Highest Grossing Indian Movies of the 21st Century

Indian movies are widely popular and successful worldwide. We take a look at which Indian movie was the highest-grossing each year of the 21st Century.

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"not only for Bollywood fans but for all movie lovers from all backgrounds."

Indian movies are one of the most popular and widely recognised film industry in the world.

This industry showcases lots of pictures, offering a wide range of genres from romance to action to thriller to comedy.

Indian titles contain vibrant visuals, radiating romance, distinctive drama and various musical numbers!

We take a look at the highest-grossing Indian movies of each year of the 21st Century.

Including Devdas (2002), 3 Idiots (2009), Baahubali 2: The Conclusion (2017) and more, as well as the views of the public.

Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham… (2001)

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Director: Karan Johar
Cast: Shah Rukh Khan, Kajol, Amitabh Bachchan, Jaya Bachchan, Hrithik Roshan, Kareena Kapoor Khan.

Firstly, covering drama, musical and romance, we have Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham… (K3G). The title itself translates as ‘Sometimes there is joy, sometimes there is sorrow…’.

At the box office, K3G (2001) did outstanding, racking in Rs. 135.53 Crore (£14.35 Mil.) worldwide.

Particularly, this picture revolves around the Raichand’s, a wealthy Indian family. Yashvardhan ‘Yash’ Raichand (Amitabh Bachchan) and Nandini Raichand (Jaya Bachchan) have two sons, adopted Rahul Raichand (Shah Rukh Khan) and Rohan Raichand (Hrithik Roshan).

Although Rahul is adopted, Yash and Nandini treat him as their own, all living a happy life together. Unfortunately, the family encounter misunderstandings after Rahul marries Anjali Sharma (Kajol), a woman of a lower socio-economic group.

As a result, Yash disowns Rahul, leading to Rahul moving to London to build a new life. Years later, his little brother Rohan is on a mission to reunite his family.

Feeling the emotions whilst watching K3G (2001), Web Developer Ammar Kazmi expresses:

Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham… (2001) brilliantly portrays the influence of love, friendship and family values.

“The movie shows us how our life choices can force us to make devastating sacrifices and just as the name of the movie suggests, you are bound to be taken through a cycle of different emotions.”

K3G (2001) produced timeless songs. Popular tunes include ‘Suraj Hua Maddham’, ‘Bole Chudiyan’ and ‘Say Shava Shava’.

This super hit grabbed twenty-seven major awards, winning the hearts of the fans and critics. Nine awards were won at the 3rd IIFA Awards (2002).

These include Best Dialogue (Karan Johar), Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Jaya Bachchan) and Best Playback Singer – Male (Sonu Nigam – ‘Suraj Hua Maddham’ and ‘You Are My Soniya’).

Watch this emotional scene from K3G here:


Devdas (2002)

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Director: Sanjay Leela Bhansali
Cast: Shah Rukh Khan, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Madhuri Dixit Nene.

Devdas falls under the romantic-musical genre, offering a great all-round film for the viewer. For instance, this Sanjay Leela Bhansali picture will take the audience on an emotional rollercoaster ride.

This excellent movie bought in a colossal Rs. 102 Crore (£10.80 Mil.) worldwide.

This visually beautiful, well-written story is centric to childhood lovers Devdas Mukherjee (Shah Rukh Khan) and Parvati ‘Paro’ Chakraborty (Aishwarya Rai Bachchan).

The life of Devdas takes a turn for the worse, spiralling gradually after his family’s marriage refusal for Devdas and Paro. Thus, Devdas seeks comfort, taking on alcoholism.

Graceful courtesan Chandramukhi (Madhuri Dixit Nene) aids Devdas with love and support after coming into his life. Appreciating the elegance and tragedy of this story, Executive Assistant Sara Kehra expresses:

Devdas (2002) is a tragic love story with beautiful costumes and production design. All actors chosen were perfect for their roles and you could feel their sorrow along with them.

“A classic, rich and unforgettable film.”

Along with Devdas (2002), countless hit tracks are also embedded perfectly within. Top songs include ‘Silsila Ye Chahat Ka’, ‘Dola Re Dola’ and ‘Hamesha Tumko Chaha’.

Also, American rapper, singer and actor Snoop Dogg sampled ‘Silsila Ye Chahat Ka’ on his track ‘Snoop Dogg Millionaire.’

This superb Indian movie had a special screening at the prestigious 55th Cannes Film Festival (2002). Also, Devdas (2002) was highly appreciated by viewers and critics, winning impressively fifty-seven awards.

Notably, Devdas (2002) rightly secures twelve major awards at the 48th Filmfare Awards (2003). Some of these accolades include Best Film, Best Director (Sanjay Leela Bhansali) and Best Actor (Shah Rukh Khan).

Best Actress (Aishwarya Rai Bachchan), Best Supporting Actress (Madhuri Dixit Nene), Best Story (Jaideep Sahni) and Best Cinematography (Binod Pradhan) were also won.

Watch this lovely Devdas scene here:


Kal Ho Naa Ho (2003)

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Director: Nikhil Advani
Cast: Shah Rukh Khan, Preity Zinta, Saif Ali Khan.

Kal Ho Naa Ho (KHNH), translating to ‘Tomorrow May Never Come’, is a super hit Indian movie displaying rom-com drama.

