If commercial success was a prime aspect of judging a movie, many forms of art would be neglected around the globe. Several films, both in Hollywood and Bollywood, did not perform well at the box office, some even became a commercial flop only to gain a cult following years later.
Whether it is a change in trend or a revival of the genre, some movies that we call “classic” in the Bollywood Industry failed at the box office.
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Here is a list of some Bollywood Classics that did not do well at the box office-
A true Bollywood Classic that was mocked by people who even called it “Chooley” owing to its title, Sholay was a commercial flop in the first week of its release. Years later, the movie is one of the most popular in Hindi Cinema, often regarded in the list of Top Indian films.
Even at the time of its release, the movie had an eminent cast, featuring Amitabh Bachchan, Dharmendra, and Sanjeev Kumar, all three of whom were distinguished actors during that time.
Imtiaz Ali’s brainchild was criticized for the complexity of its plot- the idea that art can be discarded due to it being layered has always bothered us.
Imtiaz Ali himself said to Deepika Padukone before the release of Tamasha that it would take more than two years to understand the performance of this movie.
Tamasha is more than just a story of self-discovery. The amount of emotions portrayed in Agar Tum Saath Ho sums up the intricacy of the plot and the masterpiece Imtiaz Ali gave us which still remains somewhat underappreciated.
Another shocking addition to the list if you were still a child at the time of its release, Swades had one of the best performances given by SRK, but it remained average when it came to the box office. Today, everyone appreciates the film, calling it one of the best movies of the early 2000s.
One of the reasons behind its low popularity might have been the change in SRK’s character after Main Hoon Na and Veer Zara, both of which were released during the same year.
The audience might have been looking for similar content and were thus, unable to appreciate the beauty of this film which was far ahead of its time.
4. Andaz Apna Apna
Having Aamir Khan and Salman Khan along with an ensemble cast featuring Raveena Tandon, Karishma Kapoor, and Paresh Rawal, this comedy that gained a cult following years after its release was actually a failure at the box office.
The major reason for this was thought to be a lack of publicity and marketing along with unconventional comedy sequences that did not appeal to the audience.
The early 2000s in Hindi Cinema particularly revolved around romantic dramas. In such a period, it was difficult for a coming-of-age movie, Lakshya, to capture the attention of the people.
Nevertheless, the movie portrayed one of the best performances by Hrithik Roshan as Karan Shergill, a lazy and aimless young man, who joins the Indian Army and discovers the purpose of life through various challenges.
Nayak brings back childhood memories when it was mostly streaming on Zee Cinema. Becoming a cult classic several years after its release, the main reason for its commercial failure was the mass budget on which it was produced- 21 crore for a film in the 2000s was a lot.
Starring Anil Kapoor in the main role, Nayak is praised for his political take where the film shows a common man becoming a Chief Minister for a day.
7. Dil Chahta Hai
The Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara of the early 2000s, Dil Chahta Hai explored an unconventional plot showing numerous distinct themes like age differences among romantic partners.
The movie was way ahead of its time which is why it has become a cult classic. However, Bollywood is not kind to experimental movies and Dil Chahta Hai failed to receive the recognition it deserved.
From being a box office dud to acquiring the status of being the most-telecasted film on Indian television, Sooryavansham portrayed Amitabh Bachchan in a dual role- both as a son and a father revolving around the distance between the two due to the established patriarchal system.
Set Maxx bought 100 years right for the film at the time of its launch- no wonder we watched this classic countless times.
Another film that was experimental and failed to be a commercial success, Udaan did not boast of a stellar cast or a big budget. It was a simple story with Ronit Roy at its heart.
Showing the abusive relationship between a father and his son, Udaan is a coming-of-age film that deals with different themes in a unique way.