Mumbai: With Indian cinema celebrating its 100 years in 2013, Bollywood found newcomers challenging the reign of superstars in the 100 crore club even as small-budget but content driven films found acceptance at the box office.
Shah Rukh Khan and his star power led the march to the 100 crore club with his `Chennai Express` which became the first film of the year to surpass the old standard by earning more than 200 crores at the box office.
The 100 crore club found new members in Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra`s Farhan Akhtar-starrer biopic ` Bhaag Milkha Bhaag`, Hrithik Roshan`s `Krrish 3`, Ranbir Kapoor`s `Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani`, Ranveer Singh-Deepika Padukone starrer Sanjay Leela Bhansali film `Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela` and the over-performing adult comedy `Grand Masti`, whose success surprised even its makers.
The year`s much awaited release is yet to come as Aamir Khan starrer `Dhoom 3` hits the screens on December 20. Aamir is expected to take `Dhoom` series, already a hit franchise, to new heights.
Gone are the days when films ran for several weeks and terms like golden jubilee and silver jubilee measured the success. The yardstick of a blockbuster this year was not longevity in the cinema halls, but the box office collection especially during the weekend.
"It was a good year for the industry. This year films were breaking record after record, like `Chennai Express` was the huge hit of the year. And now Aamir Khan`s `Dhoom 3` is coming which surely will turn out to be the highest grosser of this year. Also, small films managed to recover money and did well," trade analyst Vikas Mohan said.
"This year both big as well as small films did well. This shows the audience is ready for good cinema," said Vinod Mirani, another trade analyst.
Abbas Mastan directed multi-starrer `Race 2` became the first film of the year to enter the 100 crore club. Then came Ranbir Kapoor-Deepika starrer `Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani`. A romance with some coming-of-age elements thrown in, the film was not as promising as Ayan Mukherji`s debut `Wake Up Sid` but the chemistry between its lead pair managed to find love from the young crowd.
Romance did not lose out in the crowd of action and comedy films this year with Aditya Roy Kapoor and Shraddha Kapoor starrer sequel `Ashiqui 2` laughing all the way to the bank. Aditya and Shraddha, who both had failed to find a foothold through their earlier films, became salebale stars overnight with the success of this soppy romance.
Anand L Rai`s `Raanjhanaa`, a Varanasi-based story of obsessive love, had the unlikely pairing of southern star Dhanush and Sonam Kapoor. Dhanush won the heart of many with his performance as the unlucky in love Sunder. The credit for its success should also go to its small town setting and A R Rahman musical score, his best since `Delhi-6`.
Romance was also the theme of Vikramadiya Motwane`s beautifully crafted `Lootera`. Set in the Bengal of `50s, the film saw Sonakshi Sinha, who has so far played the desi girl in star-driven masala movies, delivering her career`s best performance.
While Ranveer had to play the subdued lover in `Lootera`, he more than made it up with `Ramleela`. The romance did well despite facing hurdles in its release initially.
The surprise hit films of this year also included Sushant Singh Rajput`s `Kai Po Che`, YRF`s `Mere Dad Ki Maruti`, Farhan Akhtar`s home production `Fukrey` which had relatively new faces except Richa Chadda, Remo D`Souza`s `Any Body Can Dance` which had reality TV dance show Dance India participants, Arshad Warsi-starrer `Jolly LLB`, Kunal Khemu`s `Go Goa Gone` and Akshay Kumar`s `Special 26`.