Ever since SS Rajamouli’s Baahubali: The Beginning (2015) and Baahubali: The Conclusion (2016) turned out to be box office monsters, Indian films budgets have been climbing, and so have their earnings. The year 2018 witnessed plenty of big-budget movies hitting the theatres. While most of them fell short of expectations, some did turn out to be huge hits at the box office.
The year got off to a good start as Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s magnum opus Padmaavat opened to a massive Rs 100 crore earnings domestically in the first week of its release despite protests and disruptions by Hindu fringe elements. In fact, the film continued strong even in the fourth week, raking in over Rs 280 crore. In the middle of the year, director Rajkummar Hirani’s Sanju smashed several box office records by registering an opening of Rs 34.75 crore nationwide.
It was also a year full of surprises when low budget, small town stories did exceptionally well at the ticket window. Films like Stree and Badhaai Ho cashed in big at the box office.
As the year comes to a close, let's rewind back to the top 10 films that raked in the big moolah at the box office in 2018.
The biggest hit of 2018, Sanju is an entertaining and emotional retelling of Sanjay Dutt's tumultuous life. It sees Ranbir Kapoor in the role of the yesteryear actor. The film opened to mixed reviews with many claiming it to be an attempt to whitewash Dutt's image. The reviews, however, didn’t influence its box office business as the film went on to collect Rs 334 crore.
After braving death threats, attacks and numerous controversies, Bhansali’s Padmavaat hit theatres on January 25. Starring Deepika Padukone as Rani Padmavati, Shahid Kapoor as Maharawal Ratan Singh and Ranveer Singh as Alauddin Khilji, the film garnered immense love and appreciation from audience and critics alike. It had a swell time at the box office, earning over Rs 282 crore and became the first blockbuster of the year.
Made with a massive budget of over Rs 540 crore, 2.0 is India’s most expensive film to date. Directed by S Shankar, the film is a sequel to the 2010 blockbuster Enthiran. It also marks Akshay Kumar’s debut in Tamil cinema. While Rajinikanth reprises his role as Chitti from the original, Akshay plays cellphone-hating mutant scientist Pakshi Rajan. While the film crossed the Rs 750-crore mark globally, its Hindi version has collected over Rs 185 crore.
Directed by Remo D'souza, Race 3 boasts of an ensemble cast of Salman Khan, Anil Kapoor, Bobby Deol, Jacqueline Fernandez, Saqib Saleem and Daisy Shah. The film, which became one of the biggest openers of 2018 by minting Rs 29 crore, was heavily panned by the critics. However, its exotic foreign locations and high-octane action sequences attracted families and youngsters in both multiplexes and single screens across the country. It collected over Rs 166 crore.
The Ahmed Khan directorial stars Tiger Shroff and Disha Patani in the lead. The film, which is a sequel to 2016 hit Baaghi, received decent reviews. It crossed the Rs 100-crore mark in just six days. The film’s huge success also made Tiger the youngest Bollywood actor to score the fastest century. The makers of the film have already announced the third installment in the action film franchise, with Tiger making a comeback.
Thugs of Hindostan
Thugs of Hindostan may have found a place in the list of the highest grossing films, but it drew flak for its poor screenplay and average performances. Starring Aamir Khan, Amitabh Bachchan, Katrina Kaif and Fatima Sana Shaikh, the film opened with a big bang during Diwali and collected over Rs 52 crore on Day 1. However, the momentum nose-dived over the first weekend itself. It managed to earn over Rs 150 crore.
Ayushmann Khurrana-starrer Badhaai Ho is the surprise hit of 2018. The film, also featuring Surekha Sikri, Neena Gupta, Gajraj Rao and Sanya Malhotra in key roles, focuses on the discomfort that Indians have in coming to terms with their parents’ sex lives. Directed by Amit Sharma, Badhaai Ho received a terrific opening at the ticket window and the positive word of mouth around the film subsequently helped it generate great box office results. It also became Ayushmann's first film to reach the Rs 100-crore mark.
Stree, starring Shraddha Kapoor, Rajkummar Rao, and Pankaj Tripathi, wreaked havoc at the box office after it zoomed past the earnings of several A-list actors’ films. Set in the small town of Chanderi, Stree effectively challenges popular notions of gender-related differences in a simple yet unconventional manner. The film, which was hailed by critics (and half of the Internet) as a feminist work, collected over Rs 124 crore at the box office.
Based on Harinder Sikka's novel Calling Sehmat, the story of the film Raazi revolves around a young Kashmiri girl, played by Alia Bhatt, who gets married to a Pakistani Army officer (Vicky Kaushal) and becomes a spy to give inside information about the neighbouring country to protect her own. Directed by Meghna Gulzar, Raazi minted Rs 32.94 crore in India in its opening week and subsequently picked up due to positive word of mouth.
The film, starring Akshay Kumar and Mouni Roy, became Akshay's biggest Bollywood opener ever, earning Rs 25.5 crore on the opening day. Gold, which received decent response from the critics as well, revolves around the “golden era” of Indian hockey and shows the journey of Tapan Das, a young assistant manager in 1936, who dreams of playing for an independent nation. The film recreates India's historic win for hockey at the 1948 Olympics. It collected over Rs 104 crore domestically.
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