After release, KHNH (2003) assembled Rs. 86.09 Crore (£9.11 Mil.) globally. This splendid title was shot in three beautiful locations, Mumbai, New York and Toronto.

Specifically, Naina Catherine Kapur (Preity Zinta). a feisty yet serious individual narrates this story. Her family is quite dysfunctional, giving off a negative vibe overall.

In contrast, new neighbour Aman Mathur (Shah Rukh Khan) is full of life, spreading his positivity everywhere! Naina’s life changes for the better as Aman enters her life, eventually falling in love with him.

However, Aman can not marry her due to a secret he holds. But he aids in setting Naina up with her best friend Rohit Patel (Saif Ali Khan).

Rating the film a solid “10/10”, Persona Case Manager Aqib expresses:

Kal Ho Naa Ho (2003) is an instant classic. A fantastic production set in the vibrant and diverse city of New York.

“An absolute stand out performance from Shah Rukh Khan yet again. This is an epic love story consisting of Bollywood’s biggest stars.

“Not only was it very emotional, but it also stood out for its comedic prowess. A must watch not only for Bollywood fans but for all movie lovers from all backgrounds. 10/10.”

The soundtrack was widely popular with the audience. Hit tracks include ‘Kal Ho Naa Ho’, ‘Maahi Ve’ and ‘Pretty Woman’.

Significantly, KHNH (2003) won a total of forty awards. This film took home a huge thirteen awards at the 5th IIFA Awards (2004).

These include Best Director (Nikhil Advani), Best Actor (Shah Rukh Khan), Best Actress (Preity Zinta) Best Supporting Actor (Saif Ali Khan) and Best Supporting Actress (Jaya Bachchan).

View this noteworthy scene from KNHN here:


Veer-Zaara (2004)

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Director: Yash Chopra
Cast: Shah Rukh Khan, Preity Zinta, Rani Mukerji, Manoj Bajpai, Amitabh Bachchan, Hema Malini.

Clearly, the King of Romance, Shah Rukh Khan, was totally dominating this era. Veer-Zaara (2004) is a motion picture which covers the romantic drama genre. SRK and Preity Zinta once again create magic on-screen.

The movie exemplifies the meaning of love, revolving around the saga of love, separation and courage. This brilliant title grossed highs of Rs. 97.64 Crore (£10.34 Mil.) worldwide.

Namely, it involves Indian Air Force Pilot Veer Pratap Singh (Shah Rukh Khan) and Pakistani woman Zaara Hayaat Khan (Preity Zinta).

It follows their love which is tough to combine due to many factors, including the political differences between the two cultures. Consequently, Veer is wrongly imprisoned.

Many years later, lawyer Saamiya Siddiqui (Rani Mukerji) tries to free Veer and reunites him with Zaara after listening to his story.

Entrepreneur Shabaaz Khan loves the concept and themes of this beautiful picture, indicating:

Veer-Zaara (2004) is possibly the best love story made in Bollywood.”

“The story is about love, bravery, injustice and traditions from rival countries. It is bound to take you on a rollercoaster of emotions.”

Also, the soundtrack is very gentle yet magical to the ears. Popular tunes include: ‘Main Yahaan Hoon’, ‘Do Pal’ and ‘Tere Liye’.

Being one of the most successful and popular Indian movies of Bollywood, this gem obtains a huge twenty-seven awards. Uniquely, Veer-Zaara (2004) won seven awards during the 6th IIFA Awards (2005).

These include Best Film (Yash Chopra & Aditya Chopra), Best Director (Yash Chopra), Best Story (Aditya Chopra), Best Actor (Shah Rukh Khan) and Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Rani Mukerji).

Watch the trailer for Veer-Zaara here:


No Entry (2005)

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Director: Anees Bazmee
Cast: Anil Kapoor, Fardeen Khan, Salman Khan, Bipasha Basu Singh Grover, Lara Dutta, Esha Deol, Celina Jaitly.

No Entry (2005) takes the genre route of a comedy. Markedly, this film accumulated Rs. 97.64 Crore (£10.34 Mil.) universally.

Significantly, this story involves Kishan (Anil Kapoor), a wealthy newspaper editor who is faithfully married to Kaajal (Lara Dutta). For some reason, Kaajal is persistently doubtful that Kishan is having numerous affairs.

In contrast, wealthy businessman Prem (Salman Khan), a good friend of Kishan, repeatedly cheats on his ever-so-trusting wife Pooja (Esha Deol).

Both Kishan and his other friend Shekhar ‘Sunny’ (Fardeen Khan), a photographer, disapprove of Prem’s antics.

Eventually, Prem gets tired of listening to his moral-high mates. He goes forth and introduces Bobby (Bipasha Basu Singh Grover), an attractive call girl, to Kishan.

Admiring the acting skills of veteran Bollywood actor Anil Kapoor but not the film overall, Fishmonger Bant Singh reveals:

No Entry (2005) is a light-hearted comedy, with a serious life lesson in regards to honesty. Personally, it’s one of those movies that I would only watch if it’s on TV, it’s just about bearable.

“Although, I have to state that Anil Kapoor does a fantastic job with his character which probably makes the film just about bearable. This is tough to say as a Salman Khan fan.

