Ask any filmmaker in the world and they will tell you that there is no secret recipe to making a guaranteed blockbuster which is why whenever a formula or a film clicks they make sure that they reap all the benefits by making number of sequels, remakes or spin offs. Whether it is Hollywood or Bollywood sequels are the norms of the day as they ensure funding, sponsors and a wide release of a film. Every blockbuster movie need not necessarily be a soul satisfying one but at least they ought to be entertaining after all so many people went to see it, right? In the list below we take a look into such films that became huge blockbusters (i.e. earned more than 100 crores at the box office) upon its release despite being bad and made you wonder why so many people went o see them in the first place. Here is the list of 15 worst Bollywood movies that crossed 100 crores at the box office.
15. Rowdy Rathore
This South inspired Prabhu Deva directorial venture is perfect cringe-worthy cinema. It has crass dialogues, tasteless songs and below par performances. To be very frank this is the kind of cinema that gives Bollywood a bad name and nullifies the efforts of the few filmmakers who are trying to make films that are out of the box. ‘Rowdy Rathode’ presents to us a world where the leading lady (Sonakshi Sinha) is constantly referred to as ‘maal’ and where you can identify a villain with his get up (unruly beards and long hairs). The leading man (Akshay Kumar) is conveniently moralistic i.e. when he is not drinking and ogling at women he beats up goons; in other words it was a staple Akshay Kumar role. However all those shortcomings didn’t matter to the Indian audiences as the film grossed 206 crore worldwide. When Kumar danced on ‘Chinta Ta Ta Chita Chita’ the whole theatre burst into dancing and everything else didn’t matter at all. Easily one of the worst Bollywood blockbusters.
14. Happy New Year
Farah Khan’s ‘Happy New Year’ is a tutorial in putting together a recipe for an epic cinematic disaster. A faded Shah Rukh Khan (with his six pack intact, of course) and an overzealous Abhishek Bachchan along with an annoying Boman Irani and a pretty dancer played by Deepika Padukone go on a heist mission under the pretext of participating in a dance competition. On paper it might have sounded good but the execution is pure amateurish and the final product is utter rubbish, the only saving grace being Ms. Padukone, the current numero uno actress of Bollywood. Add to it some jingoistic patriotism (remember the Indiawale song?) and some cultural appropriation (Parsi jokes) and boom we have a film that grossed about 345 crore worldwide. This is a film that people in general criticized heavily but also bought tickets to watch it on the big screen. As to why, that’s a discussion for another day.
Post the release of the film there was a joke going around on social media that the Bhojpuri version of the film would be called ‘Pati Fauj Main, Bhauji Mauj Main’ which made sense at the time as the film clearly lacked quality. Based on the scandalous real life incident of the K.M. Nanavati case the film had ample scopes to carve out something original from a local story but director Tinu Suresh Desai was more focused on presenting the male lead Akshay Kumar as a man of morals and thus reducing him to a caricature of a chauvinistic Indian man who is always right. Akshay in isolation is commendable but everything around him be it the wrong costumes, supporting actors lacking in talent or the overall pseudo-serious tone of the film made his job extremely difficult and the film never rises from its cesspool of mediocrity.
12. Housefull 3
It has been a constant downhill journey for Sajid Khan’s ‘Housefull’ series since the first installment released in 2010. The first one tried hard to be a slapstick comedy, the second one loses the plot in a big manner and the third (hopefully the last one) installment was downright racist, sexist, insensitive and a farce in the name of comedy. Akshay Kumar and Riteish Deshmukh have been a constant member of this lowbrow comedy franchise and even they seem to sleepwalk through their roles as there is hardly any challenging in their respective roles, the kind of which they have played over a dozen times in different films. As if it’s not enough that the films are dumb, director Sajid Khan always makes sure that his leading ladies are the dumbest. Right from Jacqueline Fernandez to Zarine Khan to Nargis Fakhri, the who’s who of talentless actresses in Bollywood has had the honour of being a part of the ‘Housefull’ series.
