Journey of the 100-Crore Bollywood Film

How and why Bollywood's 100-crore film grew and the exclusive club widened

Sohini Mitter
Published: 24, Dec 2012

I am a student of life. My professional interests lie in reading and writing on consumer-oriented businesses, brands, media and entertainment. Personally, I see the world in portraits through the lens of my camera. Literature, history, politics and sports are my other major interests. Direct your feedback to

Salman Khan’s Dabangg 2 which released on Friday is set to breach the Rs 100-crore mark, reckon film trade experts. (It netted Rs 21.1 crore on the opening day, in line with some of the highest grossing films of last two years.) At the end of Saturday, net collections stood at Rs 40.17 crore. Its "Sunday biz (sic) witnessed a massive jump," tweeted film trade analyst Taran Adarsh. With Tuesday being Christmas, collections are expected to pick up significantly and by the end of the first week, the film could well become the latest entrant in the exclusive “100-crore club”.

Now, what really is this 100-crore film that seems to have become the new benchmark in Bollywood, and that which gets producers and distributors to leave no stone unturned in their attempt to break the barrier? Why has the 100-crore film become an essential element in an actor’s CV in order to establish him as a “bankable” star? Is the 100-crore film a myth and a product of impeccable PR machinery? Or is it a result of a transformation in the economics of the film trade?

Ghajini: First film to gross 100 crore

And how, just how, did the elusive 100-crore mark become commonplace over the last few years? Though only a handful of Bollywood movies belong to this excusive and highly aspirational club, the buzz preceding the release of every other big-budget film has its mention. The term has become rather ubiquitous and everyone from the commoner lining the street leading to Film City to the spotboy on the set is talking about it. Let’s trace the journey of the 100-crore Bollywood film and figure out what happened and how.

Aamir Khan was the founder-member of the club in 2008, when his Ghajini became the first Bollywood film to gross 100 crore at the box office, taking only 18 days (less than three weeks) to do so. He followed it up in 2009 with 3 Idiots which took half the time (nine days) to reach the magical figure. Incidentally, 3 Idiots remains the highest-grossing Bollywood film of all time with worldwide collections of Rs 339 crore (domestic + overseas).

If 2008 and 2009 had one 100-crore film each, 2010 saw that number double, with Salman Khan (Dabangg) and Ajay Devgn (Golmaal 3) entering the club. While the latter took 17 days to breach the mark, the former did it in 10 days.

In 2011, that figure rose to five films (Ready, Singham, Bodyguard, Ra.One and Don 2) with Bodyguard garnering 100 crore in a record-time of 7 days. Suddenly, every top Bollywood actor (including the Khans most definitely) was in a race to make it to the exclusive club. Salman Khan had breached the mark thrice in succession, while Shah Rukh was the last of the ruling Khans to get an entry into the coveted club.

In 2012, so far, eight films (Agneepath, Housefull 2, Rowdy Rathore, Bol Bachchan, Ek Tha Tiger, Barfi!, Son of Sardaar and Jab Tak Hai Jaan) have grossed 100 crore. Salman Khan, who’s become his own competition when it comes to box-office collections, bettered his previous record set by Bodyguard as his Ek Tha Tiger broke into the 100-crore club in five days flat. (The film is the highest grosser of the year with worldwide collections of Rs 246 crore.)

With about a week to go for year-end, Dabangg 2 could be 2012’s ninth film in the 100-crore club, and Salman’s fifth straight – a “historic record” as trade analyst Taran Adarsh puts it. Meanwhile, Aamir’s Talaash, which is still running in the theatres, has netted Rs 93.4 crore so far (by the end of the third week).

Ek Tha Tiger: Fastest to reach 100 crore

From one to two to five to eight [films], and from the Khans and Ajay Devgn to Hrithik Roshan to Akshay Kumar to Ranbir Kapoor – Bollywood’s 100-crore club has only grown manifold. While the number of films making it to the figure has increased, the time taken to achieve the feat has gradually come down. At this rate, 2013 should have many more films and many more actors inhabiting this club which is fast losing its exclusivity.

Here are some factors at work:

Inflated Ticket Prices: The average ticket size at a multiplex today is Rs 140-150, compared to Rs 60-65 in single-screen theatres, according to, a film trade portal. Prices at premium chains like Inox and PVR can be as high as Rs 300-350 on weekends (Friday-Sunday), which fetch almost 80% of theatrical revenues earned by a film. (The rest of the business happens during the “lean” Monday-Thursday period.) On festive weekends, multiplex operators undertake a 10-15% hike in ticket prices. For 3D films, the rate is even higher. In big cities, single screen theatres, too, have increased ticket prices. For instance, the average ticket price across single screens in south Bombay is Rs 90-100.