“All in all, I would recommend watching if you like mischievous/adult comedy, but I will probably apologise for wasting your time after you have watched it.”

Well-known tracks from No Entry (2005) include ‘Ishq Di Galli Vich’, ‘Just Love Me’ and ‘Dil Paagal Hai’.

Critically, this title did not do so well in terms of getting awards. However, many viewers across the world enjoyed this comical Indian movie.

Listen to ‘Ishq Di Galli Vich’ from No Entry here:


Dhoom 2 (2006)

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Director: Sanjay Gadhvi
Cast: Hrithik Roshan, Abhishek Bachchan, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Uday Chopra, Bipasha Basu Singh Grover.

Dhoom 2 (2006) is an action thriller motion picture. This title collected a gigantic Rs. 159.39 Crore (£16.85 Mil.) worldwide.

Centring around Mr. A/Aryan Singh (Hrithik Roshan), a cunning criminal who steals valuable artefacts across the globe, leaving his stamp.

He is a high-tech international thief who manages to pull off impossible heists. Also, he forms a partnership with beautiful Sunehri (Aishwarya Rai Bachchan), another thief.

Due to these ingenious thieves, three of the best police officers, Jai Dixit (Abhishek Bachchan), Ali Khan (Uday Chopra) and Shonali Bose (Bipasha Basu Singh Grover), team up to take them down.

Interestingly, it was shot in three different beautiful locations, Mumbai, India, Namibia, Durban and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Uniquely, Dhoom 2 (2006) is actually the first Indian movie to be shot in Brazil, also featuring a scene with the iconic Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro.

Although the soundtrack did not get much love from critics, the public seems to love it. Top tracks include: ‘Dil Laga Na’, ‘Crazy Kiya Re’ and ‘Dhoom Again’.

On the contrary, the critics had a liking for Dhoom 2 (2006) overall, winning six awards. More so, they appreciated individual contributions such as:

  • Best Actor (Hrithik Roshan) at the 52nd Filmfare Awards (2007)
  • Best Actor (Hrithik Roshan) at the Bollywood Awards (2007)
  • Star of the Year (Aishwarya Rai Bachchan) at the 5th Stardust Awards (2007)
  • Best Choreography (Shiamak Davar) at the 13th Star Screen Awards (2007)
  • Best Costume Design (Anaita Shroff) and Best Makeup (James) at the 8th IIFA Awards (2007)

Watch this energetic scene from Dhoom 2 here:


Om Shanti Om (2007)

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Director: Farah Khan
Cast: Shah Rukh Khan, Deepika Padukone, Shreyas Talpade, Arjun Rampal.

Om Shanti Om (2007) is a fantasy melodrama Indian movie. This amazing Farah Khan hit gathered Rs. 149.87 Crore (£15.77 Mil.) successfully at the pictures worldwide.

It sees actress-producer Deepika Padukone make her grand Bollywood debut, playing a double role opposite the Baadshah of Bollywood, Shah Rukh Khan.

Padukone portrays Shantipriya Kashyap Mehra (Shanti) and Sandhya Bansal (Sandy) whilst SRK embodies Om Prakash Makhija and Om Kapoor (OK).

Set in the 70s, this story orbits around the life of junior artist Om Prakash Makhija. Unfortunately, he is murdered but is reincarnated in the present day.

Om Kapoor is on a mission to discover the mystery of his previous life death meanwhile seeking for the love of his previous life, Shanti.

Pharmacist Aleena Shah describes Om Shanti Om (2007) as being the ‘perfect blend of humour and emotions’, conveying:

Om Shanti Om (2007) is one of my favourite films starring my favourite actor Shah Rukh Khan. My favourite scene from the film is when Om is trying to get Shanti’s lookalike to act like her.

“It is s perfect blend of humour and heartfelt emotions. I have also got many of my family and friends to watch the film and they have loved it too!”

Also, both the audio and visuals for the soundtrack is a delight. Must-listen tracks include: ‘Main Agar Kahoon’, ‘Deewangi Deewangi’ and ‘Dastaan-E-Om Shanti Om’.

Capturing the hearts of the audience and critics, Om Shanti Om (2007) won thirty-six reputable accolades. At the 9th IIFA Awards (2008), this film won six awards.

These include Best Debut Actress (Deepika Padukone), Best Lyricist (Javed Akhtar – ‘Main Agar Kahoon’) and Best Costume Design (Karan Johar, Manish Malhotra & Sanjeev Mulchandani).

Watch Om Kapoor’s iconic award speech clip from Om Shanti Om here:


Ghajini (2008)

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Director: A. R. Murugadoss
Cast: Aamir Khan, Asin Thottumkal, Pradeep Singh Rawat, Jiah Khan.

Ghajini (2008) is a Bollywood action thriller which is a remake of the original Ghajini (2005) Tamil film. Additionally, both these films are inspired by American psychological thriller, Memento (2000).

Globally, this fantastic movie bought in a colossal Rs. 232 Crore (£24.45 Mil.). In detail, this title is about Sanjay Singhania/Sachin Chauhan (Aamir Khan), a business tycoon who develops anterograde amnesia.

He develops this condition due to a violent encounter with a gangster-turned-public figure, Ghajini Dharmatma (Pradeep Singh Rawat).