11. Son of Sardaar
In the big Diwali box office battle of 2012 the Ajay Devgan starrer and produced ‘Son of Sardaar’ battled it out against Yash Chopra’s ‘Jab Tak Hai Jaan’ and managed to hold its own ground. Unfortunately that’s the only good thing one can say about the film. ‘Son of Sardaar’ is so basic, predictable and illogical that if it made you laugh then you should seriously reconsider your sense of humour. Apart from being clichéd the films is also emotionally manipulative and let’s just say it for once and all that it is painful to see Ajay Devgan trying to do comedy. He is a fine actor but comedy is evidently not his forte. Director Ashwini Dhir makes no effort to spice up the narrative with an unforeseen twist or a pinch of freshness. It is a boring, overdone and an utterly forgettable piece of cinema.
One can write pages about the sheer mediocrity and the foolhardiness of the film and Salman Khan in particular. A remake of a Malayalam film of the same name, ‘Bodyguard’ is designed as a children’s film – unintentionally, of course – with a childish Salman Khan headlining the narrative. It reminds us of the standard Bollywood films of the 60s and 70s when the heroines used to play pranks on the hero and there is always a fat guy who is the butt of all jokes. In a ridiculous twist during the climax the two lovers – Salman Khan and Kareena Kapoor – gets separated only to be reunited towards the end followed by some unnecessary melodrama. The only reason for the astounding success of the film is Salman Khan and without him it wouldn’t have even lasted a week at the cinemas.
9. Grand Masti
If you have grown up watching Bollywood films of the 90s then the name Indra Kumar must be well known to you. The man is single handedly responsible for making Madhuri Dixit the top female star of the early 90s with films like ‘Dil, ‘Beta’ and ‘Raja’. However all that is now a thing of the past. This has-been top director is now known for making sleazy and pretentious ‘family’ comedies. It all started with ‘Masti’ in 2004 when the director seemingly running out of ideas and partially trying to adapt himself to the changing times came up with the idea of making sex comedies. To give credit where it’s due ‘Masti’ had its genuine funny moments even though most of the scenes were ‘inspired’ by popular comedy films from around the world and the concept of an A – grade sex comedy was still new in Bollywood. When ‘Grand Masti’ released it was pretty obvious that the intention as well the product was sub-standard. It was a film for the masses and that too for those sections of audiences who gets satisfied with just a glimpse of cleavage show. Hope you got the point.
8. Prem Ratan Dhan Payo
If the title of the film reminds you of a bygone era – not in a nostalgic manner but more as a reminder of an outdated concept – wait till you hear the songs. The film doesn’t offer anything that we haven’t already seen in a Rajshri productions film. It is important to mention the banner under which the film is made here so that anyone who hasn’t seen the film yet can get a vague idea of how the film is. True it’s lavishly mounted and very pleasing to the eyes but the snail paced narrative and the ‘pehle aap – pehle aap’ dialogue delivery is unbearable. Sonam Kapoor, even though she looks pretty lacks an old world charm and thus comes across as pretentious. It was a Diwali release and aided by Salman Khan’s giant star power it proved to be one of the biggest Bollywood hits of all time.
Before commenting anything on the film one must keep in mind that ‘Dilwale’ is a Rohit Shetty film and now when we look back it’s safe to say that had it not clashed with Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s magnum opus ‘Bajirao Mastani’ it would have collected more bucks at the box office. The thing is even if you try your best it’s hard to find something good to write about the film. The otherwise reliable Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol’s pairing also evoked lukewarm response at best. The director explored new avenues by shooting his film in newer locations like Iceland and Czech Republic but forgot to strengthen what he is best at doing – comedy. Not a single original joke in the film which is very unlike a Rohit Shetty film, the director who gave us the ‘Golmaal’ series. Varun Dhawan’s over enthusiastic performance further highlighted the weak script and how empty vessels make the loudest noises.
6. Bang Bang!
Bollywood is perhaps the only film industry in the world which remakes flops and critically butchered movies of Hollywood. That’s the only way to explain why director Siddharth Anand bought the rights of the Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz starrer ‘Knight and Day’ and rechristened it as ‘Bang Bang!’. Hrithik Roshan tried his best to recreate the magic of ‘Dhoom 2’ and to be fair to him he was pretty good in the action sequences but an actor is as good as the film. And ‘Bang Bang!’ is a disaster from the word go. If only exotic locations and a good looking cast were enough to satiate a film lover’s thirst ‘Bang Bang!’ would be at the top of the list but thankfully there are far better films out in the world and films such as this only reminds us why mediocrity is harmful even in the form of entertainment.
