On Independence Day, here are the most successful Indian movies of every decade since 1947

Every decade, Bollywood climbs new heights of success and gives us bigger and better films. Here’s a report card.
These are the most successful movies of the decade. How many of these movies have you seen?
These are the most successful movies of the decade. How many of these movies have you seen?
Updated on Aug 15, 2018 08:58 AM IST
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Hindustan Times | ByHT Correspondent, New Delhi

Ever since India got independent from the British Raj in 1947, a lot has changed. We have made a name for ourself on the world stage for things good and bad. The one thing among many that has left a big impression everywhere are our movies.

Bollywood, as the Hindi Film Industry is informally known, has accomplished a lot in the last 70 years. Year after year, new stories, new techniques in filmmaking and new talent on the big screen has transported audiences to a world they different than their own. And with that, it has also registered an exponential success.

To illustrate the same, here are the most successful movies of every decade since 1947, supplemented by two more top grossers from different years in the same decade. How many have you watched?


1. Mother India

India’s big Oscar entry got a lot of love back home as well. The 1957 movie, starring Nargis, Sunil Dutt and Rajendra Kumar, earned Rs 8 crore at the worldwide box office.

2. Aawara

Raj Kapoor’s beautiful 1951 movie, again starring Nargis, made Rs 5.75 crore. The film was about a poor tramp who falls in love with a rich woman he cannot dream to have.

3. Shree 420

Raj Kapoor struck gold once again in 1955 with Shree 420. A dark and gritty mirror to the evils of a rotting society, the film made Rs 4.94 crore.


1. Phool Aur Patthar

This 1966 movie starring Dharmendra and Meena Kumari made Rs 17 crore at the box office. The film told the story of a hardened criminal, brought back into light by a woman he shows care for.

2. Hamraaz

Hamraaz released in 1967 and made Rs 13.33 crore. It was a suspense thriller starring Raaj Kumar, Nanda and Sunil Dutt in the lead roles.

3. Ganga Jumna

Dilip Kumar and Vyjayanthimala’s Ganga Jumna released in 1961 and made Rs 11 crore. It was a dacoit drama about two brothers.


1. Sholay

The iconic movie is the poster child of Bollywood even after several decades. The 1975 classic made Rs 35 crore and told the story of an unfortunate town plagued by dacoits until two heroes come to its rescue.

2. Bobby

The stunning love story starring Rishi Kapoor and Dimple Kapadia as two young kids in love released in 1973 and won hearts everywhere. It made Rs 30 crore at the box office.

3. Muqaddar Ka Siqandar

Amitabh Bachchan’s big town drama made Rs 26 crore in 1978 and was the decade’s third biggest release. It also starred Vinod Khanna and Parveen Babi.


1. Disco Dancer

Mithun Chakravarti’s Disco Dancer was the biggest hit the country had ever seen and by quite a margin. In 1982, the film made a whopping Rs 100 crore and while Indian market contributed with only Rs 6 crore, the rest was made in the Russian markets. It was the biggest hit of the year, even in Russia.

2. Kranti

Manoj Kumar’s historical drama was the second biggest hit of the decade and made Rs 20 crore in 1981.

3. Ram Teri Ganga Maili

This 1985 film about an innocent woman harassed by the society made Rs 19 crore upon its release in 1985.


1. Hum Aapke Hain Koun!

Madhuri Dixit and Salman Khan’s Hum Aapke Hain Koun! made Rs 135 crore, an unprecedented amount and no thanks to the Russian market. It released in 1994 and became of the most loved movies of all time.

2. Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayege

Yash Chopra redefined romance for an entire generation with this Shah Rukh Khan-Kajol movie. It released in 1995 and made Rs 126 core.

3. Kuch Kuch Hota Hai

Shah Rukh and Kajol’s magic continued through the rest of the decade as well when they worked together in Karan Johar’s Kuch Kuch Hota Hai in 1998. The beautiful love story made Rs 106 crore.


1. Ghajini

Aamir Khan shook the box office to its core with this movie in 2008. It made Rs 233 crore, a figure out of everyone’s wildest imaginations.

2. Dhoom 2

This Hrithik Roshan-Aishwarya Rai movie was high on action and box office collections. Released in 2006, it made 151 crore.

3. Om Shanti Om

Shah Rukh is back on the list and this one made 319 crore when it released in 2007.


1. Dangal

Aamir Khan delivered the biggest hit the country had ever seen and quite possibly, ever will. The 2016 sports drama made a whopping Rs 2,100 crore, thanks to a huge success in the China market.

2. Baahubali 2: The Conclusion

The only non-Hindi movie on this list, this SS Rajamouli movie was a phenomenon at the box office. The second part of the two-part series, it released in 2017 and made Rs 1790 crore.

3. Bajrangi Bhaijaan

Salman Khan’s second entry on the list, Bajrangi Bhaijaan released in 2015 and made Rs 900 crore.

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