Specifically, this encounter occurred as Sanjay was trying to save his love interest, model Kalpana Shetty (Asin Thottukal).

After this tragic incident, Sanjay is unable to remember anything after fifteen minutes.

With the aid of Polaroid photographs and bold tattoos, Sanjay goes on a journey to avenge the murder of his love.

Also, late actress Jiah Khan plays Sunita, a medical student curious with the case of Sanjay Singhania.

This Indian movie gave the public so many beautiful songs, including ‘Behka’, ‘Guzaarish’ and ‘Kaise Mujhe’.

This motion picture had the likings of both audience and critics. In terms of accolades, Ghajini (2008) won twelve prestigious awards. At the 1oth IIFA Awards (2009), Ghajini won four awards:

  • Best Special Effects (Prime Focus)
  • Star Debut of the Year (Asin Thottukal)
  • Best Action (Peter Hein, Stun Shiva)
  • Best Sound Recording (Resul Pookutty, Amrit Pritam Dutta)

Listen to the beautiful lyrical song ‘Kaise Mujhe’ from Ghajini here:


3 Idiots (2009)

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Director: Rajkumar Hirani
Cast: Aamir Khan, Madhavan, Sharman Joshi, Kareena Kapoor Khan, Boman Irani, Om Vaidya.

3 Idiots (2009) is a highly inspirational movie which goes under the comedy-drama category. In particular, it covers the social pressures of an Indian education system.

Globally, this comical yet of serious manner picture collected an outstanding Rs. 459.96 Crore (£48.63 Mil).

Ranchoddas ‘Rancho’ Shyamaidas/Phunsukh Wangdu (Aamir Khan), Farhan Qureshi (Madhavan) and Raju Rastogi (Sharman Joshi) are three college mates who study at the prestigious Imperial College of Engineering.

Going from past to present, Farhan and Raju recollect the memories of college and their good friend Rancho. Their past memories take the audience on a journey through tough and fun times of college life.

In the present, they are in search for Rancho who mysteriously disappears after graduation. Boman Irani (Dr. Viru Sahastrabuddhe/Virus) characterises a strict Director of the college.

Whilst Kareena Kapoor Khan (Pia Sahastrabuddhe) plays Virus’ daughter and Rancho’s love interest.

Interestingly, 3 Idiots (2009) was shot in reverse, present-day scenes being shot first then the college scenes.

Some of the popular tracks of 3 Idiots (2009) include ‘Aal Izz Well’, ‘Zoobi Doobi’ and ‘Behti Hawa Sa Tha Woh’.

Just like its sizeable box office collections, 3 Idiots (2009) took home a magnificent total of sixty-two awards. Namely, this Indian movie grabs sixteen awards at the 11th IIFA Awards (2010), including Best:

  • Story (Abhijat Joshi, Rajkumar Hirani and Vidhu Vinod Chopra)
  • Film (Vidhu Vinod Chopra – Vinod Chopra Productions)
  • Dialogue (Rajkumar Hirani and Abhijat Joshi)
  • Best Director (Rajkumar Hirani)
  • Playback Singer – Male (Shaan – ‘Behti Hawa Sa Tha Woh’)
  • Actress in a Leading Role (Kareena Kapoor Khan)
  • Actor in a Supporting Role (Sharman Joshi)
  • Performance in a Negative Role (Boman Irani)

Listen to the inspirationally funny track ‘Aal Izz Well’ from 3 Idiots here:


Enthiran (2010)

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Director: S. Shankar
Cast: Rajinikanth, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Danny Denzongpa, Santhanam, Karunas.

Enthiran (2010) is an Indian Tamil-language picture which falls under the science fiction action genre. This was a dream project for director S. Shankar, envisioning this title since 2001.

Also, Enthiran (2010) was released in Hindi (Robot) and Telugu (Robo) language.

This Thalaivaa (Leader/Superstar/Rajinikanth) hit is amongst one of the highest-grossing Indian movies of all-time, bringing in a massive Rs. 289 Crore (£30.57 Mil.).

Chiefly, Enthiran (2010) follows Dr. Vaseegaran (Rajinikanth), a brilliant scientist.

More so, he creates a humanoid robot Chitti (Rajinikanth) with the sole purpose to protect humanity.

However, after upgrading the software of Chitti to feel human emotions, Dr. Vaseegaran struggles to control his creation. In fact, Chitti falls in love with the fiancee of Vaseegaran, Sana (Aishwarya Rai Bachchan).

Rival scientist Bohra (Danny Denzongpa), adds fuel to the fire, manipulating Chitti further to an extent where Chitti becomes homicidal.

Just like all Indian movies, Enthiran (2010) also produces a solid soundtrack. Particularly, this was the first Tamil album to get number one position in the Top 10 World Album chart of iTunes.

Notable tunes include ‘Irumbile Oru Idhaiyam’, ‘Kilimanjaro’ and ‘Kadhal Anukkal’.

This interesting movie won a total of eleven accolades. At the 12th IIFA Awards (2011), the out of this world ‘Technical Excellence’ saw Enthiran (2010) win Best:

  • Art Direction (Sabu Cyril)
  • Special Effects (Srinivas Mohan – Indian Artists Computer Graphics)
  • Makeup (Banu)

Check out the Ethiran Hindi trailer here:


Bodyguard (2011)

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Director: Siddique
Cast: Salman Khan, Kareena Kapoor Khan, Raj Babbar, Mahesh Manjrekar, Hazel Keech.

