17 Cult Bollywood Movies You Didn’t Know Were Box Office Flops

    17 Cult Bollywood Movies You Didn’t Know Were Box Office Flops

    17 Cult Bollywood Movies You Didn’t Know Were Box Office Flops

    Ever thought the movies you’ve been watching over and over again through the years are actually bigtime box office failures? Certain films that just make you put the TV remotes down and hog yourself to the screens, when released were found begging for audiences in theaters. How do you feel about that?

    Hrithik Roshan’s Lakshya that undeniably is the favorite movie for any one aspiring to join the army was one of the major box office letdowns of 2004. Movies like Lamhe, Agneepath having acquired a cult status over the period of time were disastrous at the ticket counters to say the least! So here we are with 17 of the popular box office washouts that did end up winning our hearts and getting a ‘cult’ status.

    Mera Naam Joker (1970)

    One of the biggest movies to come out of Raj Kapoor’s strongbox, this big budgeted, extravagant release in 1970 came as a shocker for having not performed well at the box office. The excessive length, the disconnected subject, a niche appeal came out as prime reasons for it not working well.

    Shaan (1980)

    We bet you love this film just as much as we do. Introducing one of the most iconic villains of the Indian film industry in the name of Shakaal, Shaan had one stellar star cast with Big B, Shashi Kapoor, Sunil Dutt and Parveen Babi in the frontline. Despite being laced with ample doses of entertainment, Shaan tanked at the box office. Ramesh Sippy is still looking for reasons for this film not working.

    The Burning Train (1980)

    Show us someone who doesn’t like this stylish edge of the seat drama and we’ll know something’s wrong with the taste of audiences. However, The Burning Train film when released bombed at the box office for no good. Directed by Ravi Chorpa, it had the most powerful star cast of the times with Dharmendra, Jeetendra, Vinod Khanna, Vinod Mehra, Hema Malini, Parveen Babi and Danny. An unstoppable train caught in the burning flames with a bunch of heroes to the rescue! How could this idea not click back at that time?

    Silsila (1981)

    Is Kabhi Kabhi or Trishul you reckon are the best films of Yash Chopra? Think again. Released in 1981, Silsila, a film too ahead of its time hit theaters to a thunderous opening and started falling from there on straightaway. Making a brave dialogue on the subject of extra marital affair, Silsila starring Amitabh Bachchan, Jaya Bachchan, Rekha and Sanjeev Kumar couldn’t get the respect it deserved. However, the film today is believed to be one of the best films by Yash Chopra, the master of romance.

    Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron (1983)

    Possibly the best satirical comedy to come out of Indian cinema, Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron was a small scale movie that hardly saw the light of the theaters and got vanished in the masalas of those times. Released in 1983, the film was directed by Kundan Shah with robust actors like Naseeruddin Shah, Pankaj Kapoor among many. The film today is taught as a lesson on how to make ‘comedies’.

    Agneepath (1990)

    The film that introduced us to Vijay Dinanath Chauhan, the film that won Big B his first national award and the film whose remake earned a blockbuster status flopped at the box office. Beat that! Directed by Mukul Anand, Agneepath was perhaps not a mainstream cinematic outing, but with so much to its credit with high regards, it’s tough to picture this film as a box office flop. That too at a time when Sridevi was making people go mad with her ‘Nagin’ façade.

    Lamhe (1991)

    Yet another movie way ahead of its time! Again directed by Yash Chopra, Lamhe starring Anil Kapoor and Sridevi was a film stretching over generations, questioning age, and advocating love! The only film that had Anil Kapoor without his moustache may have garnered a cult position today, back then it flopped.

    Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa (1994)

    The film that even Shah Rukh considers his most favorite to date, when released just couldn’t get going with the audience. Directed by Kundan Shah again, Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa rarely got a negative review but it just couldn’t translate into what it should have. The film even won Shah Rukh his Filmfare best actor critics award but it went as major league flop of the 90’s.

    Andaz Apna Apna (1994)

    Starring Aamir Khan and Salman Khan, this film in all probability is the epitome of hysterical comedies made in India. It certainly stays in the list of your most favorite films, doesn’t it? Well as it turns out, the film in 1994 was a box office calamity. Directed by the very popular Rajkumar Santoshi, while this film today has cult written all over it, back when it came out, most of our cinematic ‘Janta’ didn’t have a clue about its release. Film’s disastrous marketing, followed by its sudden release on home video made for solid reasons for its failure. Although, Salman himself spoke in one of his interview that the response to the film back then wasn’t too encouraging and the audience just didn’t find it funny. We wonder how!

