Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Rajkumar Hirani|
|Produced by||Vidhu Vinod Chopra|
|Written by||Abhijat Joshi|
|Screenplay by||Abhijat Joshi|
Vidhu Vinod Chopra
|Based on||Five Point Someone by |
|Narrated by||R. Madhavan|
|Cinematography||C. K. Muraleedharan|
|Edited by||Rajkumar Hirani|
|Distributed by||Reliance BIG Pictures|
|Budget||₹ 550 million|
|Box office||est. ₹ 4.60 billion|
3 Idiots is a 2009 Indian Hindi-language coming-of-age comedy-drama film directed by Rajkumar Hirani, and also co-written by him with Abhijat Joshi. The film stars Aamir Khan, R. Madhavan, Sharman Joshi, Kareena Kapoor, Boman Irani and Omi Vaidya. The film follows the friendship of three students at an Indian engineering college and is a satire about the social pressures under an Indian education system. The film is narrated through parallel dramas, one in the present and the other ten years in the past.
Produced by Vidhu Vinod Chopra under the banner Vinod Chopra Films, and based on Chetan Bhagat's novel Five Point Someone: What not to do at IIT!, the film incorporated real Indian inventions created by Remya Jose, Mohammad Idris, Jahangir Painter and Sonam Wangchuk. It received widespread critical and commercial success upon its release on 25 December 2009. It was also the highest-grossing film in its opening weekend in India, had the highest opening day collections for an Indian film up until that point and also held the record for the highest net collections in the first week for a Bollywood film. It also became one of the few Indian films at the time to become successful in East Asian markets such as China and Japan, eventually bringing its worldwide gross to ₹3.92 billion ($90 million)[a] — it was the highest-grossing Indian film ever at the time. The film also had a social impact on attitudes to education in India, as well as education in other Asian countries such as China.
The film won six Filmfare Awards including Best Film and three National Film Awards including Best Popular Film. Overseas, it won the Grand Prize at Japan's Videoyasan Awards while it was nominated for Best Outstanding Foreign Language Film at the Japan Academy Awards and Best Foreign Film at China's Beijing International Film Festival. This film was remade in Tamil as Nanban (2012), which also received critical praise and commercial success. A Mexican remake, 3 Idiotas, was also released in 2017. 
In 1999, students Farhan Qureshi and Raju Rastogi of the Imperial College of Engineering in Delhi, struggle to compete within its cutthroat academic culture. Farhan is passionate about wildlife photography but reluctantly chose to join engineering in order to appease his father, while Raju is desperately in need of a career that will extricate his family from poverty. Their roommate, the eccentric Ranchoddas "Rancho" Shamaldas Chanchad, who is genuinely passionate about engineering, gives unorthodox answers in class and frequently clashes with the ICE director, Viru "virus" Sahastrabuddhe, since he believes that students should enjoy what they learn, despite their strict teaching model.
When a student named Joy Lobo commits suicide after failing to meet a project deadline and being denied graduation by Virus, Rancho confronts Virus about the pressure placed on the students to succeed, but his rebellious behavior puts a strain on Farhan and Raju's relationships with their own families. Raju attempts to distance himself from Rancho, but when Raju's paralyzed father needs a medical emergency, Rancho saves his life by taking him to the hospital with the help of Virus' younger daughter Pia, who begins to fall in love with Rancho. At the end of the year, Rancho is shown to have topped the school's rankings despite his disdain for its education system, while Farhan and Raju continue to fall behind.
One night, while severely drunk, the trio have a discussion where Rancho chides Farhan for abandoning his passion for photography and Raju for having developed a fear of failure, but when the two bet Rancho to propose to Pia in exchange for giving up their own fears, they decide to break into Virus' house, where Rancho confesses his feelings to Pia and the other two urinate on his property. Virus spots Raju amidst their escape and tells Raju he will be thrown out of campus unless he helps him expel Rancho. A distraught Raju attempts suicide but recovers due to committed care from his friends and family. With a newfound perspective on his life, Raju successfully applies for a job, while Farhan receives an apprenticeship offer from his favorite photographer, Andre Istvan, and successfully convinces his father, who is distraught at his son's decision but eventually relents and gives his son his blessings.