Bodyguard (2011) is a Bollywood title filled with action, drama, comedy and romance. Explicitly, Bodyguard (2011) is a remake of the successful Malayalam-language film, Bodyguard (2010).

Gathering a big Rs. 234.39 Crore (£24.80 Mil.) at the box office, this Indian movie broke many records. For example, for its time, it became the highest opening day grosser and highest opening week grosser.

Lovely Singh (Salman Khan) is a respectful bodyguard. His assignment involves protecting Divya Rana (Kareena Kapoor Khan), the daughter of successful politician Sartaj Rana (Raj Babbar).

Specifically, Lovely is hired to defend Divya from gangsters on the hunt for her who seeks revenge against her father. Divya is irritated due to Lovely constantly following her everywhere.

Frustrated, Divya plans to put him off-guard, trapping Lovely into an imaginary love affair. Lovely falls in love with this secret admirer through phone communications.

Eventually, Divya secretly falls in love with her bodyguard. This motion picture has a good soundtrack. Popular tracks include ‘Teri Meri’, ‘I Love You’ and ‘Bodyguard’.

Succeeding commercially, Bodyguard  (2011) accumulated seventeen awards. At the BIG Star Entertainment Awards (2011), this picture won in five ‘Most Entertaining’ categories:

  • Film – Action
  • Singer – Female (Shreya Ghoshal – ‘Teri Meri’)
  • Actor in an Action Role (Salman Khan)
  • Actress in a Romantic Role (Kareena Kapoor Khan)
  • Pair of the Year (Salman Khan & Kareena Kapoor Khan)

Listen to the lovely song ‘Teri Meri’ from Bodyguardhere:


Ek Tha Tiger (2012)

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Director: Kabir Khan
Cast: Salman Khan, Katrina Kaif, Roshan Seth, Ranvir Shorey, Girish Karnad.

Ek Tha Tiger (2012) is an Indian movie following the themes of action, romance and thriller. Impressively, this Salman Khan hit collected Rs. 334.39 Crore (£35.43 Mil.) globally.

Avinash Singh ‘Tiger’ Rathore (Salman Khan), an undercover Indian agent. Tiger is on a mission to find out the activities of College scientist Indian Professor Anwar Kidwai (Roshan Seth).

To clarify, Anwar is suspected of selling missile technology secrets to Pakistan. Tiger has to obtain this vital information before it gets in the wrong hands of Pakistan.

Although Tiger is dedicated to this job, he is sidetracked. More so, he falls in love with Zoya ‘Zee’ Humaimi (Katrina Kaif), the caretaker of Anwar and student at a local dance academy.

Unfortunately for Tiger, Zee is a Pakistani undercover agent who has the same task as Tiger.

The pair embark on a journey to battle the dark world of intelligence. Commercial Director Jonny gives high praise for this title:

Ek Tha Tiger (2012) is an action romantic drama movie and has an amazing story with a great message behind it.

“Showing how peace is possible between two countries at war.

“The chemistry between Katrina and Salman was perfect to witness on screen and through the heart touching songs.”

Primarily, this film was shot in India but many other cool locations were used including Turkey, Ireland and Cuba.

Critically, the music of this title was received well. Must-listen tracks include ‘Mashallah’, ‘Saiyaara’ and Banjaara’.

Ek Tha Tiger (2012) won a total of sixteen awards. An audience favourite, grabbing four awards at the People’s Choice Awards (2012) for Favourite:

  • Movie
  • Actor (Salman Khan)
  • Actress (Katrina Kaif)
  • Action Movie Star (Salman Khan)

Watch the action-packed trailer for Ek Tha Tiger here:


Dhoom 3 (2013)

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Director: Vijay Krishna Acharya
Cast: Aamir Khan, Katrina Kaif, Abhishek Bachchan, Uday Chopra, Jackie Shroff, Andrew Bicknell.

Dhoom 3 (2013) is the third instalment of the Dhoom franchise, covering even more jam-packed action thriller. Thus, this Indian movie did even better at the Box Office, collecting an immense Rs. 589.2 Crore (£62.13 Mil.) worldwide.

Once again, police officers Jai Dixit (Abhishek Bachchan) and Ali Khan (Uday Chopra) are back to fight crime.

More importantly, it revolves around Iqbal Haroon Khan (Jackie Shroff) and his twin sons Sahir and Samar Iqbal Khan (Sidharth Nigam/Aamir Khan).

Iqbal owns the ‘The Great Indian Circus’ in Chicago, Illinois. Unfortunately, it closes down due to Iqbal not being able to repay his loan.

Things turn for the worse as Iqbal commits suicide in front of the heartless banker Mr. Warren Aderson (Andrew Bicknell).

Twenty-three years later, Sahir, circus entertainer knowing magic and acrobatics, robs various corrupt large banks of Chicago in order to seek revenge.

Bollywood actress Katrina Kaif plays Aaliya Hussain, the love interest of Sahir and Samar and a new acrobatic performer for their newly opened revamped circus.

