Continuing a trend which started with industrywide turnaround in 2005, the year 2007 was one of the more successful ones at the box office this decade with a large number of films proving to be hits and superhits across a variety of genres. The year saw Shahrukh Khan's comeback for top notch status after a dismal showing in 2005 and a so so 2006. It saw Abhishek Bachchan breaking out the year's only solo title role hit to box office glory in a career benchmark role. It saw Akshay Kumar have his most productive year, and one of the most prolific years of any actor since Amitabh Bachchan by giving 4 straight successes in the same year. It saw Govinda and Salman Khan partnering up for some box office success which has been eluding them individually. And finally it reaffirmed Shahid Kapoor as a bankable romantic lead at the box office.
The year from the box office perspective can be best described in its two halves. Box Office through the majority of the year was dominated by one film only: Mani Ratnam's Guru. The film, tracing the rise of the 'Enterpreneur Young Man' as a hero of post-independence India, will be remembered for a number of reasons, but it had to blaze a remarkably enterprising tale for itself at the box office as well. Much as the film's protagonist had to overcome the license raj lobby, the film had to overcome the detraction of the Bombay trade lobby even before its release. But in the end, it prevailed over and created a number of firsts. It broke the myth that Mani Ratnam cinema couldn't deliver a hit in Bollywood (his Dil Se with Shah Rukh Khan and the multistarrer Yuva had not clicked). It emerged the first Abhishek Bachchan solo title role hit. It was the first hit for the Abhishek Bachchan-Aishwarya Rai pairing after 3 flops in Dhai Akshar Prem Ke, Kuch Na Kaho, and Umrao Jaan. And it was perhaps the first biopic to click big at the box office in recent times. Guru grossed over 80 crores and fared big even overseas, raking over $2.1 million from America, considerably more than the typical commercial hits and superhits of Bollywood.
There were no other super grossers in the first half of 2007 except for Guru. Yash Raj's Tara Rum Pum did gross well in the metros but considering its production costs, the return on investment was not too favorable. Though Namaste London did gross big in Punjab-Delhi, its collections from Bombay, South etc. were trailing. Similarly Shootout at Lokhandwala did well in Mumbai but not elsewhere. Amitabh Bachchan's Cheeni Kum was a solo hit for him in 2007 and his only hit for the year, but its collections, like Shootout remained on the mid-level hit scale. The surprise hits of 2007 first half were the super hit Bheja Fry and the hit Life in a Metro. In late June, the Deol family saga Apne also managed modest business and was a minor success. A film called Aap Ka Suroor starring Himesh Reshamiya was written about broadly, but was not really a grosser.
In the second half of the year, towards the end of July saw David Dhawan's Salman Khan-Govinda partnership bearing good results for Partner. The film had a good opening and did rich business in many parts. Then in August, Chak De India and Heyy Babyy grossed around 150 crores combined. In the case of Chak De, the film benefitted from being tax exempted. September saw a modest grosser again in the multistarrer Dhamaal. Priyadarshan's Dhol too did average business for its budget.
In October there were two hits: Bhool Bhulaiya and the surprise hit Jab We Met starring Shahid Kapoor and Kareena Kapoor. JWM proved to be Shahid Kapoor's second consecutive hit as a romantic lead after 2006's super hit Vivah. In November, Shahrukh Khan had plenty of reason to say Om as Om Shanti Om emerged a bona fide money spinner. Though the film was boosted by its 31 star extravaganza, the credit primarily goes to Shahrukh Khan for this film's commercial success. The marketing blitz by the film's crew catapaulted it to be a major moneyspinner in its opening 10 days, so much so that the subsequent steep drops did not matter, indicating that it is primarily the opening week initial which determines the top grossers.
In December, the year ended with Akshay Kumar's 4th success in row in a calendar year, Welcome, which was his biggest grosser, completing one of the most prolific commercial years for an actor. Welcome recorded a strong opening over Aamir Khan's Taare Zameen Par which was the latter's only release of the year, and first in a year and half. TZP had a poor opening but the film's collections picked up and was given tax exemption in Bombay and Delhi very early. The film was among the year's hits.
All in all, there were more hits in 2007 than in 2006. A good sign as 2006 had more hits than 2005. And 2005 had more hits than 2004.
The return on investment successes were as following:
Chak De India
Taare Zameen Par
Jab We Met
Life in a Metro
Om Shanti Om
Tara Rum Pum
Shootout at Lokhandwala
Aap Ka Suroor
Honeymoon Travels Private Ltd.
Top Stars at the Box Office in 2007:
||Avg Bombay Opening Nett
||Avg Delhi Opening Nett
||Avg UK Opening
||Avg USA Opening
||Top Grosser |
||Rs 6.1 cr
||Rs 2.9 cr
||Om Shanti Om [solo]|
||Rs 4.5 cr
||Rs 2.5 cr
||Rs 3.6 cr
||Rs 2.0 cr
||Rs 3.3 cr
||Rs 1.6 cr
||Saif Ali Khan
||Rs 2.6 cr
||Rs 1.3 cr
||Tara Rum Pum [solo]|
2006 Top Stars
1. Hrithik Roshan (Krrish, Dhoom 2)
2. Shahrukh Khan (KANK, Don 2006)
3. Aamir Khan (Rang De Basanti, Fanaa)
4. Abhishek Bachchan (KANK, Umrao Jaan, Dhoom 2)
5. Akshay Kumar (Mere Jeevan Sathi, Phir Hera Pheri, Jaaneman, Family, Humko Deewana Kar Gaye, Bhagam Bhag)
2005 Top Stars
1. Abhishek Bachchan (Bunty aur Babli, Sarkar, Dus, Bluffmaster)
2. Saif Ali Khan (Parineeta, Salaam Namaste)
3. Salman Khan (No Entry, MPKK, Lucky, Kyunki)
4. Amitabh Bachchan (Black, Waqt, Bunty aur Babli, Sarkar, Viruddh, DJBK, Ek Ajnabi)
5. Akshay Kumar (Insan, Bewafa, Waqt, Garam Masala, Deewane Hue Pagal, Dosti)