An infuriated Virus attempts to sabotage Raju's chances of success by holding an unfairly difficult exam. With Pia's help, Rancho and Farhan break into his office to steal the exam papers and though Raju refuses to cheat, the trio is caught and expelled by Virus. Pia confronts her father over her brother's suicide, which was prompted by similar pressure placed on him by Virus to become an engineer at the expense of his own ambitions. That night, during a rainstorm that causes widespread flooding and power outrages, Virus' older daughter Mona, who is pregnant, goes into labor. Unable to drive to a hospital, Rancho and the other students use their engineering knowledge to quickly modify a vacuum cleaner into a ventouse and deliver the baby with the help of Pia through a webcam. A grateful Virus acknowledges Rancho as an extraordinary student and revokes the expulsions. On graduation day, Rancho promptly disappears and is never seen by his friends again.
Ten years later, Raju, now a business executive, and Farhan, a photographer, are both successful in their chosen careers. Their former classmate and academic rival Chatur, now a wealthy executive in an American company, also wants to meet Rancho again because he wants to settle a bet he had made ten years prior after being humiliated in a prank, stating that he would be more successful than Rancho. He calls them claiming to know Rancho's whereabouts in Shimla, and the three of them head out to find him. Upon arrival, they find a different man living by Rancho's name and degree. Upon confrontation, the man explains that the "Ranchoddas Chanchad" they knew was actually "Chhote", his family's orphaned servant boy, who was tasked with completing his entire education for him all the way through, to earn a degree at ICE. He tells them Chhote had cut off all contact with his friends due to a deal with Shamaldas Chanchad, and gives them his actual address in Ladakh. Farhan and Raju decide to bring Pia along with them. Chatur protests the detour, as it would jeopardize his planned meeting with his illustrious client "Phunsukh Wangdu," a renowned scientist, but the duo crash Pia's wedding, and whisk her away from her fiance to go and reunite with Rancho.
In Ladakh, the group finds a thriving engineering school in the mountains for local children. They learn that Rancho has kept up to date with their careers and reunite with him. Rancho admits he is still in love with Pia and they decide to marry. Chatur assumes that Rancho is a lowly schoolteacher, and gloats at his having won his bet with Rancho, but Rancho reveals his real name to be Phunsukh Wangdu, the successful client Chatur has been after. The friends happily celebrate their reunion and laugh as they run away from the bewildered and desperate Chatur.
- Aamir Khan as Ranchoddas "Rancho" Shamaldas Chanchad / Chhote / Phunsukh Wangdu, one of the titular trio in the engineering college who vanishes after graduation and whom his two friends hunt for ten years while telling stories of their time in college together. Rancho was a prodigal student, with contempt for the inhumanity of the college's system. At the end of the film, he is shown to be a famous scientist, entrepreneur, and business magnate who also teaches young children when he takes a break from researching.
- R. Madhavan as Farhan Qureshi, the film's narrator and one of the trio whose father persuades him to study engineering over his dream career of wildlife photography; in the end, he is shown to have published several books of photographs.
- Sharman Joshi as Raju Rastogi, another of the trio who comes from an impoverished family with a mother who is a retired school teacher and a paralyzed father who worked as a postman. In the flashback story, his family was unable to afford the car that would be demanded as a dowry for his sister. In the present story, he is a settled married man in Delhi who has freed his family from poverty by becoming a wealthy executive.
- Kareena Kapoor as Pia Sahastrabuddhe, Virus' younger daughter, an intelligent and capable doctor. Despite her father's disapproval, she and Rancho fall in love.
- Boman Irani as Dr. Viru Sahastrabuddhe, the college's strict director known as "Virus" and Pia and Mona's father who acts as the film's main antagonist. He stubbornly sticks to a doctrinal method of teaching, putting him at odds with Rancho. In the end, he is shown to have changed his doctrinal methods of teaching.
- Omi Vaidya as Chatur Ramalingam, a Ugandan-Indian educated in Tamil-speaking Pondicherry who has little knowledge of Hindi, and Rancho's rival who acts as the film's second antagonist. His habit of being flatulent due to the consumption of certain pills claimed to enhance his memorization earns him the nickname 'Silencer'. In the present story, he is vice-president of an American company (Rockledge Corporation) who discovers his success being overshadowed by Rancho at the end of the film. Baradwaj Rangan wrote that Chatur being a Tamil from Uganda makes him "twice removed from the North Indians around him – a stranger to the nation as well as the national language."