Uniquely, Dhoom 3 (2013) became the first Indian title to release in the film format of IMAX Motion Picture, including Dolby Atmos surround sound.

‘Malang’, ‘Kamli’ and ‘Dhoom Machale Dhoom’ were memorable tracks from the original soundtrack of Dhoom 3 (2013).

This thrilling movie took home twenty major awards. Furthermore, at the ETC Bollywood Business Awards (2014), Dhoom 3 (2013) won in five categories such as:

  • Most Profitable Actor (Aamir Khan)
  • Highest Grossing Actor – Male (Aamir Khan)
  • Most Popular Trailer
  • Highest Single Day Collection
  • Highest Grossing Banner (Yash Raj Films)

Also, at the International Film Festival of India (2014), Dhoom 3 (2013) was screened in the section of ‘Celebrating Dance in Indian Cinema’.

Check out the fast-paced trailer of Dhoom 3 here:


PK (2014)

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Director: Rajkumar Hirani
Cast: Aamir Khan, Anushka Sharma, Sushant Singh Rajput, Boman Irani, Saurabh Shukla, Sanjay Dutt.

From one Aamir Khan starrer to another, we have the brilliant PK (2014), an Indian movie of the comedy-drama genre. Globally, this title earned an astronomical Rs. 832 Crore (£88.02 Mil.).

The exploration of the picture focuses on PK (Aamir Khan), a humanoid alien who is stranded on earth. Initially, he was on a mission to study this planet.

Unfortunately, PK loses his remote which was stolen and sold to godman Tapasvi Maharaj (Saurabh Shukla).

On the search for his priceless remote which helps him get back to his planet, PK discovers more than he imagined.

For instance, PK experiences many different facets of humanity, including religions, cultures, languages customs, beliefs and more.

He displays an innocent aura, asking many curious questions, even if they are awkward.

In order to retrieve his remote, he finds a friend in Jagat ‘Jaggu’ Janai Sahani (Anushka Sharma), an Indian television journalist. Jaggu embarks on a journey with PK to learn his story, helping him recover his remote.

Sushant Singh Rajput (late) characterises Sarfaraz Yousuf, the Pakistani boyfriend of Jaggu. However, due to misunderstandings, Sarfaraz and Jaggu split.

Through this process, PK falls in love with Jaggu but does not tell her as she still loves Sarfaraz. Like many Rajkumar Hirani movie, PK (2014) has many messages that the audience can learn from.

Visually and through audio, the soundtrack features nice songs such as ‘Chaar Kadam’, ‘Bhagwan Hai Kahan Re Tu’ and ‘Love is a Waste of Time’.

This great, inspiring picture collected seventeen awards. At the 60th Filmfare Awards (2015), PK (2014) claims two awards for Best Screenplay (Rajkumar Hirani & Abhijat Joshi) and Best Dialogue (Rajukumar Hirani & Abhijat Joshi).

Watch the trailer for the eye-opening movie, PK here:


Bajrangi Bhaijaan (2015)

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Director: Kabir Khan
Cast: Salman Khan, Harshaali Malhotra, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Kareena Kapoor Khan.

Action comedy-drama, Bajrangi Bhaijaan (2015) is a commercially and critically successful Indian movie. Significantly, this picture globally has made a huge Rs. 969.06 Crore (£102.67 Mil.).

The plot covers Shahida ‘Munni’ (Harshaali Malhotra), a six-year-old girl from Pakistan who is a mute. Unfortunately, she finds herself lost in India, knowing no way to return back to Pakistan and her parents.

Pawan Kumar Chaturvedi (Salman Khan), also known as Bajrangi Bhaijaan is a devoted, high-spirited, pure-hearted man. He is engaged to Rasika Pawan Kumar Chaturvedi/Pandey (Kareena Kapoor Khan).

Munni meets Bajrangi at the train station where she gets off to save a lamb whilst her mother is sleeping. Bajrangi being a nice character that he is brings Munni home.

He undertakes the task to return Munni back home safe and sound, ultimately reuniting her with her parents and homeland.

Also, actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui characterises Chand Nawab, a Pakistani reporter, reporting on the Munni case. Business Student Ahsan felt warmth and inspiration from watching this blockbuster, stating:

Bajrangi Bhaijaan (2015) is a heartwarming and inspiring movie which leaves both religious and cultural differences behind.

“One of my favourite movies from Salman Khan and will surely watch again!”

Also, along with this heart-warming film, the songs were great too. Memorable tracks are ‘Tu Jo Mila’, ‘Bhar Do Jholi Meri’ and ‘Tu Chaiye’.

Additionally, Bajrangi Bhaijaan (2015) impressively won a vast twenty-seven accolades. Six awards were claimed at the 22nd Star Screen Awards (2016), including Best:

  • Film
  • Director (Kabir Khan)
  • Actor in a Supporting Role (Nawazuddin Siddiqui)
  • Child Actor (Harshaali Malhotra)
  • Story (Vijayendra Prasad)
  • Background Music (Julius Packiam)

View the trailer for the nice film Bajrangi Bhaijaan here:


Dangal (2016)

What are the Highest-Grossing Indian Movies of the 21st Century? - IA 16

Director: Nitesh Tiwari
Cast: Aamir Khan, Sakshi Tanwar, Fatima Sana Shaikh, Sanya Malhotra, Aparshakti Khurana, Girish Kulkarni.

