MUMBAI—“When she was good she was very, very good, but when she was bad, he was horrid!” went a line in a classic Longfellow poem ages ago. But nothing underscores the biz angle of Hindi cinema in 2017 better than this. Substitute a film’s business for “she” and we get the counterpart of how things went in this year of extremes.

Very, very good!

Topping the list in the blockbuster scenario was S.S. Rajamouli’s “Bahubali 2: The Conclusion,” whose Hindi dubbed version alone made a nett killing in India of Rs. 511 crore! This was well ahead of the biggest Hindi blockbuster, Aamir Khan’s Nitesh Tiwari’s “Dangal,” which made Rs. 387 nett in India, by a margin of Rs. 124 crore! Interestingly, “Dangal” made most of this revenue in 2017, as it was released Dec. 23 last year!

Coming next to “Bahubali2…” was the huge success of 2017’s biggest original Hindi hit, Ali Abbas Zafar’s “Tiger Zinda Hai,” which has crossed Rs. 200 crore in seven days flat and is heading towards a minimum Rs. 300 crore in the (clear) days to come, as its first real competition will come in only a month later Jan. 26 with “PadMan” and “Aiyaary.”

The runner-up is “Golmaal Again,” which made Rs. 205 crore, and is Ajay Devgn’s first and Rohit Shetty’s actual first to cross 200 crore as well. As per inside trade sources, his “Chennai Express” was not a true-blue 200-plus film, as the exorbitantly magnified figures were caused when “Krrish 3” tried to “match” the feat, though, neither crossed even Rs.150 crore!

Both Akshay Kumar films – “Jolly LLB 2” and “Toilet: Ek Prem Katha” – and both movies featuring Varun Dhawan – “Judwaa 2,” and “Badrinath Ki Dulhania” – made the positive grade, though they could not be called super-hits despite all of them crossing the 100 crore mark and doing well, even overseas.

A definite super-hit that was made in low budget and got high returns was “Fukrey Returns,” which is still running. Successes at lower levels were “Bareilly Ki Barfi,” “Shubh Mangal Saavdhan” and “Hindi Medium,” while “Shaadi Mein Zaroor Aana” may just make the grade.

“Naam Shabana” is stated to have cost Rs. 15 crore and made an Indian Rs. 37 crore, which places it in the average category already, apart from its business overseas. The figures for “Secret Superstar” are Rs. 20 crore and Rs. 41 crore, which also is about breakeven, with a nicer figure from overseas. However, a trade analyst on condition of anonymity stated that the cost (which means what the distributors paid!) was much higher than admitted for them due to the presence of superstars Khan and Kumar respectively, and both films, therefore, lost money, which could have been avoided.

The same, says the analyst, is the case with another touted hit, “Tumhari Sulu,” which is still running, where the balance is tilted towards the decided negative. However, before release, makers T-Series claimed to have recovered production costs through the sales of several rights.

Bad to horrid!

And that is the reason why we get so many bad to worse films nowadays – filmmakers rarely lose money even on terrible films!

Two more big films deserve mention, though the excuse that they clashed would be a readymade defense point for both. “Raees” and “Kaabil” both lost money for the distributors, and were claimed and believed to be successes/hits based on their 100 crore plus theatrical business, with the former performing better both in India and overseas, and “Kaabil” supposed to have cost lower!

“Tubelight,” the third film to make over 100 crore among them, saw co-producer Salman Khan compensating distributors for a part of their losses. Compensation was also given by Shah Rukh Khan (whose home production it was) to those who distributed “Jab Harry Met Sejal,” a clear-cut flop budgeted at Rs. 80 crore.

“Jab..” earned the lowest-ever figure for a Shah Rukh Khan film in the last decade (Rs. 64.12 crore lifetime). With a worldwide gross of Rs. 150.79 crore, this was indeed pathetic, and worse than even “Fan” and “Dilwale” (for which too SRK had compensated distributors later).

Other high-scale disasters in 2017 include “Rangoon,” “Raabta,” “Half Girlfriend” and “Jagga Jasoos.”

With over 90 A-grade releases and over 160 total (including C-grade) movies that made up the year, each one was a flop to a washout. Among those that mattered were “Chef,” “Maatr,” “Noor,” “Machine,” “Begum Jaan,” “Lucknow Central,” “Sarkar 3,” “A Gentleman: Sundar Susheel Risky,” “Qarib Qarib Singlle” (with Irrfan Khan as a film trying to cash in on “Hindi Medium”), Kapil Sharma’s “Firangi,” “Poster Boys,” “Bhoomi” (Sanjay Dutt’s comeback movie), “Daddy,” “Simran,” “Munna Michael,” “OK Jaanu,” “Indu Sarkar,” “Meri Pyaari Bindu,” “The Ghazi Attack,” “Mubarakan” and “Baadshaho” (both of which opened well), “Haseena Parkar,” Ittefaq” and “Sachin:A Billion Dreams,” which was a documentary that was sold and (extremely foolishly) bought for a killing sum!

Three films termed as hits – “Newton” (our addle-pated Oscar nominee), “Phillauri” and “Mom” – were also complete losers. Even the four skin-flicks (a genre considered quite safe due to its B-grade and single-screen potential) had a terrible climax – “Aksar 2,” “Julie 2,” “Tera Intezar” and “Game Over.”