- Rahul Kumar as young Manmohan (nicknamed Millimetre), an adolescent, he earns a small living by doing errands for students, such as laundry, finishing assignments, and getting groceries. Rancho persuades him to buy a school uniform and sneak into school to gain an education.
- Dushyant Wagh as adult Manmohan (Centimetre), assistant to Rancho/Phunsukh Wangdu in Ladakh.
- Mona Singh as Mona Sahastrabuddhe, Pia's elder sister, and Virus's first daughter. As she was pregnant, she went into labor at the climax.
- Parikshit Sahni as Mr. Qureshi (nicknamed Hitler Qureshi by Rancho, Farhan, and Raju), Farhan's father, a strict but loving parent who eventually wants his son to be happy.
- Farida Dadi as Mrs. Qureshi, Farhan's mother, a loving and caring parent.
- Amardeep Jha as Mrs. Rastogi (nicknamed Mother Teresa by Rancho and Farhan, Raju's mother, a retired schoolteacher, and dedicated mother.
- Mukund Bhatt as Mr. Rastogi, Raju's paralyzed father who used to work as a postman.
- Rajendra Patwardhan as Govind, Viru's personal assistant.
- Javed Jaffrey as the real Ranchoddas Shamaldas Chanchad. It is from him that Raju and Farhan learn the truth: Chanchad's father sponsored an orphaned servant boy called 'Chhote', who had demonstrated his intelligence and love of learning, to earn a degree in the real Ranchoddas's name, while he was in London. He appreciates what Chhote did for him, and tells Raju and Farhan where to find him. (Cameo appearance)
- Arun Bali as Shamaldas Chanchad, father of Ranchoddas Shamaldas Chanchad. (Cameo appearance)
- Ali Fazal as Joy Lobo, a student with a passion for machines. After Virus tells him that he will not graduate, he commits suicide. (Cameo appearance)
- Akhil Mishra as Librarian Dubey.
- Rohitash Gaud as (real) Ranchoddas's servant.
- Achyut Potdar as Machine Class Professor
- Madhav Vaze as Mr. Lobo, Joy Lobo's father.
- Olivier Sanjay Lafont as Suhas Tandon, Pia's ex-fiancé, who cares only about money and ostentation.
- Jayant Kripalani as a company head who conducts Raju's job interview.
- Atul Tiwari as R.D. Tripathi, Education Minister in Auditorium during Silencer's speech.
- Rajeev Ravindranathan as ragging senior student.
- Supriya Shukla as a doctor with Pia.
Principal photography began on 28 July 2008. Hirani and his team left in late August for the shoot with the principal cast. The film was shot in Delhi, Bangalore, Mumbai, Ladakh, Chail and Shimla. Aamir and the rest of the cast began shooting in early September. Hirani planned to wrap up the film by December. The first scene was shot in an aircraft with Madhavan. From Mumbai, the crew and cast comprising Aamir and Kareena went to Ladakh for a 20-day schedule. Filming of the ICE college scenes took place at the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore campus for 33 days as a part of the second schedule of production, as well as parts of Bangalore doubling for New Delhi. The dormitory scenes were filmed at the institution's dormitory blocks.
The brains behind these innovations include Remya Jose, a student from Kerala, who created the pedal operated washing-machine; Mohammad Idris, a barber from Hasanpur Kalan in Meerut district in Uttar Pradesh, who invented a bicycle-powered horse clipper; and Jahangir Painter, a painter from Maharashtra, who made the scooter-powered flour mill. The character Phunsuk Wangdu may have also drawn inspiration from Ladakhi inventor Sonam Wangchuk, a mechanical engineering graduate from the National Institute of Technology, Srinagar.
