Despite the crazy frenzy it commands, Bollywood can be quite a hazy dream. Sometime it dishes out films that click with much assertion of the content. Other times, it relies on mere star power to deliver mindless hits. And in spite of how widespread a notion it might be that storytelling is losing face in current times, flops aren’t any recent phenomenon in Bollywood. Or any film industry for that matter. Every time a film fails to get one single strand right, it invariably fails. While loyal fan bases and star appeal can be the saving grace at times, the final verdict is almost always content biased. From bankrupting producers to ruining actors, even a single flop can be hazardous to the showbiz industry. Here’s listing 25 of the biggest flop movies Bollywood has witnessed over the years which ruined the box office-
Mera Naam Joker
The 1970 film Mera Naam Joker might be regarded now as a cult classic, one that is even among the finest works of the legendary Raj Kapoor. But back when it released Mera Naam Joker found few takers, primarily because of its exerting length and plot, turning therefore into one of the most shocking flop movies dished out by Bollywood. Over the years however, Mera Naam Joker rose from ridicule to become among the more underrated Bollywood movies. But at the time of its release the film was a critical and commercial failure. An extensively conceived film that was under production for six years, Mera Naam Joker led Raj Kapoor to a huge financial crisis. With Kapoor investing much of his personal fortune in the making of the film, the commercial disaster that ensued meant that all the assets of the filmmaker were mortgaged.
Ram Gopal Varma Ki Aag
Perhaps one of the most ‘remarkable’ of flop movies in Bollywood, Ram Gopal Varma Ki Aag was a stupendous failure. Despite being an adaptation of the iconic Sholay, the film could not escape quite a few dubious distinctions. Starring Amitabh Bachchan, the film has been regarded as one of the worst films ever made. A commercial disaster, as well as shunned by critics and audiences alike, Ram Gopal Varma Ki Aag also cost its director Ram Gopal Varma a hefty ₹1 million for copyright infringement. Undoubtedly, the 2007 action drama film has since gone down in Bollywood as being among the most outrageous flop movies ever.
A very ambitious project in its many A star listings, the 2015 movie Bombay Velvet however turned out to be one of the biggest flops of Bollywood. With Ranbir Kapoor and Anushka Sharma at the helm of affairs in a movie that also saw Karan Johar don the actor’s hat, Bombay Velvet failed miserably both critically and commercially. Made on a budget of 120 crore, the film could recover only some 43 crore, thus being a disaster. Driving on decent performances and an extensive marketing strategy, Bombay Velvet however was a complete dud. The incoherent script as well as Anurag Kashyap’s directorial inconsistency met with severe criticism. With record low audience turnout, Bombay Velvet was pulled down from most theaters owing to empty halls.
Ra.One might have been Shah Rukh Khan‘s most ambitious project but it still is one of the absolute flop movies ever in Bollywood. A 2011 superhero film starring Khan, Ra.One witnessed the largest international theatrical release for an Indian film at that time. Also preceded by high audience and commercial expectations, Ra.One sure managed to collect the revenue. But most of the collections amassed by this ambitious venture was the result of skilfully thought out strategies rather than the applause of being a true hit film.
With mainly negative reviews spanning from plot to direction to screenplay Ra. One wasn’t even half the phenomenon it set out to be. Technically however, Ra.One came to be lauded even when some believed that the visual effects were ‘all over the place’. Nevertheless in being a far less spectacular outing than what was conceived out of it, Ra.One has to be one of the greater flop movies of Bollywood.
One of the greatest flop movies in present day Bollywood has to be the 2013 film Himmatwala. A remake of another remake, Himmatwala marked the Bollywood comeback for southern star Tamannaah. Made with a budget of 680 million, the film also starring Ajay Devgn collected just 65.79 crores at the box office. Lambasted by critics for such a horrible attempt at recreating what was a popular 80’s movie, Himmatwala was even defined a tacky experience at best. In being an entirely unwatchable senseless film, Himmatwala has very well been the outright flop movies of Bollywood.
