10 Cult Films You Won’t Believe Were Flops Upon Release

Bollywood has a weird way of functioning. Some films, which are well made, flop upon releasing. And some others, which are not that great, manage to make merry (and money) at the box office.

Some of the former variety go on to become cult classics, as people who watch it on television, and DVDs realise it’s a great movie. Today, let’s talk about films that are considered classics now, but had flopped upon their release.

#1 Mera Naam Joker (1970)


Raj Kapoor’s magnum opus was a big flop upon its release. It almost bankrupted Raj Kapoor. But now, it is considered a cult classic.

#2 Andaz Apna Apna (1994)


Andaz Apna Apna lost the battle to Suhaag, starring Ajay Devgn and Akshay Kumar which released on the same day. The country was in the mood for action movies at the time. But which film do you remember now- Andaz Apna Apna or Suhaag?

#3 Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro (1983)


It’s rather shocking that one of the funniest films ever made in India, Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro, had flopped at the box office. Maybe it was the lack of bonafide stars in the film, or an unusual plot- but India just wasn’t ready for a film like this. Thankfully, now we recognise the excellence of this masterpiece.

#4 Lakshya (2004)


Farhan Akhtar became a victim of expectations, as people expecting another Dil Chahta Hai were left disappointed with Lakshya. Truth is, Lakshya wasn’t in the same genre as Dil Chahta Hai. Yes, they were both coming-of-age films, but the sensibilities were completely different. Lakshya was a classic, in its own, unconventional way.

#5 Nayak- The Real Hero (2001)


Chances are, you have seen Nayak on Set Max, haven’t you? Everyone who saw it on TV, loved the film. Yet, on the box office, it did not perform as well. Maybe Anil Kapoor wasn’t as big a draw in 2001.

#6 Silsila (1981)


It had all the makings of a blockbuster, what with the casting coup of having Amitabh Bachchan, Jaya Bachchan and Rekha in the same film, but did not work out as expected. People felt it was in bad taste and a bit too close to reality, with Amitabh and Rekha’s much publicised affair in the limelight. Now we can look back and appreciate the good cinema on display here.

#7 Agneepath (1990)


The audience in the early 90s found this film too melodramatic. Amitabh Bachchan wasn’t the kind of superstar he was in the 70s. The film flopped, despite getting positive reviews from critics. It would eventually be appreciated by the public, which would result in a remake.

#8 Gulaal (2009)


Nobody really realised the genius of Gulaal, and that’s because nobody really saw Gulaal upon its release. Blame the half hearted publicity or the lack of star power, but Gulaal certainly deserved more. Over the years, it has developed a cult following among cinephiles.

#9 Lamhe (1993)


So, Anil Kapoor loved Sridevi, who marries someone else, and dies. Sridevi’s daughter, also Sridevi, falls in love with Anil Kapoor. People were offended at this storyline as they thought it was incestuous. Ridiculous.

#10 Swades (2004)


This was surprising, as Shahrukh Khan was on a roll in 2004, with blockbusters like Kal Ho Na Ho, Main Hoon Na, and Veer Zaara being his last three films. Swades failed to light up the box office, despite being arguably one of Shahrukh’s best films. Perhaps people were expecting something flashy from SRK.

Are there any other films that you like, which failed at the box office? Do mention them in the comments below!

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Posted by

Vishesh Jaiswal

I am a digital storyteller, more persuasive than needed. Also, I am Batman.

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