Based on a true story, Dangal (2016) is a biographical sports drama Indian movie. This blockbuster gained a colossal Rs. 2,024 (£215.56 Mil.) at the box office, worldwide.

Mahavir Singh Phogat (Aamir Khan) is a pehlwani amateur wrestler. This champion quits this sport due to family financial pressures.

He wants to produce sons to make his dreams come true of winning. On the contrary, he has four daughters.

Mahavir takes the viewers through the journey of training his daughters Geeta Phogat (Fatima Sana Shaikh) and Babita Kumari (Sanya Malhotra) to become the first world-class female wrestlers of India.

Along this journey, he tries to prove to many that his daughters are no less professional male wrestlers.

Although Geeta and Babita initially dislike their father due to the vigorous training, they realise it is for their improvement.

Eventually, through various personal and academic coaching, Geeta goes onto entering at National Level Wrestling, winning gracefully.

This leads to Geeta moving up to International level competition where things get more serious.

Also, Babita gets to an age where she can wrestle junior-level. Can Geeta fulfil her father’s dream?

This inspiring and motivational picture gave us many great songs, including ‘Haanikaarak Bapu’, ‘Dhaakad’ and ‘Dangal’.

Furthermore, with its massive commercial hit, Dangal (2016) bagged twenty-three awards. Winning twelve accolades from the 23rd Star Screen Awards (2017) which include Best:

  • Film
  • Director (Nitesh Tiwari)
  • Writing (Nitesh Tiwari & Shreyas Jain)
  • Background Score (Pritam)
  • Music Director (Pritam)
  • Lyrics (Amitabh Bhattacharya)

Listen to the motivational title track from Dangal here:


Baahubali 2: The Conclusion (2017)

What are the Highest-Grossing Indian Movies of the 21st Century? - IA 17

Director: S. S. Rajamouli
Cast: Prabha, Rana Daggubati, Anushka Shetty, Sathyaraj, Tamannaah Bhatia.

Baahubali 2: The Conclusion (2017) is an action film which follows on from Baahubali: The Beginning (2015). This smash-hit collects an immense Rs. 1,810 Crore (£192.76 Mil.) worldwide.

Initially, this Indian movie was made in Telugu and Tamil-language, later releasing in dubbed Hindi, Malayalam, Japanese, Chinese and Russian.

Set in medieval India, Baahubali 2 (2017) follows the rivalry between siblings Amarendra Baahubali (Prabhas) and Bhallaladeva (Rana Daggubati).

A deep rivalry that Bhalladeva connives against Amarendra to become the King of Mahishmati. Unfortunately, Bhalladeva has his brother killed.

Years later, Mahendra Baahubali (Prabhas), the son of Amarendra, returns to Mahishmati to avenge the death of his father. Scientist Rocky comments on one of his ‘all-time favourites’:

Baahubali 2 (2017) was a much-awaited sequel where if you saw the first film, you’re definitely anticipating how the rest of the story plays out.”

“Rajamouli’s direction and screenplay are extraordinary with the way he portrays the script, keeping the audience completely entertained throughout the film with many dilemmas.

“I love the excellent choice of cast, with special credits to Prabhas who plays the dual role of father and son really well.

“This film is filled with enrichment of Indian mythology and its incredible visual effects make it one of my all-time favourites.”

Interestingly, Baahubali 2 (2017) is the first Indian film to be released in 4K High Definition format. Like all Indian films, this epic picture also features great songs.

It won twenty-seven awards. At the 65th National Film Awards (2018), the most prominent awards ceremony in India, Baahubali 2 (2017) won three Best:

  • Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment (Shobu Yarlagadda & Prasad Devineni)
  • Special Effects (R.C. Kamala Kannan)
  • Stunt Choreographer (King Solomon, Lee Whittaker & Kecha Khamphakdee)

View the epic trailer of Baahubali 2 in Hindi here:


2.0 (2018)

What are the Highest-Grossing Indian Movies of the 21st Century? - IA 18

Director: S. Shankar
Cast: Rajinikanth, Akshay Kumar, Amy Jackson, Sudhanshu Pandey, Adil Hussain, Kalabhavan Shajohn.

Indian Tamil-language movie 2.0 (2018), is the stand-alone sequel to the highly-successful Ethiran (2010). Specifically, it covers a science fiction action genre.

Importantly, the film gathered Rs. 800 Crore (£84.96 Mil.) at the box office worldwide. The concept for this motion picture is as good as the first.

In detail, eight years after humanoid Chitti (Rajinikanth) was dismantled because of the havoc he caused. Dr. Vaseegaran (Rajinikanth) creates yet another humanoid Nila (Amy Jackson).

This time, Dr. Vaseegaran ensures this humanoid understands human feelings more clearly.

Weirdly, mobile phones start to fly into the sky, disappearing around the city.

A creature who is bird-shaped is the one responsible for all this cautious caused. Explicitly, Dr. Vaasegaran thinks some fifth element force is doing all of this destruction and decides to reboot Chitti.

However, the theory of Dr. Vaasegaran is wrong as Chitti and Nila trace the locations of the missing mobile phones.