|Soundtrack album by|
|Genre||Feature film soundtrack|
|Shantanu Moitra chronology|
|1.||"Aal Izz Well"||Sonu Nigam, Shaan, Swanand Kirkire||4:34|
|2.||"Zoobi Doobi"||Sonu Nigam, Shreya Ghoshal||4:06|
|3.||"Behti Hawa Sa Tha Woh"||Shantanu Moitra, Shaan||4:59|
|4.||"Give Me Some Sunshine"||Suraj Jagan, Sharman Joshi||4:05|
|5.||"Jaane Nahin Denge Tujhe"||Sonu Nigam||3:30|
|6.||"Zoobi Doobi" (Remix)||Sonu Nigam, Shreya Ghoshal||3:27|
|7.||"Aal Izz Well" (Remix)||Sonu Nigam, Shaan, Swanand Kirkire, Jaive Samsun||4:41|
The film initially opened up on 1550 prints worldwide. 3 Idiots was released in 1800 theatres in India, which was at that time a big domestic release. 3 Idiots was released in 415 screens overseas.
It was expected to be the first Indian film to be officially released on YouTube on 25 March 2010, only 12 weeks after its initial theatrical release. Officially, it was released on YouTube in May 2012, but its access has since been restricted. However, it has been made available for online streaming on Netflix, Prime Video and Sony LIV.
The film was released in Taiwan in December 2010, followed by Hong Kong on 1 September 2011. In China, it was released as San Ge Shagua ("Three Idiots"), in December 2011. In South Korea, it was released in 2011. Alongside the original Hindi version, a Mandarin Chinese dubbed version was also released, with the popular actress Tang Wei (known for Lust, Caution) voicing Kareena Kapoor's role and Huang Bo voicing Aamir Khan's role (Khan and Bo later collaborated again on Secret Superstar).
Following its success in other Asian markets, Japanese distributor Nikkatsu announced plans to release the film in Japan. It was released there in June 2013, with the title きっと、うまくいく (Kitto, Umaku Iku).
The film's worldwide lifetime gross was ₹459.96 crore (US$90 million),[a] making it the highest-grossing Indian film at the time. The film was listed in Guinness World Records for the record of highest box office film gross for a Bollywood film.[failed verification]
The film created the highest collection record for paid previews with ₹27.5 million that time, which was broken by Chennai Express (2013). In its four-day first weekend, the film netted ₹38 crore (equivalent to ₹77 crore or US$11 million in 2019), and broke the record held by Ghajini for the first weekend collections. By the first week, the film netted ₹79 crore (equivalent to ₹160 crore or US$22 million in 2019), again breaking the box office record held by Ghajini. 3 Idiots had nett grossed ₹56 crore (equivalent to ₹113 crore or US$16 million in 2019) in its 2nd week, ₹303 million (US$4.2 million) during the third week, ₹16 crore (equivalent to ₹32 crore or US$4.5 million in 2019) in its fourth week and ₹9.75 crore (equivalent to ₹20 crore or US$2.8 million in 2019) in fifth to make a total of ₹ 202 crore in five weeks, first Indian film ever to collect this huge amount, hence established the ₹2 billion (US$28 million) Club. Its final domestic gross in India was ₹ 2738.2 million (US$57.05 million).[a]
3 Idiots became the then highest-grossing Indian film in overseas markets, with an overseas gross of US$30.5 million (₹ 1.86 billion).[a] Its first weekend opening collection overseas was $4 million. It set record collections for Indian-produced films in territories such as the United States and Australia. In the United States, the film earned $6.5 million since its opening, in addition to over $2.5 million in the United Kingdom, over $2 million in Canada, and nearly $1 million in Australia. 3 Idiots has the biggest first week total in the US with around $3 million over its first four days.
Unusual for an Indian film at the time, 3 Idiots became a success in East Asian markets. 3 Idiots had a wide release in East Asian markets including China, South Korea and Hong Kong. The film had the longest showing period at cinemas in Taiwan, for more than two months from December 2010, breaking the record of Avatar, with over NT$10 million (US$629,024) grossed. 3 Idiots was the first aired Indian film in Hong Kong, where it grossed HK$22 million at the box office since its showing from 1 September 2011 through January 2012, the equivalent of US$3.02 million. It was the 14th highest-grossing film of 2011 at the Hong Kong box office.
In South Korea, where it was released in 2011, the film grossed ₩3,416,415,900 (US$3,084,647). The film was number-one at the South Korean box office for five weeks, drawing an audience of 459,686 viewers.