5. Singham Returns
The thing with Hindi films is that if a formula clicks one can be rest assured that there will be a sequel. So after the success of ‘Singham’, Rohit Shetty decided to cash in on the popularity of the title character and released a sequel in 2014. As is the case with many sequels, ‘Singham Returns’ proved to be a bigger hit than the first one so what if it was at the cost of quality. Let’s get this straight, ‘Singham’ was a remake of a Tamil film of the same name and so the question of originality is out of the way. The Hindi version retained the flavour of the original to a large extent with it’s over the top action sequences – flying cars and men – and fast paced narrative. The sequel however was over blown and caricatured the leading man himself. Also the absence of Prakash Raj as the bad guy considerably brought down the sheen of the movie.
Sajid Nadiadwala’s directorial debut was a remake of a Telegu film ‘Kick’. The Bollywood adaptation not only kept the name of the original but also retained the original plot to a large extent. As an Indian movie-goer most of you must have noticed that certain scenarios and larger than life situations are a natural fit in South Indian films as they have a certain amount of inherent likeable madness in them. However it’s difficult to translate the same vibes into Hindi remakes or adaptations. This is where the Salman Khan starrer ‘Kick’ lags behind. The now 51 year old action star clearly looked unfit and dowdy in black spandex outfits and masks doing ridiculous dance moves and performing senseless action sequences. The leading lady Jacqueline Fernandez’s lack of any particular talent didn’t help either. The film fails to even live up to its name as you hardly get any ‘Kick’ while watching it.
3. Dabbang 2
In 2010 when first time director Abhinav Kashyap – brother of Anurag Kashyap – created a rustic world full of charm with a desi Robin Hood named Chulbul Pandey at the helm of things it instantly became a modern day Bollywood legend. ‘Dabbang’ proved to be that rare film that satisfied both the masses and the critics without trying too hard to be a pleaser. Whether it’s debutante Sonakshi Sinha’s dialogue – ‘Thapad se darr nahin lagta saab, pyaar se lagta hain’ – and songs like ‘Munni Badnaam Hui’, the memories of the film are still fresh in our minds. However the sequel almost ruined the fond memories of the first one with its uninspired narrative and lackluster performances and mediocre songs. Business wise the second one scored over the first one but the quality had visibly come down and it can be attributed to the fact that Arbaaz Khan was the director of the sequel who clearly had no idea how to take the story forward.
2. Krrish 3
The obvious question in everyone’s mind when ‘Krrish 3’ was announced was that when did ‘Krrish 2’ came out. The only logical explanation available to us was that ‘Krrish 3’ was the third film in Rakesh Roshan’s ambitious extra terrestrial trilogy which was preceded by ‘Koi.. Mil Gaya’ and ‘Krrish’. The trailer of the film made history of sorts at that time by crossing 12 million views in a period of about 10 days and with cutting edge technology being used in the film it was the most anticipated film of the year. However the cracks started showing even before the release of the film. The film which was long in the making sported a very outdated look which was noticeable especially in the songs and costumes department. Upon its release ‘Krrish 3’ was appreciated for being technically sound but criticized for being ultimately hollow and falling short of being a cinematic revolution. Despite the positive box office returns the film had a very limited appeal as far as super hero movies are concerned.
1. Dhoom 3
‘Dhoom 3’ is a strange combination of being the weakest film of the ‘Dhoom’ franchise and the highest grossing one. The first one was a small budget film consisting of mostly new actors who are yet to make a mark but got noticed for its ‘Fast and Furious’ style of narrative. The second one got etched in people’s memory for being stylish and also who can forget Hrithik Roshan in the film. By the time ‘Dhoom 3’ released it was a given that it would rock the box office but no one anticipated such a flawed film. According to various YouTube videos there are 138 technical mistakes in the film. On top of that Aamir Khan’s trying-hard-to-be-cool expressions fell flat on its face when he became the butt of all jokes via internet memes. The duo of Abhishek Bachchan and Uday Chopra (his last film as an actor) was clearly out of sync in this one and Katrina Kaif’s barely-there role was a also huge disappointment to her fans.