Bollywood countdown 2022: Hits & Flops

Despite naysayers and boycott, Brahmastra had the highest collection among Mumbai-made Hindi movies. Photo: Universal Communications 

It is a given that hits and flops are not always necessarily about quality. The parameters of a hit have also changed. If a film costs Rs. 10 to the distributor (which includes his job of publicity and advertising), he needs to recover Rs. 20 to break even, Rs. 30 to have a hit, and Rs. 40 upwards to get a super-hit or blockbuster.

Today, the era when only theatrical business brought in money is passé. We have music rights and television rights (which became big from the 1990s), overseas and satellite rights (which followed) and now, streaming rights. In many cases, a producer is also the distributor, which changes the math. In several cases, therefore, recovery is also possible ‘on the table’, so to speak, where a filmmaker or distributor can make a profit, even if, theoretically, a film does not have any audience at all.

There are also variables: A film can be a hit all over, or only in selected territories. A movie can do well in India but flop overseas, or vice-versa. Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna is a classical case of a film that was a super-hit internationally but failed within the country. Still others perform variably within one zone: they can be flops in multiplexes but do well in single-screens—signs of a film that is totally for the masses. Others, especially in the last three years, do well only in home viewing (TV, web) but sink on the big screen. And there were always films that flopped initially but did roaring business on TV (Zameen / 2003) or in reruns (Jhuk Gaya Aasmaan / 1968). Reruns are obsolete now.

And so, the hit and flop business, though still primarily based on return on investment and theatrical income, was thus dependent on the ever-vital word-of-mouth. The parameters for judging the fate of OTT releases are still unspecified, so we will only look at nett Indian collections (moneys from movie halls minus entertainment tax that is paid to the government). For pan-Indian South releases, we will look at the business of only Hindi versions. And please remember that in a best-case scenario, the overseas income does not normally add more than 25 percent to this figure.

Here, then, is the business done by major releases in 2022.

Drishyam 2, still running successfully, may beat the collections of The Kashmir Files, Brahmastra and RRR. Photo: Universal Communications

Major Hindi hits

Brahmastra: Part One—Shiva Rs. 257.44 crore / Hit

The Kashmir Files Rs. 252.90 cr. / Blockbuster—as the production budget was a mere Rs. 15 cr.

Drishyam 2 Rs. 230.70 cr. and counting / Super-Hit

Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2 Rs. 185.92 cr. / Hit

Theatrical performance was not profitable but overall business was 100 cr.-plus for Gangubai Kathiawadi Rs 129.10 cr.

Uunchai is still running in theatres and is overall in profit from other income streams thanks to a controlled budget.

Rocketry, too, is overall in profit from other income streams, thanks again to a controlled budget.

Because of its restricted budget, Rocketry in Hindi also did well. Photo: Raindrop Media

The flops and disasters:

An Action Hero Rs. 10.89 cr. / Disaster

Attack Part 1 Rs. 16.13 cr. / Disaster

Bachchan Paandey  Rs. 49.98 cr. / Disaster

Bhediya Rs. 64.64 cr. and counting / Flop

Cirkus Rs. 30.25 cr. and counting / Disaster

Heropanti 2 Rs. 24.45 cr. / Disaster

Jayeshbhai Jordaar Rs. 15.59 cr. / Disaster

Jersey Rs. 19.68 cr. / Disaster

Jug Jugg Jeeyo Rs. 85.03 / Flop

Laal Singh Chaddha Rs. 59 cr. / Disaster—Its production budget was Rs. 180 crore!

Raksha Bandhan Rs. 44.39 cr. / Disaster

Ram Setu Rs. 71.87 cr. / Flop

Runway 34   Rs. 32.90 cr. / Disaster—It did well on streaming.

Samrat Prithviraj Rs. 68.05 cr. / Disaster

Shamshera Rs. 42.48 cr. / Disaster

Thank God Rs. 34.89 cr. / Disaster

Vikram Vedha Rs. 78.66 cr. / Flop

NTR Jr. and Ram Charan in the super-hit RRR. Photo: Trailer Video Grab

Pan-Indian South-made movies:

KGF 2 Rs. 434.62 cr. (Highest grosser in 2022) / Super-Hit

RRR Rs. 274.31 cr. (Second-highest grosser in 2022) / Super-Hit

Kantara Rs. 79.25 cr. / Hit

The other South films’ Hindi versions’ fates were as follows:

Kartikheya 2 Rs. 31.05 cr. / Success

PS-1 Rs. 25.12 cr. / Critically appreciated

Liger Rs. 20.05 cr. / Disaster in Hindi

Radhe Shyam Rs. 19.30 cr. / Disaster in Hindi

Major Rs. 12.71 cr. / Critically appreciated

Vikrant Rona  Rs.12.49 cr. / Disaster

Sita Ramam Rs. 8.19 cr. / Critically appreciated

Vikram—Hit-List Rs. 6.64 cr. / Critically appreciated

RAW (Hindi version of Beast) / Very low figures not announced— Disaster

Akshay Kumar never had a hit after a dream run from 2016 to 2021. Photo: Spice PR

The Stars’ Scoreboard (Hits and Successes in CAPITALS, OTT Releases in Italics & Cameos marked with *):


Aamir Khan — Laal Singh Chaddha, Salaam Venky*

Ajay Devgn — DRISHYAM 2, RRR*, GANGUBAI KATHIAWADI*, Thank God, Runway 34, Rudra—The Edge of Darkness (web series)

Akshay Kumar—Bachchhan Paandey, Ram Setu, Raksha Bandhan, Samrat Prithviraj, Cuttputlli

Abhishek Bachchan—Dasvi, Breathe—Into the Shadows (web series)

Amitabh Bachchan—BRAHMASTRA, UUNCHAI, Jhund, Goodbye

Arjun Kapoor—Ek Villain Returns

Ayushmann Khurrana—Anek, An Action Hero

Hrithik Roshan—Vikram Vedha

John Abraham—Attack Part 1, Ek Villain Returns

Kartik Aaryan—BHOOL BHULAIYAA 2, Freddy

Prabhas—Radhe Shyam

Ranbir Kapoor—BRAHMASTRA, Shamshera, Govinda Naam Mera*, Sharmaji Namkeen*

Ranveer Singh—Jayeshbhai Jordaar, Cirkus

Shah Rukh Khan—BRAHMASTRA*, ROCKETRY*, Laal Singh Chaddha*

Shahid Kapoor—Jersey

Sidharth Malhotra—Thank God

Tiger Shroff—Heropanti

Varun Dhawan—Jug Jugg Jeeyo, Bhediya



Anushka Sharma—Qala*

Bhumi Pednekar—Govinda Naam Mera, Raksha Bandhan, Badhaai Do

Deepika Padukone—Cirkus, Gehraiyaan

Kangana Ranaut—Dhaakad

Kareena Kapoor Khan—Laal Singh Chaddha

Katrina Kaif—Phone Booth

Kiara Advani—BHOOL BHULAIYAA 2, Govinda Naam Mera, Jug Jugg Jeeyo

Kriti Sanon—Bachchhan Paandey, Bhediya, Heropanti 2*

Parineeti Chopra—UUNCHAI, Code Name: Tiranga

Shraddha Kapoor—Bhediya*

Taapsee Pannu—Shabhash Mithu, Dobaara, Looop Lapeta, Blurr, Tadka

Vidya Balan—Jalsa

Yammi Gautam—Dasvi, A Thursday







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