2016 was an unusual year in terms of the numbers of silver screen successes it has churned out in India. Here are some of the top 10 Hindi movies released yet.
Over the past few years now, Amitabh Bachchan’s movies have featured incredible stories. Reverting to the dark drama genre of Aks, AB comes up with Wazir, directed by Bejoy Nambiar. The story of a wheelchair bound chess pro (AB) and an Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) officer (Farhan Akhtar), the film was a favorite with those who like unraveling mind games. The first hit of the year, Wazir collected about INR 44.2 crore worldwide.
Starring Akshay Kumar and Nimrat Kaur and directed by Raja Krishna Menon, the Bollywood flick Airlift became one of the best received movies of 2016. Based on the massive civilian evacuation mission of Indians stuck in Kuwait during Saddam Hussein’s invasion of the country, the film drew the jingoistic best out of Indians both home and abroad. The film recorded a total box office collection of about INR 227.63 crore.
Debutant director Ram Madhvani shone out in Neerja, a Sonam Kapoor starrer about the life and heroic sacrifice of Pam Am Flight 73 flight purser Neerja Bhanot. The film was well crafted, tightly edited, and well received at the box office. The film garnered a total box office collection of about INR 108 crore at home, and INR 25.9 crore overseas.
4. Udta Punjab
Director Abhishek Chaubey’s movie Udta Punjab was mired in much controversy. Tackling the issue of substance abuse among the youth of the Indian state of Punjab, the movie drew criticism and support from many quarters. Sadly, when the movie was released after a number of censor snips, its repute did not translate into box office earnings. The film earned INR 99.6 crore worldwide falling short of entering the 100 crore club.
Sports and the dream of earning a gold at the Olympics was sure to be a success this year. Add to this Salman Khan and Anushka Sharma as the main leads and some peppy numbers and director Ali Abbas Zafar had a winner to start with. Not only did Sultan become the first Bollywood flick to gross over INR 206 crore in its opening weekend, it also became one of the biggest all time earners with a worldwide collection of INR 584 crore.
Rajinikanth movies are known for their hype and craze and not just in India. The mega star’s 2016 release, Kabali became the biggest hit of 2016 with a gross collection of INR 650 crore worldwide leaving Sultan far behind. The movie portrays the plight of Tamils in Malaysia and broke multiple box office records. The first day collections alone were over INR 48 crore. The movie was released in Tamil along with dubbed Telugu and Hindi versions.
No actor in Bollywood carries off the “man in uniform” role better than Akshay Khanna. Director Tinu Suresh Desai’s movie Rustom was based on the epic trial of Naval Officer K M Nanavati. The film went on to collect about INR 50 crore in its opening weekend and recorded a total earning of over INR 207 crore at the worldwide box office.
One thing is clear, SRK has a number of fans if not devotees. The story of a celebrity obsessed fan, this flick was definitely insipid compared to other SRK movies and yet managed to muster a box office collection of INR 80 crore in India and about INR 175 crore overseas. Neither Maneesh Sharma, the director, nor the Yash Raj Films banner was successful in wooing film critics, though.
Courtroom dramas in Indian cinema tend to get out of hand. Especially ones where arguments and debates, rather than facts take on the lead. But there have been flicks that have stood out for the sheer idealism they portray. Remember Ek Ruka Hua Faisla? Pink belongs to a similar genre. The fact that Amitabh Bachchan plays the unstable old lawyer making the arguments adds to the irrefutable exposure of morality and women’s rights perceptions in modern India, is the icing on the cake. This is one movie that is yet to find a critic. The film is on its third weekend has has already raked in collections worth INR 58.86 crores.
10. MS Dhoni
Cricket and movies are two universally acceptable religions in India. Put them together and you have Neeraj Pandey’s directorial venture, Sushant Singh Rajput starrer M.S. Dhoni: The Untold Story. Mahi, one of India’s favorite cricketer, gets his story told on the silver screen. In the first two days of its release, the movie has earned about INR 62.4 crore overseas and INR 58.2 crore in India.
The year is far from ended. With three months to go there are yet a number of movies set to release that remain highly anticipated by the Indian movie-going audience.
- Mirzya – Director Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra’s Mirzya is the most anticipated release of October 2016. After about 17 years Gulzar returns to writing screenplay and Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy have composed the soundtrack while Daler Mehndi has set a few dreamy numbers for this movie. Starring Harshvardhan Kapoor and Saiyami Kher, Mirzya is the timeless tale of ill-fated lovers struggling to find a moment of togetherness in a chaotic world.
- Shivaay – If you thought Ajay Devgan has always been an intense actor, here is a chance to gauge the depth of his intensity as a director as well. Set for release around Diwali, Shivaay promises some daredevilry with Ajay playing out the role of a mountaineer and an through and through action man.
- Ae Dil Hai Mushkil – If names could make a movie, Ae Dil Hai Mushkil should be considered a hit already. Starring Bollywood’s favorites such as Ranbir Kapoor, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, and Anushka Sharma, written and directed by Karan Johar and featuring music by Pritam, this movie is another one set for Diwali release in 2016. Knowing KJo’s favourite genre and going by the trailer, we may anticipate some powerful drama in this love triangle.
- Rock On!! 2 – Building on the success of 2008 film Rock On!!, the sequel Rock On!! 2 is set to release mid November 2016. As usual the Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy trio is expected to make magic with its stupendous music and the lead cast includes Farhan Akhtar, Arjun Rampal, and Prachi Desai.
- Dangal – After the release and stupendous success of Sultan, another wrestling themed movie in 2016 would typically have been a bad idea. But considering Aamir Khan’s track record for success and for picking out winners, Dangal remains a greatly anticipated year end release. If nothing else, we want to see how Mahavir Singh Phogat (played by Aamir Khan) is different from Sultan.
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