Bollywood isn’t only about mega releases. Spending cash does not make a good film. This fact has been confirmed with some recent small budget films, which have done exceptionally well at the Box Office. Success of low budget films depends on the genre, premise, story, and financing of the film, as well as the actors and their performances. Here’s our Top 10 list of low budget films which have given big budget movies a run for their money.
Made on a shoestring budget of Rs. 8 crore, ‘Kahaani’ went to rake Rs. 78 crores at the Box Office. Brilliantly handled by director Sujay Ghosh and stupendous performance by Vidya Balan, ‘Kahaani’ is an intelligent thriller which explores themes of feminism and motherhood in a predominantly male-dominated Indian society.
Paan Singh Tomar
After ‘Haasil’ director Tigmanshu Dhulia joined hands with Irrfan Khan once again for ‘Paan Singh Tomar’ – the biopic which hit the bulls eye at the BO. Made on a budget of a little over Rs. 5 crore, the movie turned into a profit within the first week. PST succeeded purely on word of mouth marketing.
Though not a major hit at the Bollywood Box Office, Vikramaditya Motwane’s ‘Udaan’ was critically acclaimed film and was officially selected to compete in the Un Certain Regard (A Certain Glance) category at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival. The film went on to prove that you don’t need stacks of cash or A-listers from B’wood to make a smart film; you just need an intelligent script.
Tere Bin Laden
Declared an average grosser at the Box Office, ‘Tere Bin Laden’ was made at a budget of Rs. 5.8 crore and it went on to garner Rs. 15 crore net. The film didn’t boost any mega star cast, but it won audience’s heart by its smart script and some smart acting by debutant actors Pradhuman Singh and Pakistani actor Ali Zafar. The film was a spoof on Osama Bin Laden, as well as a comic satire on America`s war against terror and the realities of the post-9/11 world.
Peepli Live was made at a budget of Rs. 10 crore and owing to its raw nature and intelligent adoption of dark humour satire, it managed to jolt the conscience of audience and raked in Rs. 29 crores. And since the film nurtured and developed under Aamir Khan, it reportedly recovered its cost well before its release.
Phas Gaye Re Obama
This is another small film with a big idea. Made on a humble budget of Rs 3 crore, ‘Phas Gaye Re Obama’ offered the much-needed comic relief with well-sketched out (and multiple) characters. The film, which got appreciated by every critic in the town, was set against the backdrop of global recession that originated in USA.
This performance driven new age cinema was again made on a tight budget of Rs 10 crore, but it won rave reviews from the critics. With many calling it ‘poetry on canvas’, ‘Dhobi Ghat’, some say is amongst the most significant films in the history of Bollywood. Coming from Aamir Khan’s production, the perfectionist Khan proved with ‘Dhobi Ghat’ that even a class-appealing low budget film can be turned into a profitable venture.
Tanu Weds Manu
Tanu weds Manu was funny, light romantic comedy with the right amount of drama, action and one-liners. Even though the audience had a clear idea on how the movie will end, it still kept the audience engrossed, entertained and amused for the entire running time. As the budget of ‘Tanu Weds Manu’ was Rs. 11 crore and the first week’s share was about Rs. 10 crore, the producers and distributors of the film started making profits from the second week itself. The satellite rights of the film were also sold at an attractive price of Rs. 7.5 crore.
No One Killed Jessica
Made at just Rs. 9 crore, NOKJ garnered Rs. 49 crore at the BO. Inspired by the real life murder of Jessica Lal, ‘No One Killed Jessica’ received positive reviews from critics. The film recovered its cost before release through satellite and music rights.
Pyaar Ka Punchnama
A small budget film by Luv Ranjan, Pyaar Ka Punchnama’ is a tale about a three young men who are frustrated with their women that results in quite a few `naughty situations`. ‘Pyaar Ka Punchnama’ was a moderate-budget film but its Box Office prospects turned out bright.