Growth of Multiplexes: Multiplexes have grown phenomenally in the last five years and completely changed the dynamics of the film business. There are close to 1,400 multiplex screens [India has a total of 12,900 screens] which constitute nearly 70-75% of a film’s box-office revenues. By 2015, the number of multiplex screens is estimated to rise to 1,925, according to the FICCI-KPMG Report on the Indian Media and Entertainment industry. Despite high ticket prices, multiplexes have become a preferred choice for cine-goers; the variety of films on offer, a better viewing experience, food and beverage counters and gaming zones etc ensure that audiences keep coming back.

Digital Prints and Wider Releases: Both are correlated.With the adoption of digital technology, more and more screens in India are becoming digitised from analog. This is allowing producers to have a much wider release of their films with a massive number of prints. (Digital prints save costs and can be attained fast.) For instance, in 1995, Hum Aapke Hai Kaun released with 500 prints which was a landmark then; in 2009, 3 Idiots released with 1,000 prints which was considered a huge number; in 2011, Eros released Ra.One in 3,100 plus screens and in 2012, Yashraj released Ek Tha Tiger with 3,400 prints in India and 500-600 prints overseas. This number will only grow and with releases getting wider by the day, sky-high theatrical revenues are becoming a routine of sorts.

Extended Weekends/Festivals: Most 100-crore films have utilised long weekends and festivals to the fullest, during which audiences drop in huge numbers and a film’s repeat value is high. Producers have often sacrificed a Friday (which was once sacrosanct as a release day) and tweaked their schedules to make the most of festivals by clubbing them with the traditional three-day weekend. For instance, Bodyguard released on a Wednesday and a five-day weekend surrounding Eid followed; Ek Tha Tiger released on a Tuesday and a six-day weekend with Independence Day and Eid followed; Golmaal 3, Ra.One, Son of Sardaar and Jab Tak Hai Jaan released on Diwali which fell in the middle of the week and a lengthy festive weekend followed; Ghajini, 3 Idiots and Don 2 released on the Christmas week, gaining heavily from the festive spirit and New Years’ holiday.

All these elements simultaneously create a 100-crore blockbuster. Gone are the days of silver jubilees and golden jubilees which measured the success or failure of a film. Today, the fate of a film is sealed on the opening day itself or at best, on the first week. The biggest of films have a run of only three to four weeks at the theatres as more and more new releases knock at the door and eventually push the incumbent out.

3 Idiots: Highest grossing Bollywood film

Some myths surrounding the 100-crore film need to be busted. The film trade, today, is mostly concerned about the gross collections at the box-office and not the real amount pocketed by the producer. After deducting entertainment tax (35%), the gross collection reduces; the exhibitor’s share of 49-52% (depending on the week) from the new amount further brings down the producer’s share. It is rare when a producer manages to pocket a profit on his film.

For example, Ra.One which netted Rs 107 crore in India failed to recover its cost of production (Rs 150 crore) from theatricals alone. But overseas collections and other ancillary revenue streams (satellite rights, home video and digital) helped it break-even. 3 Idiots, on the other hand, earned nearly four times (Rs 202 crore) its production cost (Rs 55 crore) at the domestic box office itself.

In an increasingly competitive film business, it is left to be seen how many films truly qualify as “100-crore” successes in the years to come.


  • piyashi

    i hv a question ...what is the name of the 1st bollywood movies which earns 100cores? ??

    on Jul 28, 2016
  • Jamal Mello

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    on Jul 20, 2016

    It's very important information for students if they are studying blockbuster Bollywood movies.

    on Mar 4, 2016
  • Star Aura

    Aamir is the one that created all records of 100cr,200cr,300cr .He is the best

    on Jan 13, 2016
  • ADAMA2620


    on Jan 10, 2016
  • pavan

    Only_Aamir can create the records and break the records

    on Dec 23, 2015
  • Nitin pawar

    Salman is the king of box office!

    on Dec 9, 2015
  • c s n praabhu

    the article gave a clear cut picture about " 100 crore club". But, what hit the bull's eye is what actually the producer gets. I feel, that sometimes more hype is generated about the film's success than actually it is. this whole tamasha helps the heroes/directors of the films to raise their price.

    on Feb 25, 2015
  • Rana

    Loved the movie Baby. So true and amazing film. Loved that film too much.

    on Jan 29, 2015
  • pratyush panda

    aamir khan is the best in one is better than him and his films.

