Very few actors get to taste success with their very first film. Tiger Shroff and Kriti Sanon made their Hindi film debut with ‘Heropanti’ which turned out to be a good earner at the box-office. The success of the film was important for Kriti as her Telugu film, the much hyped ‘Nenokkadine’ starring Mahesh Babu, had underperformed and failed to give her the kind of start she would have hoped for in the movies. Fortunately enough, her Hindi debut turned out to be a hit.
Her next release in Hindi was ‘Dilwale’, a star-studded affair in which she had Shah Rukh Khan, Kajol and Varun Dhawan for company. The film had several factors going in its favour – Shah Rukh and Rohit Shetty coming together after ‘Chennai Express’, one of the iconic pairings (Shah Rukh- Kajol) in Hindi cinema in the last two decades reuniting and a bunch of hit songs by Pritam. Though the film turned out to be a big success in the overseas market, its performance in India was below par. The film ended up doing a business of 1,47,89,02,260 at the Indian box-office and was declared a semi-hit. It must be noted that despite being an underperformer, ‘Dilwale’ was still one of the highest grossing films of the year.
Kriti’s next release ‘Raabta’ turned out to be a major disappointment. Despite boasting of a robust soundtrack by Pritam/JAM8 and some great chemistry between the two leads, the film did a business of a little more than 35 crores in the domestic market. That was just not enough to recover the huge budget spent on making the film. This was definitely a blow to both Sushant and Kriti – while Sushant had a 100 crore plus success (M S Dhoni) behind him, Kriti, too, had been a part of two films that had raked in good numbers at the box-office. However, the box-office tables soon tilted in her favour again and she had a respectable success in ‘Bareilly Ki Barfi’. Made at a modest budget of around 20 crores, the film went on to earn 34,02,25,000 by the end of its final run in India and was a decent success. This is a film where she had an author backed role and her performance garnered acclaim from all quarters.
With ‘Arjun Patiala’ getting delayed, Kriti did not have a single release in 2018 but now with ‘Luka Chuppi’ turning out to be a superhit and three more releases to look forward to, 2019 is, arguably, the biggest year for her professionally. Not to forget, her recently released song ‘Aira Gaira’ from ‘Kalank’ is scaling up the popularity charts quite rapidly. Though ‘Luka Chuppi’ could not touch the 100 crore mark (the film is about to close at 94 crores) it is a bonafide superhit and the target for her next three films is to touch that figure and go beyond that.
Her next release ‘Arjun Patiala’ has been directed by Rohit Jugraj who is taking another shot at Bollywood with this film. The director has earlier made Hindi films like ‘James’ and ‘Superstar’ and then tasted success in Punjabi cinema with films like ‘Jatt James Bond’ and ‘Sardaarji’. A medium budgeted film, almost in the same range as a ‘Luka Chuppi’, the producers of the film (the same as ‘Luka Chuppi’) would be looking at a similar recovery. Ideally, a film of this scale and nature is not viewed by the trade as 100 crore material but if the content turns out to be as strong as Maddock Films’ own ‘Stree’ or a ‘Badhaai Ho’, you never know. Ashutosh Gowarikar’s last three films (‘What’s Your Raashee?’, ‘Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Sey’ and ‘Mohenjo Daro’) turned out to be major flops at the box-office but one always has good hopes from a director who has delivered solid successes like ‘Lagaan’ and ‘Jodhaa Akbar’ in the past. With the kind of mounting the film has, 100 crore is the bare minimum figure one is looking at here. Kriti’s Diwali release ‘Housefull 4’ is not just her biggest release but one of the biggest films to be releasing this year. None of Akshay Kumar’s films have managed to touch the figure of 200 crores at the domestic box-office and this is being looked as a film that will get him an entry into the 200 crore club. If that happens, it will be the first 200 crore hit for all the primary actors associated with the film.
‘Luka Chuppi’ has ensured a good start for her at the movies this year and if the three films manage to rake in the moolah, Kriti will surely be serious contender for the top 5 heroine slot by the end of the year. She already has a 100 crore film (‘Dilwale) in her kitty and now, at the height of her popularity and a freshly delivered superhit film behind her, the goal should be to score and soar higher at the box-office with ‘Arjun Patiala’, ‘Panipat’ and ‘Housefull 4’.