Dharma Productions

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Dharma Productions Pvt. Ltd
Industry Entertainment
Founded Mumbai, Maharashtra, India (1979)
Founder Yash Johar
Headquarters Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
Key people
Apoorva Mehta
Hiroo Yash Johar
Karan Johar
Products Film production
Film distribution
Owner Karan Johar
Website Dharma Productions

Dharma Productions Pvt. Ltd. is an Indian production and distribution company established by Yash Johar in 1979.[1] It was taken over in 2004 after his death by his son Karan Johar. Based in Mumbai it mainly produces and distributes Hindi films.[2]


Initial success (1980–1998)[edit]

The company's first production was Raj Khosla's Dostana (1980) starring Amitabh Bachchan , Shatrughan Sinha, and Zeenat Aman. The film was the highest-grossing Bollywood film of the year.

The company then went on to produce Duniya (1984) and Muqaddar Ka Faisla (1987). Its next film was Agneepath (1990), which was not a major box office success, but won a National Film Award for its lead actor Amitabh Bachchan. Its next two films were Gumrah (1993) and Duplicate (1998), which were both directed by Mahesh Bhatt.

Rise to prominence (1998–2009)[edit]

Karan Johar
Karan Johar has directed six films for Dharma and has produced all of the company's films since his father's death in 2004.

The production house reached a turning point with the release of Karan Johar directorial debut, the blockbuster romantic drama Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (1998) starring Shah Rukh Khan, Kajol, Rani Mukerji and Salman Khan. The film won several awards, including the National Film Award for Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment and the Filmfare Award for Best Film, and has become a classic over the years.

The company's next film was Karan Johar's family drama Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham... (2001) featuring a large ensemble cast including Amitabh Bachchan, Jaya Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan, Kajol, Hrithik Roshan, and Kareena Kapoor. This was followed by Nikhil Advani's tear-jerking romantic drama Kal Ho Naa Ho (2003) starring Jaya Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan, Saif Ali Khan and Preity Zinta. Both of these films earned commercial success and critical acclaim.

Dharma's next release was the natural horror film Kaal (2005), which received mixed to positive reviews from critics. This was followed by Karan Johar's musical romantic drama Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna (2006) featuring a large ensemble cast led by Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan, Abhishek Bachchan, Rani Mukerji, Preity Zinta and Kirron Kher. The film became a moderate commercial success despite the fact that it dealt with the controversial subject of marital infidelity, though it was the all-time biggest earner in the overseas markets at the time of its release.

Dharma's next release was Tarun Mansukhani's commercially successful romantic comedy Dostana (2008) starring Abhishek Bachchan, John Abraham, and Priyanka Chopra. This was followed by Ayan Mukerji's coming-of-age film Wake Up Sid (2009) starring Ranbir Kapoor and Konkona Sen Sharma. Rensil D'Silva's counter-terrorism thriller Kurbaan (2009) starring Saif Ali Khan, Kareena Kapoor, and Vivek Oberoi. Both Wake Up Sid and Kurbaan received critical acclaim, but the latter failed to make a mark at the box office.

Widespread success (2010–Present)[edit]

In 2010, Dharma produced two of the top ten highest-grossing Bollywood films of the year. The fifth spot on the list was taken by Karan Johar’s counter-terrorism drama My Name Is Khan (2010) starring Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol, while the seventh spot was taken by Punit Malhotra’s romantic comedy I Hate Luv Storys (2010) starring Imran Khan and Sonam Kapoor. Later that year, the production house produced the family drama We Are Family (2010), a Hindi remake of the Hollywood film Stepmom (1998). The film was not a major commercial success, but received praise for the performances of the two lead actresses Kajol and Kareena Kapoor.

The company's first film of 2012 was Karan Malhotra's Agneepath, a retelling of Dharma’s 1990 film of the same name. It featured Hrithik Roshan and Sanjay Dutt in the roles originated by Amitabh Bachchan and Danny Denzongpa respectively, while Priyanka Chopra and Rishi Kapoor played principal roles not in the original film. This film emerged as much larger commercial success than the original Agneepath. This was followed by Shakun Batra’s moderately successful romantic comedy Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu (2012) starring Imran Khan and Kareena Kapoor. After this came Karan Johar’s coming-of-age comedy-drama Student of the Year (2012), which marked the debut of its three lead actors Sidharth Malhotra, Varun Dhawan and Alia Bhatt.

Dharma’s first release of 2013 was the unsuccessful teen comedy Gippi. This was followed by Ayan Mukerji’s coming-of-age romance Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani (2013) starring Ranbir Kapoor and Deepika Padukone in the lead roles with Aditya Roy Kapur and Kalki Koechlin in supporting roles. The film became a major commercial success upon its release and still ranks among the highest-grossing Bollywood films of all-time. Dharma was also one of the many production houses associated with the widely acclaimed drama The Lunchbox (2013) starring Irrfan Khan, Nimrat Kaur, and Nawazuddin Siddiqui. They finished off the year with Punit Malhotra’s relatively unsuccessful romantic comedy Gori Tere Pyaar Mein (2013) starring Imran Khan and Kareena Kapoor Khan.