More so, Nila and Chitti report back, claiming this is actually done by the human force of late ornithologist Pakshi Rajan (Akshay Kumar). Markedly, 2.0 (2018) is the first Indian title to be shot in 3D natively.

Also, each dubbed soundtrack contains only three songs. From the original Tamil movie, you have the tracks ‘Endhira Logathu Sundariye’, ‘Raajali’ and ‘Pullinagal’.

Unfortunately, 2.0 (2018) did not win as many awards as the predecessor Etnhiran (2010), grabbing only four awards. These accolades came at the Ananda Vikatan Cinema Awards (2018) for:

  • Best Cinematographer (Nirav Shah)
  • Best Animation and Visual Effects (Srinivas Mohan & S. Shankar)
  • Talk of the Town
  • Best Makeup Artist (Banu, A.R. Abdul Razzaq & Legacy Effects)

Watch the thrilling Hindi trailer for 2.0 here:


War (2019)

What are the Highest-Grossing Indian Movies of the 21st Century? - IA 19

Director: Sidharth Anand
Cast: Hrithik Roshan, Tiger Shroff, Vaani Kapoor, Sharad Kelkar.

Indian title War (2019) is a jam-packed, action thriller. Simultaneously, this motion picture was availably released in Tamil and Telugu language.

Notably, War broke the record for highest-opening day collection by a Bollywood movie in India, collecting Rs.53.35 Crore (£5.67 Mil.).

More so, it went onto gather a huge Rs. 475 Crore (£50.44 Mil.) worldwide.

In particular, War (2019) is about Indian soldier Kabir Bhaliwal (Hrithik Roshan). He is the best agent that India has to offer.

Having said this, he goes rogue as he kills his own men. Khalid Rahmani (Tiger Shroff) has been tasked to track and eliminate his former mentor who he idolises, Kabir.

Additionally, Khalid also tries to find out why his mentor turned bad. Orthodontist Ajay Chandra enjoyed the ‘stunts, action and show’ on display, conveying:

“An incredible film starring the one and only Hrithik Roshan and an up and coming Tiger Shroff!

“Full of lots of stunts, action and show! A well-directed movie by Director Siddharth Anand!”

Interestingly, veteran Indian actor Jackie Shroff played mentor to Hrithik Roshan in Yaadein (2001). Eighteen years later, Hrithik plays mentor to Jackie’s son Tiger Shroff.

Unlike typical Bollywood movies, War (2019) does not have many songs. However, the background score and the two featuring track, ‘Ghungroo’ and ‘Jai Jai Shivshankar‘ are very popular.

War (2019) took home eighteen major accolades. At the ETC Bollywood Business Awards (2020), this film won six awards, including:

  • Highest Grosser of the Year (War – Yash Raj Films)
  • Highest Grossing Director (Siddarth Anand)
  • The 300 Crore Club (War – Yash Raj Films)
  • Club Song of the Year (‘Ghungroo’ – Vishal Dadlani (Composer), Shekhar Ravjiani (Composer), Shilpa Rao (Singer), Arijit Singh (Singer) & Kumaar (Lyrics)
  • Most Popular Trailer

Vibe to the cool song ‘Ghungroo’ from War here:


Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior (2020)

What are the Highest-Grossing Indian Movies of the 21st Century? - IA 20

Director: Om Raut
Cast: Ajay Devgn, Saif Ali Khan, Kajol, Sharad Kelkar, Luke Kenny.

Lastly, we have Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior (2020). This Indian movie covers a biography in an action drama manner.

At the box office, Tanhaji collected Rs. 367.65 Crore (£39.05 Mil.) globally.

Set in the 17th Century, it follows the story of braveheart Tanaji Malusare (Ajay Devgn), a forgotten warrior of the Maratha army.

He is the Military Commander and friend of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj (Sharad Kelkar), founder of the Maratha Empire. This picture will take you on a journey of the trials and difficulties of Tanaji.

Tanaji is on a quest to recapture the Kondhana fortress.

It is tightly guarded by ruthless Udaybhan Rathod (Saif Ali Khan), the Royal Guard of Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb (Luke Kenny).

Actress Kajol picturises Savitri Bai Malusare, the wife of Tanaji.

Tanhaji (2020) features four songs. These tracks include ‘Shankara Re Shankara’, ‘Maay Bhavani’, ‘Ghamand Kar’ and ‘Tinak Tinak’.

This biographical period action movie is yet to win accolades. However, it has been widely popular with the viewers and critics.

More so, critics have had a liking for factors such as action, acting, cinematography, visual effects and art direction.

View the film trailer for Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior here:


Overall, it was interesting to see which Indian movie did the best at the box office per year.

Although the films mentioned in this article are the highest-grossing titles of each year, it does not necessarily mean it was the best movie of that year.

We look forward to seeing what Indian movies this entire 21st century has to bring!

Please be aware that the Indian Rupees (Rs) figures used are representative of the year the Indian movie was released and the Great British Pounds (£) figures are representative of July 2020.

Himesh is a Business and Management student. He has a strong passion for all-things Marketing related as well as Bollywood, football and sneakers. His motto is: "Think positively, attract positivity!"

Images courtesy of IMDb, Pinterest Times of India, Twitter and Yash Raj Films.

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