Decades of Diwali Hits: Bollywood’s Biggest Holiday Weekend Releases

‘Hum Saath Saath Hain’ (1999): Sooraj Barjatya’s family film starring Salman Khan, Karisma Kapoor, Saif Ali Khan, Sonali Bendre, Tabu and Mohnish Behl, and many more stars, was a hit Diwali offering that families loved…reports Asian Lite News

For the past several decades, various films have been released on Diwali weekend, which has always been considered a prime slot.

Big-ticket films reserved slots for a Diwali release to cash in on the holiday spirit and attract families to watch their cinematic offerings.

From ‘Baazigar’ (1993), starring Shah Rukh Khan, Kajol and Shilpa Shetty, ‘Andaz Apna Apna’ (1994) starring Aamir Khan and Salman Khan, ‘Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge’ (1995) starring Kajol and SRK, Aamir Khan’s ‘Raja Hindustani’ (1996) and ‘Ghatak’ starring Sunny Deol and Meenakshi Sheshadari, the list of Diwali releases is a long one.

Let’s take a look at some of the biggest, as well as some of the forgotten Bollywood Diwali releases of the past 24 years:

Yash Chopra’s ‘Dil Toh Pagal Hai’ (1997), released a day after Diwali, starring SRK, Madhuri Dixit and Karisma Kapoor, and had people thronging to the theatres.

‘Kuch Kuch Hota Hai’ (1998), Karan Johar’s debut film, starring SRK, Kajol and Rani Mukherjee, was a runaway hit.

‘Hum Saath Saath Hain’ (1999): Sooraj Barjatya’s family film starring Salman Khan, Karisma Kapoor, Saif Ali Khan, Sonali Bendre, Tabu and Mohnish Behl, and many more stars, was a hit Diwali offering that families loved.

‘Mohabbatein’ (2000): Adiya Chopra’s film, starring Amitabh Bachchan, and SRK, along with Jimmy Shergill, Uday Chopra, Shamita Shetty, Jugal Hansraj, Kim Sharma, and Preeti Jhangiani, focused on college romance and it was a huge hit.

‘Mission Kashmir’ (2000), directed and produced by Vidhu Vinod Chopra, the film starred Hrithik Roshan, Jackie Shroff and Sanjay Dutt. It did average business.

‘Pinjar’ (2003:) Directed by Chandraprakash Dwivedi, the film came out a bit before Diwali and at this point, is likely erased from the memories of many. It stars Manoj Bajpayee, Urmila Matondkar, Sanjay Suri, Kulbhushan Kharbanda, Isha Koppikar, Farida Jalal, Sandali Sinha, and Priyanshu Chatterjee. While a box office disaster, the movie received great acclaim.

‘Veer-Zaara’ (2004): A Yash Chopra film starring SRK, Preity Zinta and Rani Mukherjee, the film earned over Rs105 crore worldwide, and was the highest-grossing Indian film of the year.

Another major film that released that year during Diwali, ‘Aitraaz’, starring Akshay Kumar, Priyanka Chopra and Kareena Kapoor, did average business.

‘Garam Masala’ (2005) Director Priyadarshan’s Diwali flick was quite a hit and stars Akshay Kumar, John Abraham, Paresh Rawal, Rajpal Yadav and Rimi Sen.

‘Don – The Chase Begins’ (2006): Farhan Akhtar’s ‘Don’, a remake of the superhit 1978 film starring Amitabh Bachchan, stars SRK and Priyanka Chopra. It was a hit.

‘Om Shanti Om’ (2007): Farah Khan’s tribute to the world of Hindi Cinema, starring SRK, was Deepika Padukone’s debut film. It was a huge hit.

In contrast, Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s ‘Saawariya’, starring Ranbir Kapoor, Salman Khan and Rani Mukherjee, fared poorly at the box office the same year.

‘Golmal Returns’ (2008): Rohit Shetty’s film starring Ajay Devgn, Arshad Warsi, Tusshar Kapoor, Kareena Kapoor and Shreyas Talpade, was one of the highest-grossing Hindi films of the year.