In China, where it is known as 《三傻大闹宝莱坞》 ("3 idiots make a scene in Bollywood"), the film grossed ₹110 million in 2 weeks in December 2011, eventually crossing the $2 million mark within 18 days, and nearly $3 million within a month, as of 5 January 2012.
Upon its release in the Japanese market in June 2013, it went on to collect around ¥100 million (₹ 61 million) in its first two weeks of run – that makes the film the highest grossing Hindi film ever in Japan. Its final gross in Japan was ¥150 million (US$1.6 million). The film's final gross in East Asian markets was US$11,333,671 (₹69.2 crore).
Subhash K. Jha stated: "It's not that 3 Idiots is a flawless work of art. But it is a vital, inspiring, and life-revising work of contemporary art with some heart imbued into every part. In a country where students are driven to suicide by their impossible curriculum, 3 Idiots provides hope. Maybe cinema can't save lives. But cinema, sure as hell, can make you feel life is worth living. 3 Idiots does just that, and much more. The director takes the definition of entertainment into directions of social comment". Nikhat Kazmi of The Times of India gave it four and a half stars and suggests that, "The film is a laugh riot, despite being high on fundas […] Hirani carries forward his simplistic 'humanism alone works' philosophy of the Lage Raho Munna Bhai series in 3 Idiots too, making it a warm and vivacious signature tune to 2009. The second half of the film does falter in parts, especially the childbirth sequence, but it doesn't take long for the film to jump back on track."
Mayank Shekhar of the Hindustan Times gave the film three and a half out of five stars and comments that "this is the sort of movie you'll take home with a smile and a song on your lips." Taran Adarsh of Bollywood Hungama gave 3 Idiots four and a half out of five stars and states: "On the whole, 3 Idiots easily ranks amongst Aamir, Rajkumar Hirani and Vidhu Vinod Chopra's finest films. Do yourself and your family a favour: Watch 3 Idiots. It's emotional, it's entertaining, it's enlightening. The film has tremendous youth appeal and feel-good factor to work in a big way." Kaveree Bamzai of India Today gave 3 Idiots five stars and argues that "it's a lovely story, of a man from nowhere who wanted to learn, told like a fairy tale, with the secret heart carrying its coded message of setting all of us free."
Sonia Chopra of Sify gave the film 3 stars and said "Though a bit too calculated and designed, 3 Idiots is still an ok option for the significant message, interesting cast and scattered breezy moments." Rajeev Masand of CNN-IBN gave the film three out of five stars and states: "Going home after watching 3 Idiots I felt like I'd just been to my favorite restaurant only to be a tad underwhelmed by their signature dish. It was a satisfying meal, don't get me wrong, but not the best meal I'd been expecting." Shubhra Gupta from The Indian Express also gave it 3 stars, stating "'3 Idiots' does not do as much for me. The emotional truth that shone through both the 'Munnabhai' movies doesn't come through strongly enough." Raja Sen of Rediff gave the film two out of five stars and states: "Rajkumar Hirani's one of the directors of the decade, a man with immense talent and a knack for storytelling. On his debut, he hit a hundred. With his second, he hit a triple century. This time, he fishes outside the off stump, tries to play shots borrowed from other batters, and hits and misses to provide a patchy, 32*-type innings. It's okay, boss, chalta hai. Even Sachin has an off day, and we still have great hope."
The film has received praise overseas. As of June 2020[update], the film holds a 100% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 13 reviews with an average score of 7.44 out of 10. Derek Elley of Variety wrote that "3 Idiots takes a while to lay out its game plan but pays off emotionally in its second half." Robert Abele of Los Angeles Times wrote that there's an "unavoidable joie de vivre (symbolised by Rancho's meditative mantra 'All is well') and a performance charm that makes this one of the more naturally gregarious Bollywood imports." Louis Proyect described it as a "fabulous achievement across the board. A typical Bollywood confection but also a social commentary on a dysfunctional engineering school system that pressures huge numbers of students into suicide."
