Diwale has always been Bollywood's favourite time, with holidays around and festivities happening, it is the most perfect time to release a film and most big releases are therefore saved up for Diwali, which has not only given us many blockbusters but legendary clashes and some epic flops during the festival of lights. Take a look.
When it released in 1993 during Diwali, Baazigar was a big commercial success, but it was also the fourth highest grosser of the year. It was among the first films that made Diwali an auspicious time for Shah Rukh Khan releases and began the trend of the star delivering some of his biggest blockbusters during this festive season. Baazigar was also special because it gave a thrust to Khan's career and launched Shilpa Shetty in Bollywood. The film was also Kajol's first commercial success.
A Yash Chopra movie that's a Diwali release spells success. Dil Toh Pagal Hai was no exception. Starring Shah Rukh Khan, Madhuri Dixit and Karisma Kapoor in the lead roles, this film was not only a blockbuster in the domestic market but also overseas. The music of the film as well as the beautifully choreographed dance sequences (Remember the dance off between Kapoor and Dixit?!) also contributed to the film's success . The other big release a week before DTPH was Deewana Mastana and the only person who remembers it is Johnny Lever, who won a Filmfare Award for the Best Comedian for his role in the film.
One of the most memorable romantic movies that Bollywood has delivered, Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge was also the first Hindi film to feature NRIs as lead characters. The directorial debut of Aditya Chopra, DDLJ made Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol huge stars and cemented their on screen romantic pairing. The film opened to house-full theatres in India and overseas, and still runs in Mumbai's Maratha Mandir. It not only swept the Bollywood film awards that year but also won critical acclaim. In addition to all this, the film received a National Award for Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment.
In 2006 Shah Rukh Khan starred in the remake of Amitabh Bachchan's Don, titled Don: The Chase Begins Again. Directed by Farhan Akhtar, this film twisted the old story and got a positive response from the box office. Don was the most awaited film of the year for more than one reasons —Shah Rukh Khan reprised the role that was originally played by Bachchan and Kareena Kapoor attempted to pull off a Helen — and box office results testify that the wait was worth it. Don released with Shirish Kunder's Jaan-E-Mann starring Salman Khan and guess what? Even Bhai couldn't save it. Jaan-e-Mann was a massive flop.
Madhur Bhandarkar's Fashion and Rohit Shetty's Golmaal Returns clashed on Diwali in 2008. While Bhandarkar got some critical acclaim, Shetty's fiilm was a hit (although not as massive a hit as the prequel, Golmaal). Fashion gave Priyanka Chopra her first and only National Award so far and we also saw Kangana Ranaut in a dark role. The film traces the journey of an aspiring model and in the process brings out the dark side of the business of glamour.
With the success of Hum Aapke Hain Koun...! fresh in everyone's memory, the Barjatyas brought the big daddy of family dramas during Diwali in 1999. Hum Saath Saath Hai was a multi-starrer, featuring Salman Khan, Saif Ali Khan, Karishma Kapoor, Tabu and Sonali Bendre in lead roles. It was weepy, tacky and it won over the audiences. The film did fairly good business during the festive season and the songs became very popular.
Despite being panned by critics, Krrish 3 opened to magnificent response in Diwali. Across the country, the film garnered 80% occupancy in multiplexes as well as around 90-100% attendees at single screens. According to Box Office India, its first day collections of all versions were estimated at Rs 204 million. That's a figure well worthy of a superhero. Krrish 3 is the sequel of the film Krrish, which was the sequel of Koi Mil Gaya.
In 1998, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai marked two important events. The blockbuster pair of DDLJ, Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol, were reuniting and the film was the debut for Karan Johar, who's couch would in later years play a major role in our television-watching lives. Kuch Kuch Hota Hai film also officially launched Rani Mukherji's career. When it released in Diwali, needless to say, it was a blockbuster. Reportedly, a film starring Govinda and Amitabh Bachchan also released on the same weekend, but we can't say anything about it, since none of us ever ended up watching it.
The year 2000 was when Hrithik Roshan became a national craze. Apart from Rajesh Khanna, no other Bollywood actor had ever received such adoration and that made Roshan's Mission Kashmir a strong contender against Shah Rukh Khan's Mohabbatein on Diwali. However, while Roshan's film got a good opening response, it finally lost the race at box office to the slow yet steady Mohabbatein. Mohabbatein also saw Amitabh Bachchan being saved from the disastrous films he'd been doing and he was finally seen playing the stern, father figure that would go on to become his staple fare in Bollywood.
No one messes with Shah Rukh Khan on a Diwali weekend, even if you are Bollywood royalty like Ranbir Kapoor. Kapoor learnt this lesson the hard way. His debut film, Saawariya, clashed with Khan's Om Shanti Om during the Diwali weekend. Kapoor got good reviews from the critics, but (fittingly for the film's colour theme) Saawariya was beaten black and blue by Om Shanti Om, directed by Farah Khan. That Diwali, we saw the debuts of Deepika Padukone and Sonam Kapoor, who would go on to become headliners. Padukone will be hoping she can recreate the magic of Om Shanti Om with Khan with this year's Diwali release, Happy New Year.
Box Office India declared this Aamir Khan and Karisma Kapoor starrer an "All Time Blockbuster". The film which released on Diwali was memorable for many things, but what most people remember is the streamy kiss between Khan and Kapoor. Raja Hindustani's songs were chartbusters with "Pardesi Pardesi" staying at the number one spot for several weeks.
In 2011, Diwali was marked by a five-day weekend that began with Shah Rukh Khan's Ra.One. The film had a lot going for it on paper -- a star cast, chartbuster songs (including one by international pop star, Akon) and a huge budget -- but Ra.One got mostly negative reviews from critics. Khan played a double role, as a scientist and a robot who cried more than Hrithik Roshan did in Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham. However, the film broke the opening day record for Diwali and ended up setting the records for the biggest single-day net revenue and the biggest three-day opening weekend earned by a Bollywood film, breaking the previous records that were held by Salman Khan's Bodyguard.
Seven years after Dil Toh Pagal Hai released, Yash Chopra donned the director's hat once again and returned with Veer Zara, starring Shah Rukh Khan, Preity Zinta and Rani Mukherji, on 2004 Diwali. While Dil Toh Pagal Hai was the one big release during the festive season of 1997, Chopra's film was up against Abbas-Mastaan's Aitraaz, a re-release of Mughal-E-Azam in colour and Ram Gopal Verma's Naach. No prizes for guessing Chopra, who has never had a Diwali flop in his career, was the winner. Veer Zara became the biggest hit of the year. Akshay Kumar and the then newbie Priyanka Chopra steamed it up with Aitraaz, which had an average run at the box office. Dilip Kumar and Madhubala did not fail to charm the audiences in colour and also did average business. RGV's Naach, however, was an epic flop.