of collections (in the range of 30 crores) that 'Vivah' and 'Jab We Met' had enjoyed. The film also did a lot for Yash Raj Films. After having put big money on the likes of Ranbir Kapoor (Rocket Singh - Salesman of the Year) and Priyanka Chopra (Pyaar Impossible), both of which turned out to be loosing prepositions, the production house finally hit the right notes with an unassuming 'Badmaash Company'.
Peepli [Live] (30 crores)
Barring 'Lagaan', no film with a rural backdrop has ever done business in the same way as 'Peepli [Live]' did. It wasn't great cinema by any means though. In fact despite all the media hype, terrific reviews and very good word of mouth, 'Peepli [Live[' exhausted it's target audience in the very first three days itself. Post that, the film did see a fall over the weekdays. In this aspect, Aamir Khan played a smart game by treating 'Peepli [Live]' as just another commercial outing and ensured that there was enough moolah that was gained in the first 3 days itself. His foresight ensured that 'Peeli [Live[' was clean hit with 30 crores coming in theatrically.
[All are nett collections from India]