A 1991 fantasy superhero film, Ajooba brought together the likes of Amitabh Bachchan, Rishi Kapoor, Dimple Kapadia and Amrish Puri. But still the Shashi Kapoor directorial emerged to be one of the flop Bollywood movies that failed to garner even half of its budget in earnings. An Indo- Soviet collaboration, Ajooba however was a commercial successful in Russia unlike India. But the huge losses in Bollywood forced producer Kapoor to shut down his production house after the failure.
Thugs of Hindostan
Another Amitabh Bachchan starrer that has the dubious distinction of being among the worst flop movies in modern day Bollywood is the 2018 film Thugs of Hindostan. Also starring Aamir Khan and Katrina Kaif, the 220 crore budget of the film made it one of the most expensive ever. With a highly build up anticipation and being set in a spectacle that defined grandeur, Thugs of Hindostan failed to deliver where it mattered the most. Despite close to decent box office openings, the film failed to maintain steam. With negative critical reviews as well as unfavourable word of mouth publicity, Thugs of Hindostan emerged to be the thug when it came to delivering cinematic brilliance.
Roop Ki Rani Choron Ka Raja
The highest budget Indian film ever at that time when it released in 1993, Roop Ki Rani Choron Ka Raj was a dismal failure. Even the celebrated pairing of Anil Kapoor and Sridevi could not salvage losses for the film. An extended star cast comprising Jackie Shroff, Johnny Lever and Anupam Kher similarly could not do wonders for this film which was already delayed by six years. With a box office collection of 2.7 crores in Indian rupees, Roop Ki Rani Choron Ka Raja could not recover even half its total budget. It thus sank sank as one of the biggest flop movies produced by Bollywood.
Among the many historical movies in Bollywood, the Shah Rukh Khan starrer 2001 film Asoka is also one among the greater flop outings in the industry. While the epic film based on the life of emperor Asoka managed to cause a stir through screenings in international film festivals, the box office numbers of the film remained unimpressive. The larger than life action sequences and magnificent visuals did little to make the movie an impactful one for the Indian audience even when it earned critical acclaim and commercial success internationally.
Saawariya was the film that marked the much anticipated debut of two starkids- Ranbir Kapoor and Sonam Kapoor. Remniscient of the trademark Sanjay Leela Bhansali larger than life portrayal through cinema, Saawariya was shot on elaborate sets of an imaginary city complete with lakes, streets, shops, signages and a clock tower. But despite such elaborate presentation and equally massive publicity, the 2007 romantic saga failed to create much of an impact. In fact Saawariya had to settle on becoming one of the greatest flop movies of Bollywood.
Ajay Devgn’s first venture into production, the 2000 film Raju Chacha might be still among the mediocrely popular of Bollywood movies. However going by box office numbers, the film was an out and out flop. Produced at a budget of ₹30.6 crore, the film could barely manage some ₹8.6 crores in collections. With Ajay Devgn and Kajol in the lead in the film that also starred Rishi Kapoor, Raju Chacha was a glossy visual that could not however translate much into substantial numbers.
Reuniting the Shahrukh Khan- Katrina Kaif- Anushka Sharma trio, the 2018 film Zero has been the Bollywood Badshah’s most expensive film till date. But the film could not even recover its 200 crore budget, bombing at the box office and facing widespread critical bashing. While the performances of the actors were praised, Zero was deemed unfavourable for its screenplay. The film however could not rise above the depiction of its title in substance and ended up becoming an unsuccessful outing in Bollywood.
With the charismatic pairing of Salman Khan and Katrina Kaif, Yuvvraaj should have been able to do wonders. But the 2008 film still bombed at the box office even with mixed reviews from critics. And while the soundtrack of the film came to be celebrated and the script added to the library of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 2009, Yuvvraaj could not even fully recover the ₹48 crore budget on which it was made.
Love Story 2050
Another 2008 film that joins the long list of flop movies produced in Bollywood is Love Story 2050. With debutante Harman Baweja cast alongside Priyanka Chopra, the film carried high expectations in being the first utopian time travel film of Bollywood. A box office failure as well as a critical non-impressor, Love Story 2050 has even been among Chopra’s worst films. The film earned just ₹25 crore, less than half of its ₹60 crore budget.
The most expensive Indian film at the time of its release in 2009, Blue starred Sanjay Dutt, Akshay Kumar, Zayed Khan and Lara Dutta in lead roles. A whopping budget of 100 crores however could do little to stop Blue from being an out and out flop. Also the first movie to have a budget higher than ₹1 billion, all Blue could rake up was a meager 7.5 crores at the box office.
