Going by the moolah films collect on the ticket windows, the first half of 2015 is already a hit. Salman Khan's on-screen rescue act of a Pakistani child saved Bollywood as well: The top 10 grossers till July this year have collectively accounted Rs 1,000.09 crore. In comparison, this figure stood at Rs 913.89 crore by the end of July 2014, despite two almost back-to-back biggies from our favourite bhaijaan: Kick and Jai Ho!
Bajrangi Bhaijaan, which released on July 17 this year, has already collected a whopping Rs 310 crore at the domestic BO, and needless to say, there is no indication the craze for the film will die down any time soon. Also starring Kareena Kapoor, Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Harshaali Malhotra, Bajrangi Bhaijaan entered the coveted Rs 100-crore club in just one week of its release. In comparison, with a total earning of Rs 231.85 crore, Kick topped the list of 10 highest grossers till July 2014.
Kangana Ranaut's double role in Tanu Weds Manu Returns won all hearts and ticket windows too.
A distant second, purely on box office collections this year, is Bollywood's reigning queen Kangana Ranaut and Madhavan's Tanu Weds Manu Returns: Released on May 22, this sequel to 2011's runaway hit Tanu Weds Manu has collected Rs 150 crore till now. It was the same story last year too: Compared to the more than 200 crore of Kick, the second highest grosser was Salman Khan's Jai Ho with a distant 116 crore.
Salman's Jai Ho made it to the top ten grossers' list in 2014 but was was declared a flop due to high production values.
Prabhudheva's ABCD 2 - Any Body Can Dance 2, released on June 19, is the current third highest grosser this year with Rs 105.74 crore in collections, and the Hindi-dubbed version of SS Rajamouli's Baahubali, released on July 10, takes the fourth spot with Rs 111.5 crore. Akshay Kumar's Holiday: A Soldier Is Never Off Duty ranked third on the list for 2014 with a collection of Rs 112.45 crore, while Riteish Deshmukh and Sidharth Malhotra's surprise hit Ek Villain was placed fourth with earnings of Rs 105.62 crore at BO.
Akshay Kumar's Baby and Gabbar Is Back made it to the top ten grossers of 2015.
This year, Akshay Kumar has two movies in the Top 10 list with Baby (January 23) at the fifth spot, earning Rs 95.56 crore, and Gabbar Is Back (May 1) at the sixth position collecting Rs 87.55 crore . In 2014, Arjun Kapoor-Alia Bhatt-starrer 2 States, based on the Chetan Bhagat's bestseller, too, crossed the Rs 100-crore-mark with a collection of Rs 102.13 crore and was ranked fifth on the list. Gunday, another Arjun Kapoor starrer with Ranveer Singh, was panned by critics but it averaged Rs 78.60 crore at the ticket windows and made it to the sixth spot last year.
Deepika Padukone and Amitabh Bachchan in Piku.
In 2015, Amitabh Bachchan-Deepika Padukone-Irrfan Khan-starrer Piku released on May 8 earned Rs 79.77 crore and ranked seventh on the list while Zoya Akhtar's latest offering Dil Dhadakne Do, which came out on June 5, collected Rs 76.88 crore at the ticket windows, making it to eighth spot. Last year, Alia Bhatt's Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania ranked seventh on the list with a collection of Rs 76.81 crore while Sajid Khan's Humshakals stood at eighth position, earning Rs 63.72 crore.
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Sriram Raghavan's Varun Dhawan-starrer Badlapur (20 February) ranks ninth on the list with a collection of Rs 50.07 while Ranbir Kapoor-Arjun Rampal-Jacqueline Fernandez-starrer Roy (13 February) is on the tenth spot in 2015 with an earning of Rs 44.52. Varun Dhawan's Main Tera Hero ranked tenth with a collection of Rs 50.60 crore while Tiger Shroff's debut film Heropanti earned Rs 52.92 crore and stood at the ninth position on the 2014 list.
Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Varun Dhawan in Badlapur.
Interestingly, 2015 not only offered better revenue, it also saw more number of films that received critical appreciation, compared to last year. Films like Piku, Tanu Weds Manu Returns, ABCD 2 and Badlapur not only conquered the audiences' hearts but also won critical acclaim. Bajrangi Bhaijaan, Dil Dhadakne Do, Baby and Gabbar Is Back got mixed reviews while Roy was the only film that was unanimously panned. Baahubali, too, received great critical appreciation.
Ram Kapoor, Saif Ali Khan and Riteish Deshmukh in Humshakals.
Among the top 10 grossers last year, Kick, 2 States and Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania received mixed responses while Jai Ho, Gunday, Humshakals, Heropanti and Main Tera Hero were panned by critics. Ek Villain was the only movie till July 2014 that received wide appreciation from critics.
The author tweets @swetakaushal