    on Jan 8, 2015
  • Sanjeeda Khan

    Very few Indian movies crossed the Rs. 100 crore club this year. Aamir Khan starer PK becomes the highest grossing movie of the year 2014 and still counting. Salman's Kick and Shahrukh's Happy New Year are the second and third highest grossing movies respectively.

    on Dec 31, 2014
  • umesh kumar

    Reality behind the 100 crore Club of Bollywood. Read this article and judge yourself.

    on Aug 10, 2014
  • dr kc karnam

    Really the movies,whoever may be the director or actor,the quality&lyrics lacks lot when compared old movies of same actros today,eg..Movie Dil,deewana,baaziger,saajan,hapk,ddlj even kasoor,finally don-2006,were great to watch &enjoybutrecent year movies might have done rs100crores in weeks just because of abroad market took by era of software,really i feel very bad to go to theaters?what might be the cause?here in davangere,karnataka located on nh4,many film theaters were shot down&remaning theaters,although movies comes&disappears in 7days&i donot even heard of name of movie by that time the movie realeased was replaced another one.tell you bollyhood that in feature days if films without any matter starts comming like this,certenly no doubt of collapse of whole bollyhood ending in staying at deserts is my best&expert plz keep making movie not vh intention of only 100crores in weeks earned,vl come to point where within week producers might loose 100crores in just weeks if same continued.NO LYRICS TODAY????!!!!!brain death or elsethe way of thinking looks gone very fast&jealous amoung film industry members,if care not taken theft starts&inhuman socity begans vh may shoutdown all film theaters anywherr in world.people llook for lisiniting old film songs&satisfied themsevels instead of going to watch meaningless films.Aware all&try to bring back good lyrics songs&not too fast to go to produce movies.some pause looks necessary now.thank you all iam dr in gastro.

    on Aug 10, 2014
  • loloonbert

    Nice blog we hope there would be more & more upcoming movie which will cross this 100 crore bench mark to watch such a entertaining bollywood movie please visit this link given below-

    on Dec 2, 2013
  • Prateek Chaudhury

    Ha! Ha...and I am doing a 3,000 dollars (about Rs. 2,00,000) worth short film on Video with NAFFIAC grant. Hope this gets me step by step to the 100 crore mark. Atleast it is a beginning.

    on Sep 5, 2013
  • Entertainment Live Updates

    Really good post! Hope there will be more good post here!Thanks for sharing valuable information.

    on Aug 30, 2013
  • Moviemagik

    all movies are good

    on Jun 27, 2013
  • Akshar

    All these are so amazing movies. I watch all these latest hindi movies on which directs me to legal platofrms and gives me best quality print. must try guys!

    on Jun 17, 2013
  • arnav

    i also want to become actor

    on Jun 5, 2013
    • Amit Sharma

      Out Of these only few movies are remarkable.Like Jab tak he jaan,3 Idiots...

      on Aug 8, 2013
  • psocial

    I find Barfi was one of the most amazing movies of 2012 and it does really deserves the credit of a 100 Crore box office hit.

    on Apr 12, 2013
  • rahul bhawsar

    Which is the highest pattroned film in india in terms of footfalls in theatres ?

    on Mar 29, 2013
  • rahul bhawsar

    film business specially theatrically is shifting towards multiplexes that 2 in big cities.2,3,4,tier cities theatres cannot survive by only 3 to5 hit films. They need more big starcast & big budget films to run their cinema halls for entire film's life gt shrt. Hindi film indstry shud lrn from telugu & tamil film indstry.MG royelty term shld be banned .Theatrical rights is the biggest & quickest way of revenue for films yet producers ignoring this basic fact of film business.

    on Mar 28, 2013
  • maaz khan


    on Mar 22, 2013
  • Nijo

    There should not be discrimination towards the Southern Film Industry, because of the higher revenues and higher level technical it cannot be dubbed with the otehr regional cinemas -- Southern films especially of Tamil, Telugu are on par with the Hindi film in terms of their money spent on it, technical advancement and the revenue it brings. Tamil and Telugu movies should be in this 100 list -- Rest of India are still ignorant about South movies and the ignorance will continue if media reports only bollywood/hindi. Stop this racism towards indian fellow brothers

    on Jan 27, 2013
  • S. ShanKer Mishra

    Well , Finally now when every big production company film is pre assumed to be in "100 Crore" club , they should think about the advanced technologies involved in film making and different story ideas. After all Indian Film Industry is biggest film industry in world (on basis of numbers of films produced in a year) , Why anyone doesn't think to stand this industry strongly against hollywood.