In contrast, Madhur Bhandarkar’s ‘Fashion’ starring Priyanka Chopra, released during the same Diwali time, did average business that year.

‘Golmaal 3’ (2010): Directed by Rohit Shetty, ‘Golmaal 3’, starred Ajay Devgn, Arshad Warsi, Mithun Chakraborty, Kareena Kapoor, Tusshar Kapoor, Shreyas Talpade, Kunal Khemu, Ratna Pathak Shah, and Johnny Lever, was a blockbuster hit.

Vipul Amrutlal Shah’s ‘Action Replayy’ starring Akshay Kumar and Aishwarya Rai on the other hand, fared very poorly at the box office.

‘Ra.One’ (2011): Director Anubhav Sinha’s sci-fi film ‘Ra.One’, starring Shah Rukh Khan in a dual role, Kareena Kapoor and Arjun Rampal, was a hit.

‘Jab Tak Hai Jaan’ (2012): Yash Chopra’s last directorial ‘Jab Tak Hai Jaan’ released on Diwali in 2012, and starring SRK, Katrina Kaif and Anushka Sharma, did decent business at the box office.

In 2012, another Diwali release was ‘Son of Sardar’, directed by Ashwni Dhir. A remake of Telugu film ‘Maryada Ramanna’ directed by S.S. Rajamouli, the Hindi film starring Ajay Devgn, Sanjay Dutt, Sonakshi Sinha and Juhi Chawla, was a hit.

‘Krrish 3’ (2013): A major film, Rakesh Roshan’s ‘Krrish 3’, starring Hrithik Roshan, Vivek Oberoi, Priyanka Chopra and Kangana Ranaut, was quite a hit.

‘Happy New Year’ (2014): The Farah Khan directorial produced by Gauri Khan under the banner of Red Chillies Entertainment, was a big hit. The film stars SRK, Deepika Padukone, Abhishek Bachchan, Sonu Sood, Boman Irani, and Jackie Shroff.

‘Prem Ratan Dhan Payo’: (2015) Sooraj Barjatya’s, starring Salman Khan, and Sonam Kapoor, was a hit.

‘Golmaal Again’ (2017): Rohit Shetty’s follow up to ‘Golmaal 3’, his comedy film starring Ajay Devgn, Parineeti Chopra, Tusshar Kapoor, Arshad Warsi and others, was loved by movie goers.

‘Thugs of Hindostan’ (2018): Produced by Aditya Chopra, and starring Aamir Khan and Amitabh Bachchan, was a box office disaster despite the hype around it.

‘Housefull 4’ (2019): The fourth installment to the comedy franchise directed by Farhad Samjhi and starring Akshay Kumar, Bobby Deol, Kriti Sanon, Ritesh Deshmukh, Pooja Hedge, and Kriti Kharbanda despite its negative reviews was a big hit grossing over Rs 296 crores.

‘Ludo’ (2020): Directed by Anurag Basu, the film featured a big ensemble cast starring Abhishek Bachchan, Aditya Roy Kapur, Rajkummar Rao, Pankaj Tripathi, Fatima Sana Shaikh, Sanya Malhotra, Rohit Suresh Saraf, and Pearle Maane. This film had a highly positive reception.

‘Sooryavanshi’ (2021): Directed by Rohit Shetty as part of his Cop Universe, the film stars Akshay Kumar, Katrina Kaif, Jackie Shroff, and Sikander Kher. A critical and commercial hit, the film was the biggest Bollywood film of the year.

‘Uunchai’ (2022): Directed by Sooraj Barjatya, the movie featured a powerful cast of Bollywood veterans which include Amitabh Bachchan, Anupam Kher, Boman Irani, Sarika, Danny Denzongpa, and Parineeti Chopra. Though not a massive hit, the movie earned a lot of positive reviews.

Another film which came out that year was ‘Monica O My Darling Monica’. Directed by Vasan Bala, the movie was an OTT release and stars Rajkumar Rao, Huma Qureshi, Sikander Kher, and Radhika Apte. It received a lot of positive reviews, becoming one of the most watched Bollywood films on Netflix.

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