    Akele Hum Akele Tum (1995)

    Most of the 90’s kids grew up listening to the chartbusters track from this Mansoor Khan directorial without a thought that it was a failure at the cash registers. Starring Aamir Khan and Manisha Koirala, while this film is loved by the masses in numbers, its non-linear treatment perhaps didn’t find many takers. Strong script, solid performances, amazing compositions and yet Akele Hum Akele Tum miscarries. How unpredictable were we as audiences?

    Zakhm (1998)

    Powerful, subtle, sensitive and a flop! Besides winning Ajay Devgn his first National Award for best actor along with winning best film on national integration, nothing really went in favor for this Mahesh Bhatt directorial. Set in the backdrop of 1992-93 Bombay riots, Zakhm was a very moving narration of a mother-son equation that ultimately won golden words all around. Far from being understandable, this film remained as a ‘Zakhm’ for its producers.

    Nayak (2001)

    Maybe some films are only meant to be successful on TV! Directed by the immensely popular Tamil filmmaker Shankar, Nayak starring Anil Kapoor was a political story that had its pace set on a rolling stone. Nayak has been watched by each and every one of you several times and whoever’s shaking his or her head right now in denial is lying. Do we have anybody around who doesn’t know what Shivaji Rao did a CM sworn in only for day? Call it an unfortunate fate or strategic negligence, Nayak went completely unnoticed at the box office. Now when you watch Anil Kapoor locking horns with Amrish Puri on TV, ask yourself why didn’t you visit a theater to watch this killer of a movie.

    The Legend of Bhagat Singh (2002)

    Without an inch of hesitation, we’d say The Legend of Bhagat Singh directed by Rajkumar Santoshi is the most significant, emotional and earnest tribute to the man himself. Built around a very quality writing, the film had everything in its favor with Ajay Devgn delivering one of his best (also earning him his second National Award) performance ever. To our surprise, this version of Bhagat Singh’s life journey tanked like anything. However, it had its reasons. The film clashed with two more Bhagat Singh remakes at the very same time created a ruckus in the minds of audiences. Today, the film is looked back on as a thoughtful, well-made project on the subject.

    Lakshya (2004)

    One of the biggest releases of the year, Lakshya had a lot riding on itself when it released. Farhan’s second directorial outing after his promising debut, Javed Akhtar’s comeback as a writer, Hrithik Roshan’s dedicated hard work, all of it combined made for a shocking box office flop. As hard as it may get to believe, Lakshya despite having taken a good start succumbed to the poor response. Yes, Lakshya didn’t flop as a hook, it had its reasons. The audience that had already rejected a film like LOC Kargil just a few months back, were in no mood to watch another Kargil documentary. However, it was only after a few years, the film assimilated a winning tag! Too late you’d say.

    Swades (2004)

    One of Shah Rukh Khan’s most influential films ever made, Swades wasn’t just a box office failure, it was a disaster! The audience that had seen SRK in masala entertainers like Main Hoon Na and Veer Zara that year, were perhaps not in the mood to see him do something as subjective as this. Directed by Ashutosh Gowariker, Swades was a headway journey of Mohan Bhargava who discovers his lost obligation for his own country. Although it made its producers entail heavy losses, today when we watch it, it only sheds out a word of thanks for its makers and Shah Rukh himself.

    Omkara (2006)

    Stellar cast, mass appeal, gripping direction but same result! Just as Vishal Bhardwaj’s previous Shakespearean adaptation Maqbool fell off despite being good, Omkara met the same fate. Colored with a picture perfect display of filmmaking, Omkara’s offbeat execution resulted in its box office failure. You won’t find anybody dissing out this epic crime drama wrapped in romance, yet when you look back, Omkara was a flop!

    Gangs of Wasseypur 2 (2012)

    While you may be generous enough to give Gangs of Wasseypur a hit verdict, the fact of the matter unfolds in a pretty hostile method. The film that gave the urban cool parallel cinema lovers a new favorite, actually ended up as a box officer loser. Anurag Kashyap’s Wasseypur 2 that indeed was a well-made extension of the original, didn’t show any strength at the box office whatsoever. Although, it gave Nawazuddin Siddique a performance he will forever be in debt for. Despite given its box office performance, the film will still be considered the Indian version of Godfather.

    So as you come out reeling your minds in disbelief after going through the list, let’s give ourselves some credit for having given these movies their due even though hindered by some lapse of time. And as they say, better late than never! Sometimes good movies fail too.