    on Jan 17, 2013
  • S. ShanKer Mishra

    Well , Finally now when every big production company film is pre assumed , they should think about the advanced technologies involved in film making and different story ideas. After all Indian Film Industry is biggest film industry in world (on basis of numbers of films produced in a year) , Why anyone doesn't think to stand this industry strongly against hollywood.

    on Jan 17, 2013
  • Suresh Govindagatta

    Another game changer could be example of "Vishwaroopam" release on DTH. This will be very interesting to watch how the economics of film release plan will change. I would call this as "Release plan", which is function of ticket price, how many screens, on what date (long weekend or holiday season), and finally adding to this media of release. Need to watch this as we do not know the statistics of how many DTH subscribers are there. On another note, gone are those days filim producers or distrubuters fight for "duration of screen" . Not it "how many screens".

    on Jan 8, 2013
  • qureshi subhan

    which Bollywood last film whos celebrate the 25 jubilee ?

    on Jan 4, 2013
    • Sohini Mitter

      The Dirty Picture. It ran really long in the theatres and got a fillip after Vidya Balan won the National Award for her performance in the film. Reference here:

      on Jan 4, 2013
  • feroz shaikh

    All i want to know that y boxoffice, media supports shahrukh khan's movies even if it is a flop then all film fraternity have to accept the truth including srk itself, why then Ra.1, Don 1, Kabhi Alvida na kehna was actually a flop movies then y media & boxoffice listed these movies in 100 crore hits movie?

    on Jan 2, 2013
    • Sohini Mitter

      The film trade's definition of FLOP is dependent on box office collections. It is entirely quantitative and not qualitative. Any film that fails to recover its cost of production is a FLOP. And any film that does recover its cost of production is a HIT. The other expressions like DISASTER, SUPERHIT and BLOCKBUSTER are used depending on the difference between the films box office collections and cost of production.

      on Jan 3, 2013
  • Best of Bollywood 2012 | Orissa Online Portal

    [...] this list is not reflective of a film’s commercial success. So, you may find many 100-crore films missing here. Second, most lists reek of some bias or the other. In this case, it is the bias [...]

    on Dec 28, 2012
  • Best of Bollywood 2012 | Forbes India Blog

    [...] this list is not reflective of a film’s commercial success. So, you may find many 100-crore films missing here. Second, most lists reek of some bias or the other. In this case, it is the bias is [...]

    on Dec 28, 2012
  • Best Bollywood Films of 2012 (Don’t Publish without Pics) | Forbes India Blog

    [...] this list is not reflective of a film’s commercial success. Hence, you may find many 100-crore films missing here. Second, every list reeks of some bias or the other. In this case, it is the bias [...]

    on Dec 28, 2012
  • Dipak

    Dabbangg 2 rockssssssssss.

    on Dec 26, 2012
  • Shan

    Any idea which films is the most successful in true terms i.e. profits vs. cost of production? My guess is in 2012 that would be Talaash then. Relatively low budget, but 90+ crores already!

    on Dec 26, 2012
    • Rajiv

      it is OMG - Oh My God! (80 cr plus on a budget of abt 20)

      on Jan 20, 2013
    • shyam

      it could be OMG Oh My God... 20c budget, grossed 83c

      on Dec 28, 2012
    • Sohini Mitter

      Kahaani and Barfi! are the other two. Last year, one such example was The Dirty Picture.

      on Dec 26, 2012
  • wasim

    Dabbangg 2 Dhamdaar Dhamakedaar superblockbuster movie of Indian cinema history in five days cross100 crore

    on Dec 25, 2012
  • xyz.

    NEXT IS DABANGG 2......,,,,,,,

    on Dec 24, 2012
  • Sandeep

    The blogger did not address the actual issue.How much percentage of gross collection is profit netted by producers on an average.The economic of the gamble is what should be the crux of the article.

    on Dec 24, 2012
    • Sohini

      That depends on various factors. Hence we mention that.. the brouhaha over "100 crore" is actually referring to the gross collections of a film and not the net or the actual profit it makes. What is netted by the producer depends on how much he gives the distributor (that is not a fixed amount and is often determined by the rapport he has with a certain distributor) besides the share that goes to exhibitors (52% in the first week, around 50% in the second week and so on..)

      on Dec 24, 2012
  • Sandip Kadam

    There r 100 crore clubs & There r good movies... A true cinema lover will enjoy only 3-4 of these 17 films of 100 crore club

    on Dec 24, 2012
    • Sohini

      Well yes there's always been this divide between critical and commercial success in cinema. Only few films manage to achieve both.

      on Dec 25, 2012
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