In starring two of the most striking faces in Bollywood, Guzaarish wasn’t however the exemplary hit movie of the times. Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Hrithik Roshan came together for their third venture together in Guzaarish. And while the chemistry between the lead pair was sizzling and the subject matter of the film itself was stirring, the obvious play of balances could not translate as effectively into box office collections. While Guzaarish did well to cover its budget with its overall earnings, the film was still deemed a below average.
An ensemble star cast resplendent in names that you would think would be a guarantee recipe for success and yet Kalank failed to be much of a wave in the ocean when it released in 2019. With some of the biggest names of Bollywood like Madhuri Dixit, Alia Bhatt, Sanjay Dutt, Varun Dhawan in the ranks, the period drama had been one of the much talked about movies of the year. Also a 5300 screen opening worldwide that made it the widest Bollywood release sure should have further helped its cause. Instead, Kalank ended up becoming a box office failure. Not its staggering sets nor its extravagant emotion quotient could swaddle the high flying film into success. Made on a budget of a whopping 150 crores, all Kalank could manage to collect was something a little over 70 crores, placing it firmly among Bollywood flops.
The flop status of Race 3 was writ large over it even before the film released. The trailer itself sparked a meme fest owing to the utter lack of logic, coherence and script evident in it. Overall grossings at the box office might put Race 3 out of the flop league in terms of earnings. But wholly negative audience reactions and critical reviews established what had been apparent all throughout. Mercilessly trolled as being the most stupid film of the year, Race 3 could not race its way to resounding success.
Another Ranbir Kapoor starrer that finds way in our list of Bollywood flop movies is the 2013 film Besharam. The film was declared a flop, despite somehow managing to generate revenue just enough to cover its budget. Even with a strong first day opening, Besharam failed to pick pace owing to negative critic reviews.
An ultimate filmy failure, Humshakals has been one among the worst movies made in Bollywood. Saif Ali Khan, Riteish Deshmukh, Ram Kapoor, Bipasha Basu, Tamannaah Bhatia and and Esha Gupta starred in this Sajid Khan directorial debacle. The critical response was negative but the film managed to outdo its budget with the box office collections. But in being among the movies widely rued even by its starcast, Humshakalas is defintely the biggest flop Bollywood has played party to.
On paper, Shamitabh appears to be one of those films that should have made its way into the public psyche. Because obviously it isn’t everyday that you get to watch a satire in Bollywood, that too with the likes of Amitabh Bachchan and Dhanush as the leads. With mixed critics reviews and audience responses as well as a collection at the box office that fell short of its budget, all Shamitabh could manage was to be less than an average flick of Bollywood.
India’s first destination wedding film was the Shahid Kapor- Alia Bhaatt starrer 2015 flick Shaandaar. The fresh pairing seemed cute, the visuals were breathtaking and the romantic comedy element about the film sure had enough scope to make it work. But Shaandaar was ultimately done in by sloppy writing and exaggerated emotions, producing a box office failure. With earnings that rest somewhere above its costs, Shaandaar also sadly became one of the biggest flop movies of Bollywood.
Ranbir Kapoor might be one among the finer new age stars of Bollywood but the man has delivered quite a few flops in his filmy career. One such flop movies Kapoor has been a part of in Bollywood is Roy. A 2015 film, Roy could hardly manage to recover its budget with its box office earnings. But more than the revenue, it was the critical response to the film that made it quite the dud it turned out to be. Entirely negative reviews and minimal ratings by critics ensured that Roy languished as a truly forgettable outing in Bollywood.
The launchpad of star kids Sooraj Pancholi and Athiya Shetty, Hero is a namesake remake of the 1983 blockbuster film. With Salman Khan as the producer, Hero and both the leads had ample backing of the industry itself. Yet it failed to create any impression, falling flat at the box office with collections that could not even cover the costs.
A 2017 film starring Salman Khan, Tubelight opened to mixed reviews from critics. A war drama film, Tubelight also met with mixed response at the box office, emerging thereafter to be among the many flop movies of Bollywood despite the star presence of Khan.