The worst losers were two long-delayed films, “Ek Thi Rani Aisi Bhi” with Hema Malini and Vinod Khanna, and “Aa Gaya Hero,” with which Govinda tried to get back his audience. In a dubious record, Yash Raj Films had its lowest-ever opener when “Qaidi Band” opened to an all-India collection of less than a crore!

Nothing was expected from offbeat cinema like “Shab,” “Trapped,” “Lipstick Under My Burqa,” “Mukti Bhawan,” “Death In The Gunj” and “Raag Des,” and the (non-) expectations were fulfilled.

Also, flops were all three films in which our actors made international debuts – “Baywatch” (Priyanka Chopra), “xXx: The Return Of Xander Cage” (Deepika Padukone) and “Kung-Fu Yoga” (Sonu Sood and Disha Patani). The latter two were hits in their home country. “Partition: 1947,” the Hindi version of “Viceroy’s House” and featuring Indian artistes also nosedived. So did the dubbed version of (Dhanush and) Kajol’s “V.I.P. 2.”

HOW STARS FARED:

(Hits/Successes in CAPITALS, SUPER-HITS IN BOLD CAPITALS) *: Cameos

Actors

Salman Khan: TIGER ZINDA HAI, Tubelight

Aamir Khan: SECRET SUPERSTAR*

Akshay Kumar: TOILET—EK PREM KATHA, JOLLY LLB 2, NAAM SHABANA*

Shah Rukh Khan: Raees, Tubelight*, Jab Harry Met Sejal

Ajay Devgn: GOLMAAL AGAIN, Baadshaho

Hrithik Roshan: Kaabil

Varun Dhawan: JUDWAA 2, BADRINATH KI DULHANIA

Tiger Shroff: Munna Michael

Ranbir Kapoor: Jagga Jasoos

Arjun Kapoor: Mubarakan, Half Girlfriend

Sidharth Malhotra: A Gentleman, Ittefaq

Shahid Kapoor: Rangoon

Saif Ali Khan: Rangoon, Chef

Akshaye Khanna: Ittefaq, Mom

Emraan Hashmi: Baadshaho

Farhan Akhtar: Lucknow Central

Rajkummar Rao: BAREILLY KI BARFI, SHAADI MEIN ZAROOR AANA, Newton, Raabta*, Behen Hogi Teri

Ayushmann Khurrana: BAREILLY KI BARFI, SHUBH MANGAL SAAVDHAN, Meri Pyaari Bindu

Sushant Singh Rajput: Raabta

Irrfan Khan: HINDI MEDIUM, Qarib Qarib Singlle

Amitabh Bachchan: Sarkar 3

Sunny Deol: Poster Boys

Anil Kapoor: Mubarakan

Sanjay Dutt: Bhoomi

Bobby Deol: Poster Boys

Actresses

Deepika Padukone: xXx: The Return Of Xander Cage (English)

Priyanka Chopra: Baywatch (English)

Katrina Kaif: TIGER ZINDA HAI, Jagga Jasoos

Alia Bhatt: BADRINATH KI DULHANIA

Jacqueline Fernandez: JUDWAA 2, A Gentleman

Anushka Sharma: Phillauri, Jab Harry Met Sejal

Parineeti Chopra: GOLMAAL AGAIN, Meri Pyaari Bindu

Shraddha Kapoor: OK Jaanu, Haseena Parkar, Half Girlfriend

Sonakshi Sinha: Noor, Ittefaq

Kriti Sanon: BAREILLY KI BARFI, Raabta

Taapsee Pannu: JUDWAA 2, NAAM SHABANA, The Ghazi Attack, Running Shaadi

Bhumi Pednekar: TOILET—EK PREM KATHA, SHUBH MANGAL SAAVDHAN

Ileana D’Cruz: Mubarakan, Badshaho

Tabu: GOLMAAL AGAIN

Kajol: V.I.P. 2

Kangana Ranaut: Simran, Rangoon

Vidya Balan: Tumhari Sulu, Begum Jaan

Yami Gautam: Kaabil

Directors 

Rohit Shetty: GOLMAAL AGAIN

Ali Abbas Zafar: TIGER ZINDA HAI

David Dhawan: JUDWAA 2

Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari: BAREILLY KI BARFI

Shashank Khaitan: BADRINATH KI DULHANIA

Anees Bazmee: Mubarakan

Anurag Basu: Jagga Jasoos

Milan Luthria: Baadshaho

Abbas-Mustan: Machine

Kabir Khan: Tubelight

Vishal Bhardwaj: Rangoon

Imtiaz Ali: Jab Harry Met Sejal

Sabbir Khan: Munna Michael

Producers 

Aditya Chopra: TIGER ZINDA HAI, Meri Pyaari Bindu, Bank Chor, Qaidi Band

Karan Johar: BADRINATH KI DULHANIA, Ittefaq

Sajid Nadiadwala: JUDWAA 2, Rangoon

Nitesh Tiwari: BAREILLY KI BARFI

Aamir Khan: SECRET SUPERSTAR

Mukesh Bhatt: Begum Jaan

Rakesh Roshan: Kaabil

Ritesh Sidhwani & Farhan Akhtar: FUKREY RETURNS, Raees,

T-Series HINDI MEDIUM, Tumhari Sulu, Ittefaq, Baadshaho, Raabta, Bhoomi, Simran

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