Home » News » Rajkummar Rao and Mouni Roy’s Made In China joins Bollywood hits to settle debate on ‘Does sex sell in Bollywood?’

Can there be films about sex that actually do not show sex on screen? Well yes, that is possible, as evident in successful films like Badhaai Ho, Shubh Mangal Savdhan and Vicky Donor. Incidentally each one of these is an Ayushmann Khurranna. However, there are films that have bold explicit scenes and Mahesh Bhatt & Ekta Kapoor have been the flag bearers here.

Next up is Rajkummar Rao and Mouni Roy’s quirky take on sex, Made In China, which has its core plot centered on a soup that improves a person’s sex drive. Even as the Dinesh Vijan production narrates the journey of a Gujarati up-start entrepreneur who tries to make it big in his life, let’s take a look at some such films/franchises which had sex as an integral element of the storyline.

Badhaai Ho – 138 crores [Blockbuster]

The biggest success of all times for a film with sex as a central element is Badhaai Ho. A story about a middle aged couple who have a son in the mid 20s and end up conceiving another kid, it asked a pertinent question – ‘Can age be a restriction to bear more kids?’. Though the film was naughty in treatment, nowhere was it cringe worthy and that brought in audiences.

The Dirty Picture – 80 crores [Superhit]

This is one film where Ekta Kapoor announced loud and clear that it would be all about ‘entertainment entertainment entertainment’. The film was abound with erotic scenes and direct references to sex with nothing double meaning about it all. Vidya Balan too went all to bring on titillating sequences and emerged as the only mainstream actress to do so with aplomb.

Hate Story – 13.55 crores [Average], Hate Story 2 – 28 crores [Semi-hit], Hate Story 3 – 54.50 crores [Hit], Hate Story IV – 22.38 crores [Flop]

The longest running franchise which has its basis in sex with a strong element of revenge thrown in, it has maintained the erotica quotient right through. When the first part worked and the sequel too emerged as a success, it was tagged as a fluke. However, the third part was a complete thriller and hit it out of the park. The fourth part turned out to be a damp squib though.

Murder – 15 crores [Superhit], Murder 2 – 48 crores [Superhit], Murder 3 – 22.88 crores [Flop]

The earliest franchise which actually worked well for its first and the second part, it hit the roadblock in the third part. A major reason for that was also due to the fact that Mallika Sherawat got the oomph quotient in Murder, Jacqueline Fernandez was stunning in Murder 2 but the third with Aditi Rao Hydari and Sara Loren focused more on the mystery/horror element than sex.

Ragini MMS – 11 crores [Semi-hit], Ragini MMS 2 – 46 crores [Hit]

Considering the fact that Ragini MMS as well as Ragini MMS 2 were both good successes, it is surprising that Ekta Kapoor hasn’t brought out Ragini MMS 3 as yet. The first one had a sexual encounter as the central element and worked well even without much of nudity. However, Sunny Leone went all out in the second part and ensured that audiences loved her and ‘Baby Doll’.

Shubh Mangal Savdhan – 43.11 crores [Hit]

Now this is one film which was again all about sex but didn’t have a single visual to support that act explicitly. Based on the issue of erectile dysfunction, this Ayushmann Khurranna and Bhumi Pednekar starrer was a right mix of humor and drama with direct/indirect references to sex. Since there were no erotic visuals though, it managed to get some family audiences too.

Vicky Donor – 41 crores [Hit]

Ayushmann Khurranna has been the flag bearer of films which bring sex out of the closet and he did that with aplomb in his debut affair itself. Vicky Donor was about sperm donation no less but was treated as a light hearted slice of life entertainer. Again, as has been the case with the actor’s films, there was no visual of any kind of sexual act and audiences didn’t mind it.

Jism – 8 crores [Hit], Jism 2 – 35.19 crores [Semi-hit] 

When the very title of the film is Jism, you know what to expect. A Pooja Bhatt creation, Jism has done well as a franchise. First one had Bipasha Basu and John Abraham coming in the lead and the moment ‘Jaadu Hai Nasha Hai’ began, you know what it was all about. However, Jism 2 hit the ceiling when Sunny Leone entered the frame. There was no looking back post that.

Lipstick Under My Burkha – 19.25 crores [Above average]

Yet another film that was backed by Ekta Kapoor, this Prakash Jha production spoke about sexual repression amongst women. This one had it all, right from talks about sex, visually explicit scenes, drama, black humor – the works. At one point in time it had seemed that the film won’t have much for the audience. However, word of mouth spread fast to help it succeed well.

Joginder Tuteja tweets @tutejajoginder