From ‘Uri’ to ‘Kalank’: The Biggest Hits & Flops of 2019 So Far

2019 has been a mixed bag for Bollywood so far. On one hand, there have been some surprise super-hits like Kabir Singh, Uri: The Surgical Strike and The Tashkent Files, giving the trade a lot to cheer about. And on the other, the trend from last year (where multi-starrer films like Zero, Thugs of Hindostan and Race 3 lost money) continued, as some of the biggest star-studded films have turned out to be losing propositions.

Here is a list of the seven biggest hits and four biggest disappointments at the box office in 2019 so far.

1. Uri: The Surgical Strike

Vicky Kaushal in Uri: The Surgical Strike.

2019 kicked off with a bang for Bollywood, as January release Uri: The Surgical Strike, starring Vicky Kaushal and Yami Gautam, turned out to be the biggest hit of the year. The film is based on Indian army’s covert operation in 2016 to avenge the killing of fellow army men at their base by a terrorist group. Made at a decent budget of Rs 25 crore, the film went on to have a long run at the theatres, and minted a whopping Rs 244 crore in lifetime collections.

Cost: Rs 25 crore

Collections: Rs 244 crore

Return on Investment (ROI): Rs 219 crore

ROI percentage: 876%

2. The Tashkent Files

Mithun Chakraborty and Naseeruddin Shah in The Tashkent Files.

Directed by Vivek Agnihotri, The Tashkent Files was perhaps the biggest surprise of the year. The small-budget conspiracy thriller based on the death of former Indian Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri went on to earn well despite limited screens.

Cost: Rs 4 crore

Collections: Rs 16.75 crore

ROI: Rs 12.75 crore

ROI%: 318.75%

3. Badla

Based on the Spanish film The Invisible Guest, Badla, starring Taapsee Pannu and Amitabh Bachchan, got critical and commercial success. The film was held together by a good performance from Taapsee, who plays a murder accused and Amitabh, who plays her lawyer. Directed by Sujoy Ghosh, the thriller went on to make Rs 88 crore at the box office.

Budget: Rs 22.00 crore

Collections: Rs 88.02 crore

ROI: Rs 66.02 crore

ROI percentage: 300.09%

4. Luka Chuppi

Kartik Aryan and Kriti Sanon in Luka Chuppi.

This Kartik Aryan and Kriti Sanon romantic comedy revolving around a live-in relationship in a small town was lapped up by the audience across the country. It fell short of the Rs 100 crore mark, but still earned a profit of Rs 69 crore.

Budget: Rs 25.00 crore

Collections: Rs 94.15 crore

ROI: Rs 69.15 crore

ROI percentage: 276.60%

5. Kabir Singh

Shahid Kapoor in Kabir Singh.

Remake of the Telugu film Arjun Reddy, Shahid Kapoor-starrer Kabir Singh has been constantly in the news for the debate around the glorification of its chauvinistic and misogynistic hero. Owing to both, positive and negative buzz around the film, Kabir Singh turned out to be Shahid Kapoor’s biggest solo opener by earning Rs 20.21 crore on day one. The film is still going strong, and has made Rs 190.64 crore in 11 days. If it continues to stay steady, it could end up becoming the fourth or even the third biggest hit of the year.

Budget: Rs 60 crore

Collections: Rs 190.64 crore

ROI: Rs 130.64 crore

ROI percentage so far: 217.73%

6. Gully Boy

Ranveer Singh and Alia Bhatt in Gully Boy.

This Zoya Akhtar film, loosely based on the life of rappers Divine and Naezy, who rose from the Mumbai slums to become rap sensations, was lapped up by the urban audience. Ranveer Singh, Alia Bhatt, Siddhant Chaturvedi’s performances and a brilliant soundtrack led the film to critical and commercial success.

Budget: Rs 50 crore

Collections: Rs 139.38 crore

ROI: Rs 89.38 crore

ROI percentage: 178.76%

7. Kesari

Akshay Kumar in Kesari.

Akshay Kumar added another patriotic film to his list of hits with Kesari, a fictionalised version of the true story of the Battle of Saragarhi, where Sikh soldiers fought on behalf of the British Indian Army against Afghan tribesmen. The film turned out to be a winning proposition by making over double the cost of investment.

Budget: Rs 75 crore

Collections: Rs 153 crore

ROI: Rs 78 crore

ROI percentage: 104%

Here are four films that were the biggest disappointment at the box office.

1. Kalank

Produced by Dharma Productions, Kalank had a huge starcast - Madhuri Dixit, Sanjay Dutt, Alia Bhatt, Varun Dhawan, Aditya Roy Kapur and Sonakshi Sinha. Directed by Abhishek Verman, the film’s trailers or music never really took off. The reviews upon release were mostly negative and that didn’t help the cause either. It was a film that Karan Johar’s father Yash Johar wanted to make back in the ‘90s. Due to the jaded storytelling and a feeling of being a me-too to Sanjay Leela Bhansali films, Kalank has turned out to be the biggest disaster of the year so far.

Cost: Rs 150 crore

Collections: Rs 81 crore

Loss: Rs 69 crore

2. Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi

Kangana Ranaut on the poster of Manikarnika.

Kangana Ranaut’s ambitious epic period drama based on the life of Rani Laxmibai of Jhansi did not manage to earn back its cost. The film went over-budget when several portions of the film were re-shot as certain actors were replaced and Kangana took over as director. The response to the film was mixed, even though Kangana got praised for her performance.

Cost: Rs 125 crore

Collections: Rs 94.92 crore

Loss: Rs 30.08 crore

3. Student of the Year 2

Tiger Shroff, Tara Sutaria and Ananya Panday in Student of the Year 2.

Dharma Production’s second big disappointment came in the form of Student of The Year 2. The sequel to the 2012 hit college caper, Student of the Year, just didn’t click with its young target audience. Starring Tiger Shroff, and debutantes Ananya Pandey and Tara Sutaria, SOTY 2, was panned by critics and audience alike.

Cost: Rs 80 crore

Collections: Rs 70.66 crore

Loss: Rs 10.66 crore

4. Bharat

Salman Khan through the ages in ‘Bharat’ poster.

A Salman Khan film is always an important one for trade. There’s big investment and big returns are expected. Unfortunately, Bharat, which released on Salman’s favourite five-day Eid weekend, performed way below expectations, and just about managed to cross Rs 200 crore. While Ali Abbas Zafar-directed Bharat isn’t a flop, it still made very little money for everyone involved.

Cost: Rs 130 crore

Collections: Rs 209 crore

ROI: Rs 79 crore

ROI percentage: 60%

(Disclaimer: The cost of production for each of the films has been collated from various reliable sources and is an approximate number.)

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