The film was praised by critics in East Asia and Southeast Asia. South China Morning Post wrote that the film "wraps a heavy message in light comedy. It is satire at its best, a powerful indictment of India's education system in which students cram for exams while stifling their dreams." Chaerim Oh of KAIST Herald wrote that "the film never harshly denounces the educational system but instead uncovers disturbing truths and unseen consequences of tremendous pressure upon students" and that "if you don't end up crying like I did (or won't admit that you did), you'll still enjoy the movie." In Japan, Yuri Wakabayashi of Eiga also gave the film a positive review.
In 2013, Hollywood filmmaker Steven Spielberg praised 3 Idiots, which he had seen three times and said he "loved the emotional undertones." He listed it as one of five films that he connects with, along with The Godfather (1972) and his own work on E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982), Saving Private Ryan (1998) and Jaws (1975).
|Territories and ancillary revenues||Price|
|Satellite rights with a TV channel (Sony)||₹220 million (US$3.1 million)|
|Worldwide distribution rights||₹650 million (US$9.1 million)|
|Music rights (T-Series)||₹120 million (US$1.7 million)|
|Total||₹990 million (US$14 million)|
- The figures don't include the Print and Advertising (P&A) costs.
The film won 58 accolades from Indian film awards; among these are six Filmfare Awards including Best Film and Best Director, three National Film Awards including Best Popular Film, ten Star Screen Awards, seventeen IIFA Awards, five GIMA Awards, two Apsara Awards and seven Bollywood Hungama Surfers Choice Movie Awards.
In China, it was nominated for the Best Foreign Film prize at the first Beijing International Film Festival in 2011. In Japan, it was nominated in the Best Outstanding Foreign Language Film category at the 37th Japan Academy Awards in 2014; the award was eventually won by Les Miserables. In addition, 3 Idiots won the Grand Prize at the 4th Videoyasan Awards, held by a Japanese organisation of home video retailers in 2014; 3 Idiots was selected as 2013's best video release, beating thousands of films, anime and television shows, including domestic Japanese and foreign Hollywood productions.
- Chetan gave me this book to read and I wanted to make a film on it. But I knew right from the start that I could not make a film completely on the book, as it was very anecdotal and a film needs a plot. So I had decided to rewrite it in a screenplay format. You'll see that the film is very different from the book. After I wrote the script, I called Chetan and narrated it to him. I told him that if he did not like the script, I would stop the project. But he was okay with it.
The day after the film opened, Chetan also noted:
- Initially, I did sit down with Raju and Abhijat while they were deciding to make a film based on '5 Point Someone'. I even went to IIT with Abhijat a couple of times. But it was just not possible for me to be involved at every stage of the screenplay writing process since I was in Hong Kong at that time, working full-time, and busy writing other books. Moreover, Abhijat is based in the USA, Raju was in the US for quite a while working on the screenplay but it was not practical for me to do that […] The film retains the soul of the book. 3 Idiots is different from the book but at the same time, it does borrow many things from the book. The core theme and message of the film are coming from the book itself. And that's why the makers have officially credited the film as 'Based on a novel by Chetan Bhagat.'
A controversy developed a few days after the release, however, over the fact that Chetan's credit, "Based on the novel Five Point Someone by Chetan Bhagat" appeared in the closing credits rather than in the opening ones. At that time, Bhagat stated that he "was expecting an opening credit and I was quite surprised on not seeing it. They had bought the rights, made the payment, and committed to a credit in the contract. It's there, but it's not about it being there, it's about the placement and the prominence." In a 31 December 2009 blog post on his personal website, Bhagat stated that he was told the movie was only 2–5% based on the book, but when he saw it, he felt that it was 70% of the book. He also argued that he was misled by the makers of the film, though he noted, that "this has nothing to do with Mr. Aamir Khan […] I am a big fan of Aamir and he has made my story reach people. However, he was told by the makers not to read the book, and he hasn't. Thus, he cannot comment on the issue in a meaningful manner."