In 2014, Dharma produced three commercially successful romantic comedies all directed by first-time directors. The first was Vinil Matthews’s Hasee Toh Phasee (2014) starring Sidharth Malhotra and Parineeti Chopra, which Dharma co-produced with Phantom Films. They then teamed with Nadiadwala Grandson Entertainment to produce Abhishek Varman’s 2 States (2014) starring Arjun Kapoor and Alia Bhatt, a film adaptation of Chetan Bhagat’s novel of the same name. After this came Shashank Khaitan’s Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania (2014) starring Varun Dhawan and Alia Bhatt. After these three romantic comedies came Rensil D'Silva's relatively unsuccessful black comedy Ungli (2014).

In July 2015, Dharma distributed the Hindi-dubbed version of S. S. Rajamouli's epic film Baahubali: The Beginning (2015), which was originally filmed in Telugu and Tamil. Upon its release, the film became a major commercial and critical success and currently ranks as one of the highest-grossing Indian films of all-time. In August 2015, the company released Karan Malhotra’s Brothers, an adaptation of the Hollywood film Warrior (2011), starring Akshay Kumar and Sidharth Malhotra in the lead roles with Jacqueline Fernandez and Jackie Shroff playing supporting roles. Dharma also collaborated with Phantom Films to co-produce Vikas Bahl's romantic comedy Shaandaar starring Shahid Kapoor and Alia Bhatt, which was released one month later. Neither of these films fared well commercially or critically.

March 2016 saw the release of Shakun Batra's critically and commercially successful family drama Kapoor & Sons starring Rishi Kapoor, Ratna Pathak Shah, Rajat Kapoor, Fawad Khan, Sidharth Malhotra, and Alia Bhatt. This was followed in September 2016 by Nitya Mehra's relatively unsuccessful romantic drama Baar Baar Dekho, a co-production with Excel Entertainment starring Sidharth Malhotra and Katrina Kaif. In October 2016, Karan Johar's romantic drama Ae Dil Hai Mushkil, featuring Ranbir Kapoor, Anushka Sharma, and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan in the lead roles, was released. It received mixed to positive reviews from critics and became a commercial success. This was followed in November 2016 by Gauri Shinde's coming-of-age film Dear Zindagi, which Dharma co-produced with Red Chillies Entertainment and Hope Productions. Starring Alia Bhatt and Shah Rukh Khan, the film became a commercial success and was praised for addressing themes of mental health and wellness.

In January 2017, Dharma released Shaad Ali's romantic film OK Jaanu starring Aditya Roy Kapur and Shraddha Kapoor, a Hindi-language remake of Mani Ratnam's Tamil film O Kadhal Kanmani (2015). The film received a tepid response critically and commercially. In April 2017 Dharma bought the theater rights to distribute the Hindi version of Baahubali 2: The Conclusion worldwide, the film turned out to be all time blockbuster and grossed more than 1,700 crore (US$250 million) worldwide.In March 2017, Shashank Khaitan's Badrinath Ki Dulhania starting Varun Dhawan and Alia Bhatt in lead roles was released. This was the second installment to the Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania franchise.This was both critically and commercially successful by earning 200.34 crore (US$30 million)[citation needed] The next was Abhay Chopra's Ittefaq, a remake of Yash Chopra's 1969 film of the same name. Dharma is collaborating with Red Chillies Entertainment and B.R. Films to produce the film, which stars Sidharth Malhotra, Sonakshi Sinha and Akshaye Khanna. The film was a huge hit and was commercially and critically with a decent box office est Rs 51 Cr[3]

Upcoming projects[edit]

To release in 2018, Dharma confirmed Tarun Mansukhani's Drive starring Jacqueline Fernandez and Sushant Singh Rajput,[4] bilingual action thriller movie, Saaho starring Prabhas and Shraddha Kapoor, directed by Sujeeth,[5][better source needed] Shashank Khaitan's Dhadak starring debutants Ishaan Khatter and Janhvi Kapoor, Meghna Gulzar’s Raazi, starring Alia Bhatt and Vicky Kaushal,[6] Punit Malhotra's Student of the Year 2 starring Tiger Shroff, Rohit Shetty's Simmba starring Ranveer Singh, Sonu Sood & Sara Ali Khan

Due to release in 2019, Dharma confirmed that they will be producing Ayan Mukerji's fantasy adventure film Brahmastra[7] starring Amitabh Bachchan, Ranbir Kapoor, Alia Bhatt & Mouni Roy. Namit Malhotra (founder, executive chairman and global CEO, Prime Focus), who turns co-producer with this film revealed that the film, about a super hero, will release in 3D.[8] Karan Johar also announced a film titled Kesari based on ‘The Battle of Saragarhi' to be directed by Anurag Singh, starring Akshay Kumar & Parineeti Chopra, set to release at Holi 2019,[9] and Kalank, a collaboration with Fox Star Studios and Sajid Nadiadwala to be directed by Abhishek Varman, releasing April 19, 2019.[10] The film will have an ensemble cast including Sanjay Dutt, Madhuri Dixit, Varun Dhawan, Alia Bhatt, Aditya Roy Kapoor & Sonakshi Sinha. Dharma confirmed Rannbhoomi starring Varun Dhawan & Alia Bhatt will be directed by Shashank Khaitan is scheduled to release in Diwali 2020.


External links[edit]