Hits come and go, flops come and go, superhits, blockbuster, disasters, above average grossers – they all come and go. But, very, very few movies come once in a lifetime that change the face of a nation's cinematic landscape forever. And no amount of glowing critical reviews can achieve this. One and one undeniable, unquestionable factor, set in stone for all ages creates a never-before-seen cinematic milestone – the box-office. And over the course of several decades of Indian cinema, chronicling every film industry of the country in every language, there have been a handful of such movies (it's not every day that a milestone movie comes along) that have rewritten history at the domestic box office.
In all, there have been just eleven milestone movies over seven decades at the Indian box office (we've taken seven decades as it's virtually impossible to collate figures before the 50s, and it also makes sense to consider the 1-crore mark as the first milestone, which only began from 1951 onward).
The 80s was the worst decade for milestones, with not a single film setting a new landmark, while the 2010s has been the best decade so far with as many as four movies creating new milestones. Hum Aapke Hain Koun, released in 1994, and 2017's Baahubali 2 proved to be the biggest landmark jumps as far as collections go. Also, nine of the ten movies belong to Bollywood, reinforcing the dominance of the Hindi film industry in the country while Aamir Khan is not only the only actor with multiple films on the list, but with as many as four of them, underlining his goodwill with the audience across demographics.
Without further ado, here are the milestone movies which set different landmarks for Indian cinema, including the year they released in and their collections at the box office (Note: It goes without saying that all these films are all-time blockbuster):
Awara (1951) - Rs. 1.25 crore nett [1-crore landmark]
Mughal-E-Azam (1960) - Rs. 5.50 crore nett [5-crore landmark]
Sholay (1975) - Rs. 15 crore nett [15-crore landmark; no Indian movies touched the 10-crore landmark before it]
Hum Aapke Hain Koun (1994) - Rs. 72.47 crore nett [50-crore landmark; no Indian movie touched the 25-crore landmark before it]
Gadar: Ek Prem Katha (2001) - Rs. 76.88 crore nett [75-crore landmark]
Ghajini (2008) - Rs. 114.10 crore nett [100-crore landmark]
3 Idiots (2009) - Rs. 201.37 crore nett [200-crore landmark; no Indian movie touched the 150-crore landmark before it]
Dhoom 3 (2013) - Rs. 284.27 crore nett [250-crore landmark]
PK (2014) - Rs. 340.80 crore nett [300-crore landmark]
Baahubali (2015) - Rs. 420.05 crore nett [400-crore landmark]
Baahubali 2 (2017) - Rs. 1115.60 crore nett [1000-crore landmark; no Indian movie touched any landmark between 500 to 900 crore before it]
So, which will be the next Indian movie to set a new milestone at the box office ergo the 1200-crore milestone, and, more importantly, can any film break Baahubali 2's record in the foreseeable future? Fingers crossed...
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