A few people responded to Chetan's statements. According to the Indo-Asian News Service (IANS) producer Vidhu Vinod Chopra clarified that "in the agreement between the producer and Bhagat, it was clearly mentioned that the author's name would be put in the closing credits". IANS also reported that Chopra "lost his cool" and "asked a reporter to shut up after being questioned whether his hit 3 Idiots was lifted from author Chetan Bhagat's book Five Point Someone." Chopra later apologised, stating: "I really think I'm silly. I was provoked, but I shouldn't have done this. I saw myself on TV and saw how I was shouting 'shut up, shut up' like an animal. I told myself — 'what nonsensical behaviour'." Aamir Khan also responded to these claims. Rajkumar Hirani stated that "We have officially bought the rights for the film. We drew a contract with him and it clearly mentions the position of his credit. With open eyes, he had seen the contract, consulted his lawyer, and signed the agreement […] In the contract, we have said that the title would be given in the rolling credits. We haven't changed the font size. We haven't increased the speed of the title. It's exactly there where it was agreed to be." Chetan Bhagat later apologised stating, "I definitely do not have anything against team 3 Idiots. I may have some issues with the mistake they may have made but nothing about their personality or the kind of people they are. I apologize to their families if there was any distress caused to them. I also want to thank all my fans, who stood by me but I don't want them to turn against anyone especially Aamir."
In an article published in Economic and Political Weekly, Latika Gupta mentions that the film has serious problems when seen from the gender perspective, in particular, that it follows the trend set by the 2007 film Jab We Met in its use of women's sexual vulnerability to create sensation and humor. In one scene, students, professors, and the chief guest are seen bursting with laughter hearing a speech where the word balatkar (rape) figures 21 times and the word stan (breast) four times (in the English subtitles for international release, the words "screwed" and "bosom" are used instead).
When 3 Idiots made its television debut in July 2010, it drew an audience of 39 million viewers in India.
When 3 Idiots released in China, the country was only the 15th largest film market, partly due to China's widespread pirate DVD distribution at the time. However, it was the pirate market that introduced 3 Idiots to most Chinese audiences, becoming a cult film in the country. Aamir Khan gained a large growing Chinese fanbase as a result. By 2013, China grew to become the world's second-largest film market (after the United States), paving the way for Aamir Khan's Chinese box office success, with Dhoom 3 (2013), PK (2014), Dangal (2016) and Secret Superstar (2017).
3 Idiots has been ranked China's 12th favourite film of all time according to ratings on popular Chinese film review site Douban, with only one domestic Chinese film (Farewell My Concubine) ranked higher. The film holds an average rating of 9.2 out of 10 on Douban, with over 1.15 million votes. On the Korean site Naver, audiences gave the film an average rating of 9.4 out of 10, and it is one of the top 30 highest-rated films on the site.
One reason for its success in East Asian markets such as China and Hong Kong is because of their similar education systems, thus many students were able to identify with the characters. Chaerim Oh of KAIST Herald wrote that the "popularity of the movie, particularly in South Korea, can be traced back to the national background of the overly competitive education system. In Korea, students of all ages – from young elementary children to university graduate students – are trained to study under overwhelming pressure and extremely high academic standards. In short, this movie is, really, our own story."
The film had a social impact on attitudes to education in Asia, including education in India as well as other Asian countries. Chinese universities were "even prescribing the film in their coursework as a kind of stress-relief in their classrooms. The movie has served as a question bank for many local, family, zonal and national quizzes."
Big in Bollywood
When asked about plans of a 3 Idiots sequel in an interview with Hindustan Times, screenwriter Abhijat Joshi replied, saying, "Honestly, I don't know. We have an idea for the 3 Idiots sequel, a Munna Bhai part three, and also for a PK sequel; but the PK and Munna Bhai sequels interest me the most. So, I think the 3 Idiots sequel may happen in the future, but these two I really want to work on."
In January 2016, director Rajkumar Hirani and actor Aamir Khan confirmed that they were considering a 3 Idiots sequel. Khan told reporters, ""Raju Hirani has given me a hint about '3 Idiots' sequel and I am giving you all a hint. The film will happen if and whenever he will write the script." Hirani agreed, saying "this is one film that I really want to do."
In June 2018, Hirani was asked a question while promoting his upcoming film Sanju and he was quoted as saying, "I definitely want to make a sequel to 3 Idiots, but it’s still in the initial stage and we will take a fair amount of time to develop the script".
- List of highest-grossing Bollywood films
- List of Bollywood highest-grossing films in overseas markets
- "3 IDIOTS (12A)". British Board of Film Classification. 17 December 2009. Retrieved 5 October 2012.
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