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The Hindi film industry, popularly christened as Bollywood, is one of the largest film production centres in the world. The first feature film produced in India was the Dadasaheb Phalke directed silent black-and-white film Raja Harishchandra, which was released in 1913. With time, the industry expanded and the number of films produced kept increasing throughout the 1920s and 1930s. With expansion, newer technologies were introduced including the use of sound and later color. Alam Ara was India's first sound film, while Kisan Kanya was India's first color film (incidentally, both were directed by the same person). Introduction of these technologies significantly shaped the style of Indian film-making, as the advent of sound popularised musicals and song-and-dance sequences, making them an integral part of Indian films. The industry did face problems during the 1930s because of independence movements and international wars. The 1940s, 1950s and 1960s are often called the "golden years" of Bollywood. Films received much critical appreciation all over the world. Several notable cinematic figures such as Guru Dutt, Raj Kapoor and Bimal Roy were active during these years and were instrumental in developing the industry. Mehboob Khan's Mother India received universal acclaim and became India's first feature film to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film; till date, it is one of only three Bollywood films (Salaam Bombay! and Lagaan) to share that honour. Other Bollywood films from the era were screened in major film festivals across the world, and some of them won major prizes as well. Parallel cinema also emerged during this time, and gained momentum later on after a "hibernation" phase.
Beginning with the 1940s, Bollywood films also saw major commercial success, and several box office milestones were breached. As the popularity of cinema spread, theatrical revenue kept increasing. The 1943Gyan Mukherjee-directed Kismet became the first Bollywood film to cross the 10 million mark. Subsequently, more films breached the 10 million mark until Shree 420 breached the 20 million mark for the first time. Beginning with the 1960s and particularly 1970s, Bollywood films achieved major commercial success more regularly, and the revenue earned multiplied manifold throughout this period (a trend that continued into the 1990s); Sholay (1975) earned triple the amount that the previous record-holder Mughal-e-Azam (1960) earned, while Hum Aapke Hain Koun..! (1994) more than quadrupled Sholay's record. Post the "dark phase" of the 1980s, business increased tremendously as is visible from the major success of films like Hum Aapke Hain Koun..!, Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge, Gadar: Ek Prem Katha and 3 idiots.
Initially, the success of a film was determined by box office longevity than revenue. However, due to increasing competition from television and the threat of piracy, and later the advent of alternative media, longevity of films decreased drastically and revenue became the focus of success. The revenue-earning pattern has become increasingly front-loaded over the years, and now most films depend only on first weekend/first week revenue to decide the fate of a film, a trend that has received widespread criticism from industry experts. This trend was further intensified after the multiplex boom in India following liberalisation, which caused ticket prices and theatrical screening scope to increase. Since 2008, Bollywood films have started breaching the 1 billion mark consistently; Ghajini was the first Bollywood film to cross the mark.Also 3 idiots (2009) became the first Bollywood Film to cross the 2 billion mark consistently.Considered a turning point in Bollywood, multiple films have breached that mark since then. Beginning with the 2000s (decade) and particularly 2010s, the release size and marketing efforts have increased rapidly to the extent that films can achieve the 1 billion mark in a single week, and the single-day full-capacity revenue can be 300 million. Franchises have witnessed increasing popularity and several highly popular franchises such as Dhoom, Krrish, Golmaal, Don, Dabangg, Housefull, Aashiqui etc. saw great success at the box office; additionally, each sequel has earned more than the previous film, making franchises a lucrative business proposal.
Below is a set of lists which track the records for highest-grossing films in India (by net figures, i.e. after tax reduction), highest opening days, highest opening weeks and also other specific lists. Since box office figures in India are not tracked strictly, figures from Box Office India are utilised; only extracts of lists are visible here for some of the lists due to copyright concerns. The original list showed the Top 30 films according to net revenue earned in India.
Background colorindicates films playing on 1 October 2014 in theatres around the world
The biggest Worldwide grossers in the history of Hindi film industry are listed below. Hum Aapke Hain Koun..! (released in 1994) was the first Bollywood film to cross 1 billion (US$16 million) worldwide. Since the gross figures are inflation unadjusted, films of the 1970s to early 1990s didn't appear here.Box Office India give worldwide figures for Hindi films/Hindi versions of Bollywood films. The worldwide gross figures is given here after adding dubbed Telugu and Tamil version of Bollywood films. As of May 2014, 24 films that have crossed Rs 1 billion net. In India, 57 films have crossed Rs 1 billion gross worldwide.
The following is a non-definitive list of the all-time highest-grossing Bollywood films, by Real versus nominal value instead for inflation, it tends to favour films in more recent years, with all but two of the films in the top 30 being released after 2000. Films released prior to 1994 do not appear in the list because inflation, population size and ticket purchasing trends make direct comparisons inaccurate. Figures are given in Indian rupees.
The distributor shares are what the Bollywood industry is interested in as they are the bottom line in deciding the fate of a Bollywood film at the Indian box office. The distributor shares are net gross minus theatre rentals. The theater rentals vary. Multiplexes give 50% in week one, 42.5% in week two, 37.5% in week three and 30% thereafter to the distributor. The figures are inflation unadjusted.Dhoom 3 holds the current record in Bollywood films with highest distributor share.
Highest-grossing Bollywood films throughout history
The following is a list of Bollywood films, which have had the highest theatrical net grosses (up to that time), according to BoxOffice India.com.Dhoom 3 holds the current record.
List of highest-grossing Bollywood films throughout history