Ranbir Kapoor began his career with Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Saawariya in November 2007. The fairy tale did not earn much but it brought the audience to theatres by the droves. With expectation from Raj Kapoor's grandson, it opened to packed theatres and grossed around Rs. 20 crore in its opening weekend.
Cut to 2013, his 13th film (special appearances included) Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani has earned over Rs. 60 crore in its opening weekend itself. It will most likely join the Rs. 100-crore-club and more. Though the film has received mixed reviews from critics, the opening collections suggest that YJHD will become the greatest hit of Ranbir Kapoor's career.
However, Ranbir Kapoor is not a star born with Ayan Mukerji's film. He was always a star kid from whom everyone had great expectations. The debut eventually proved a damp squib. With his debut a section of media was ominously comparing him with granddad Raj Kapoor. Headlines Today said, " Is the legendary Raj Kapoor influencing Ranbir Raj Kapoor too much? Ranbir doesn’t just share his grandfather’s middle name, he also seems to be taken in by RK’s onscreen characters. "
Post the debut-debacle Ranbir played a rake in Siddharth Anand’s Bachna Ae Haseeno (2008) where he romanced Bipasha Basu, Minissha Lamba and Deepika Padukone. This one grossed a decent Rs. 20.16 crore in its first weekend (Boxofficeindia.com) and went on to be a hit.
Ayan Mukerji directed Ranbir for the first time in Wake Up Sid (YJHD being the second). Nuanced and subtle, he held his own next to Konkona Sen Sharma. The film earned Rs. 15.6 crore in the first weekend. (boxofficeindia.com).
Rajkumar Santoshi’s Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani (2009) grossed Rs. 37.74 crore at the box office in its opening weekend (boxofficeindia.com). Watching Ranbir Kapoor play the simple boy next-door-boy one is instantly reminded of Raj Kapoor's films like Awaara and Sangam.
Shimit Amin’s Rocket Singh: Salesman of the Year (2009), a YRF production could manage a meager Rs. 15.6 crore in the first weekend (boxofficeindia.com).
With 2010 came Prakash Jha's ambitious project Raajneeti and Ranbir received a thumbs up from critics for his nuanced portrayal of Michael Corleone sort of character. Rajneeti featured veteran actors like Ajay Devgn, Manoj Bajpayee, Nana Patekar and Ranbir once again holds his own. The ensemble-cast fare collected a whopping Rs. 53.91 crore in its opening weekend (boxofficeindia.com). This was one of the highest opening weekend grossers for a Ranbir-starrer film.
By the time Siddharth Anand’s Anjaana Anjaani released in October 2010 Ranbir Kapoor had become one of the most bankable actors in the industry. It earned a total of Rs. 32.05 crore over the opening weekend (boxofficeindia.com).
Essaying the role of a sad, successful musician in Imtiaz Ali's Rockstar (2011), Ranbir got much appreciation. The film grossed Rs. 33.60 crore in the opening weekend (Bollywood Hungama).
Anurag Basu's Barfi (2012) was nominated as India's entry at the Oscars in Foreign Language Film category and Ranbir got much-deserved praise. The movie earned Rs. 34.60 crore across the first weekend (Bollywood Hungama).
In an interview to a website Ranbir quite presciently said in September 2012: "I don't believe in 'the next big thing'. You're either 'the big thing' or you're not. I think it creates more of a challenge to me. It makes me think 'Why am I not already the big thing?' I want to be as big as the Khans. I want to be the big star. I want to have the body of work, I want to have a fan following. I want to have it all."
With Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani Ranbir Kapoor is inching closer and closer to his goal. The film has already had the biggest opening at box office this year. Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani also crossed the weekend collection figures of Ek Tha Tiger, Dabangg 2, RaOne, Bodyguard and several other biggies that have made it to the 100-crore-club in the last few years, Indiatimes reported.
With films like a biopic on Kishore Kumar (Besharam) and Anurag Kashyap's Bombay Velvet, Ranbir Kapoor's future only promises of success and gold!