New Delhi: Leading stars played safe in Bollywood but the young brigade cemented its position by navigating between potboilers and script-backed roles in 2014, which also heralded the arrival of female leading ladies in a big way.
It was particularly a good year for young stars like Arjun Kapoor, Deepika Padukone, Siddharth Malhotra, Varun Dhawan, Shraddha Kapoor, Fawad Khan, Patralekha, Ali Fazal, Darshan Kumar and Alia Bhatt.
2014 had its usual share of big budget commercial fares that the dream factory of Bollywood churns out at regular intervals, often driven by superstars.
The two Khans, Salman and Shah Rukh, who seem to be back on friendly terms, did not disappoint by making it to the Rs 100 crore club with their releases 'Jai Ho', 'Kick' and 'Happy New Year'.
Salman had his first release with 'Jai Ho' which managed to do decent business despite getting a bashing from critics. He upped his box office collection with his Robin Hood act in 'Kick'.
Shah Rukh was close with his multi-starrer, much hyped 'Happy New Year' that saw him returning with director Farah Khan after their brief fallout.
Like every year, Aamir's fans will have to wait till the end of the year to watch 'PK'. Keeping his track record of hits in mind and his pairing with Rajkumar Hirani after '3 Idiots', the film is expected to hit the bull's eye.
Hrithik Roshan, who faced personal setbacks with injuries and his divorce from wife Sussanne Khan while making 'Bang Bang', managed to help the film sail through despite dismal reviews.
The other young and old entrants in the 100 crore club included Arjun Kapoor-Alia Bhatt's romance saga '2 States', Siddharth Malhotra-Shraddha Kapoor's 'Ek Villain', Ajay Devgn's 'Singham Returns', Akshay Kumar's 'Holiday' though the actor's second outing 'Entertainment' did not entertain the audience and neither did Devgn's 'Action Jackson'.
Amid the star-driven masala entertainers, small-budget films created some elbow room for themselves.
'Queen', Hansal Mehta's 'CityLights', Vishal Bhardwaj's Shakespearian adaptation of 'Hamlet' in Kashmir-set 'Haider', 'Highway', 'Dedh Ishqiya', 'Finding Fanny', 'Ankhon Dekhi', 'Filmistaan' and 'Bobby Jasoos' were praised by critics though not all of them were box office hits.
Rajat Kapoor's 'Ankhon Dekhi', a small-budget beautiful film, unfortunately got lost in the crowd of big Bollywood releases despite a memorable performance by Sanjay Mishra.
The forgettable films of this quarter were 'Total Siyappa', Sonam Kapoor-Ayushmann Khurana's 'Bewakoofiyaan', 'Lakshmi', 'Dishkiyaoon', 'O Teri' and 'Youngistaan'. 'Ragini MMS 2', a mix of horror and erotica, did well.
Varun charmed with his antics in his father David Dhawan's 'Main Tera Hero' despite the film's nonsensical storyline. He and Alia got back together after 'Student of the Year' for another hit with 'Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhaniya'.
Amitabh Bachchan returned as a friendly ghost in 'Bhoothnath Returns' successfully.
Films that came and went without creating much impact during this time were 'Kaanchi', 'Samrat & Co', post-Partition drama 'Kya Dilli Kya Lahore', 'Koyelaanchal', 'Yeh Hai Bakrapur', Himesh Reshamiyaa's another screen outing 'The Xpose', 'Kuku Mathur Ki Jhand Ho Gayi' and 'Fugly'.
Amol Gupte's 'Hawaa Hawaai' earned praise and moderate success while 'Filmistaan' was praised for its unique story.
The film that made maximum noise, though for all the wrong reasons, was Sajid Khan's 'Humshakals'.
The much-bashed film made into the year's worst releases. Bipasha Basu was the first to disown it while Saif Ali Khan, who played triple roles with Riteish Deshmukh and Ram Kapoor, admitted it was a mistake to star in the film. Deshmukh redeemed himself with his serial-killer act in 'Ek Villain' but Saif did not have a 'Happy Ending' this year.
'Hate Story 2' did well with its erotic content while Pakistani TV star Fawad Khan made a successful Bollywood debut opposite Sonam Kapoor in 'Khoobsurat' remake.
Films like 'Amit Sahni Ki List', 'Pizza' Emraan Khan's 'Raja Natwarlal', Bipasha Basu's 'Creature 3D', '3 AM', 'Desi Kattey', 'Ekkees Toppon Ki Salaami', 'Tamanchey', 'Sonali Cable', 'Roar', Rekha's 'Super Nani', 'Rang Rasiya', 'The Shaukeens', 'Ungli', 'Zed Plus' did not impress.