Bollywood is one of the most famous and highest-grossing film industries in the world after Hollywood. With many critically-acclaimed movies and mega-stars that never fail to deliver, India has become one of the top nations to master the craft of filmmaking. They are known for being the epitome of entertainment and for offering a formula that is different from other filmmaking industries through their choreographies, culture, narratives, music, and performances that have their own distinct flavor.
13 Dangal (2016)
Dangal is one of the highest-grossing Indian movies of all time. It was directed by Nitesh Tewari, with Amir Khan as the major lead. It tells the true story of an ex-wrestler, Mahavir Singh Phogat, and his struggle to achieve his dreams due to familial and societal pressure to get employed in a more traditional job. However, the fighter vows to teach his son how to wrestle and fulfill his dreams through him.
However, when he finds himself only having daughters, his dreams are challenged only to be redirected in a new direction. This is an inspiring movie about family, achieving hard things, and the journey of it all. Full of details, great direction, acting, and soundtracks, Dangal has been a massive success, amassing around $300 million at the international box office.
12 Baahubali 2: The Conclusion (2017)
This film is a sequel action-fantasy and drama piece that is produced so highly that it became India’s biggest blockbuster movie. It was directed by S. S. Rajamouli and starring Prabhas and Rana Daggubati. It tells the story of the son of Bahubali, Shiva, who starts to look for answers after he learns about his heritage and the ways his parents and his people were wronged and betrayed, which leads to a battle against a brutal tyrant.
Baahubali 2: The Conclusion was one of the most expensive Indian movies to be ever made with an investment of around $37 million. Yet, its mega-success has made this financial investment all the more worth it, as the movie has gathered around $270 million dollars. It has been praised for its visual appeal—from great costume and set designs to amazing special effects.
11 RRR (2022)
RRR is an Oscar-nominated movie directed by S. S. Rajamouli with its main stars being Rama Rao and Ram Charan. Set in India in 1920, it tells the fictional story of two men who choose to fight for their countries due to different motives. However, when the two accidentally meet, they bond, but their differing true identities would only stir drama if the cover gets blown. This action-packed drama combines dancing, romance, and comedy which makes for a compelling movie. The film has amassed $160 million worldwide.
10 K.G.G. Chapter 2 (2022)
K.G.G. Chapter 2 is a sequel to the movie K.G.G. Part 1. It was directed by Prashanth Neel and stars Naveen Kumar, Sanjay Dutt and Raveena Tandon. The film follows the story of Rocky, a leader admired by many who manages to become the ruler of Kolar Gold Fields. However, his popularity and influence are objected to by the government as they see him as a threat to law and order. This, in turn, throws him into blood-soaked, challenging battles. K.G.G. is yet another action-packed movie that has gained an even higher rating than RRR overall, amassing around $90 million worldwide.
9 Pathaan (2023)
Pathaan is yet another action thriller motion picture that was internationally recognized. The movie is still currently running, making it a significant box office hit. It was directed by Siddarth Anand, and it tells the story of Khan, a secret agent who works for the Raw-Indian intelligence agency who embarks on a dangerous mission to stop a terrorist organization from carrying out its deadly plans. The main lead is played by the talented Shah Rukh Khan and has collected nearly $127 million to date.
8 Bajrangi Bhaijaan (2015)
Bajrangi Bhaijaan is an emotional piece directed by Kabir Khan starring Salman Khan and Harshaali Malhotra. It follows the story of Pawan, a generous man who finds a mute little Pakistani girl who got lost from her family and tries to help her find her way home to her parents. As they both journey together, they develop a heart-warming bond that becomes unbreakable. This poignant movie that is overflowing with fine performances has become one of India’s top hit movies involving a young protagonist. This cross-cultural tale between India and Pakistan has gathered around $120 million worldwide.
7 Secret Superstar (2017)
Secret Superstar tells the tale of a young woman who has a passion for singing. However, due to her family’s conservative views and the abuse that she faces from her father, she struggles to express herself creatively. Yet, with the support of her mother, the talented Insia doesn’t give up and ends up posting her singing anonymously online, which completely changes everything in her life. Performed flawlessly by Zaira Wasim, Meher Vij and Raj Arjun, this thought-provoking film sweetly and delicately explores the problems that come from being a female in a patriarchal society. The film resonated with many, especially women, and has grossed around $130 million worldwide.
6 PK (2014)
PK is a film directed by Rajkumar Hirani, starring the renowned Amir Khan. The actor has wowed many through his performance in this film, which tells the story of an alien who is stuck on earth. Pk’s innocence and childlike nature make him ask a lot of questions of those around him. Yet, his inquisitiveness offers a refreshing discourse for others to reevaluate everything they ever believed and the ways they are living their lives. The movie takes a philosophical and thought-provoking approach which makes it a truly revolutionary film. Pk has gathered around $100 million worldwide.
5 2.0 (2018)
2.0 is a science fiction movie about unveiling a mystery through the power of artificial intelligence that was directed by S. Shankar and starring Akshay Kumar, Amy Jackson and Shivaji Rao. When mobile phones start to fly out of the hands of people in the city of Chennai and take the shape of a destructive bird, everybody freaks out. However, when Dr. Vaseergaran unleashes his new robot creation, Nila, and his old robot Chitii, together they try to unfold the mystery and save anyone from getting hurt. 2.0 is one of the most expensive Indian movies to be produced with a budget of around $70 million dollars. It ended up collecting $85 million worldwide.
4 Sultan (2016)
Sultan is a movie directed by Ali Abaas. It follows the story of Sultan Ali Khan (Salman Khan), a pro-wrestling champion, and Arafa (Anushka Sharma), a powerful young woman who has a similar dream; both dream of representing India at the Olympics. When they encounter each other, a budding romance ensues, and they begin a journey full of willpower and strength as they both wrestle with life in hopes of achieving their shared dreams. Sultan, a story about mental battles just as much as physical battles, has been so well crafted and has amassed 98 million dollars worldwide.
3 Sanju (2018)
Sanju is a partially fictionalized account of the life of the actor Sanjay Dutt. It was directed by Rajkumar Hirani starring Ranbir Kapoor, Paresh Rawal and Manisha Koirala. The film explores the life of Sanjay, highlighting themes such fame, addiction, loss, prison, and inner battles. This dramatized movie provides a powerful insight into the life of a man who’s gone through a lot as it highlights the trials and tribulations of being human. The film grossed around $77 million worldwide.
2 Padmavaat (2018)
Starring Deepika Dupone and directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Padmavaat is a fictional story. Set in medieval India in the 13th century, it tells the story of Princess Padmavati of Sinhala who falls in love and marries the King of Chittor, Maharawal Ratan Singh. However, when the Sultan of Delhi hears of Padmavati’s beauty, he forms an obsession to defy all odds and be with her, through malice intentions. Padmavaat is full of gorgeous set designs, costumes, visual effects, and an even more beautiful soundtrack. The worldwide gross for this movie was around $60 million.
1 Tiger Zinda Hai (2017)
Tiger Zinda Hai is a movie directed by Ali Abaas and Musa Muhammed and was inspired by true events. Its main cast is Salman Khan, Katrina Kaif and Paresh Rawal. It is a sequel to the film Ek Tha Tiger. It tells the story of Tiger and Zoya, two agents who are on a mission to save Indian and Pakistani nurses who are held hostage in a hospital in Iraq by militant Abu Usman before an American airstrike kills them. This action-packed and suspense-filled film has made its way as one of the top-grossing Indian films, collecting around $87 million worldwide.
With these numbers and premises, there is no doubt that the Bollywood film industry is huge and diverse in its storytelling.