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The Biggest Christmas Releases in Bollywood

Last updated on: December 21, 2011 18:18 IST

The Biggest Christmas Releases in Bollywood

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The year is almost over, but as Bollywood has taught us -- specifically over the last decade -- that Christmas is the time for the fat ladies sing. Along with Eid and Diwali, Christmas is the other big-ticket release window for the year, and with Shah Rukh Khan's Don 2 taking over screens this time, here's a look at 10 films that really made that window count.

In chronological order, here are Bollywood's biggest Christmas releases:

Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham (December 14, 2001)

Ten years ago, Karan Johar was among the first filmmakers to take advantage of the Christmas break by pitching his epic melodrama to families of all ages right around the time that schools closed and vacation time began.
 
The film, a drama of estrangement and reconciliation across generations, was lapped up by audiences and became a genuine blockbuster.

Image: A scene from Kabhie Khushi Kabhie Gham


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Munnabhai MBBS (December 19, 2003)

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Raju Hirani's directorial debut was thrown into the Christmas break by canny producer Vidhu Vinod Chopra, and there was something about Sanjay Dutt's Munna -- and perhaps his 'jaadu ki jhappi,' that enchanted embrace -- that clicked with the festive crowd, making the film a massive smash.
 
That said, Munnabhai would probably have worked any day of the year.

Image: A scene from Munnabhai MBBS


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LOC Kargil (December 26, 2003)

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JP Dutta's multistarrer war film was one of the longest films of the decade, weighing in at 255 minutes, more than four hours long.

Distributors possibly felt that the only way people could watch a film that long was on holiday, hence the release of this highly jingoistic film a day after Christmas.

It didn't get the reviews, but the film sure clicked with audiences.


Image: A scene from LOC Kargil


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Bluffmaster (December 16, 2005)

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Rohan Sippy's Bluffmaster was a charmer of a film, one that warmed us up to scenestealing supporting actors Riteish Deshmukh and Nana Patekar, the latter cast in refreshingly warm light, while giving us a leading man who knew who to pronounce 'cool.'
 
Abhishek Bachchan rapped and grooved and the film was a success that also won good reviews.

Image: A scene from Bluffmaster


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Taare Zameen Par (December 21, 2007)

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Conventional wisdom says never to take on a highly feasible commercial film with an arthouse little one, but Aamir Khan is all about making conventional wisdom look idiotic.
 
Taare Zameen Par, co-created by Amole Gupte, was Khan's directorial debut and the film about a child struggling with dyslexia won great reviews across the board and was, believe it or not, the sleeper hit of the year.

Image: A scene from Taare Zameen Par


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Welcome (December 27, 2007)

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This was the film TZP was up against, Anees Bazmee's follow up to his inexplicably successful No Entry.
 
Starring Akshay Kumar, Katrina Kaif, Anil Kapoor and Nana Patekar, the slapstick comedy connected -- in David Dhawan/Priyadarshan fashion -- with audiences in a big way, and was one of the year's top moneyspinners.

Image: A scene from Welcome


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Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi (December 12, 2008)

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It wasn't the biggest success of the year and was upstaged by Aamir's action film releasing a week later and marketed excellently, but there's always an audience for a Shah Rukh Khan film, no matter what the reviews say.
 
The Aditya Chopra film might not have satisfied fans and loyalists of the actor or the filmmaker, but Anushka Sharma began her Bollywood innings with a hit.

Image: A scene from Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi


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Ghajini (December 25, 2008)

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The formula we now see Salman Khan tearing into and others like Ajay Devgan exploiting -- that of taking a South Indian action hit and turning it into a very aggressively marketed Bollywood actioner -- began with Aamir taking on a weak and kitschy remake of Memento and making sure it became one of the biggest blockbusters in the history of our cinema.

Image: A scene from Ghajini


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3 Idiots (December 25, 2009)

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For a third year running, Aamir Khan wished his audiences a Merry Christmas, and for the third year running, they flocked to theatres as if Santa was handing out tickets.
 
Raju Hirani's 3 Idiots became not just one of the better reviewed films of the year, but also a film people connected with and went to watch again and again and again. The result was the biggest film, ever.

Image: A scene from 3 Idiots


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Tees Maar Khan (December 24, 2010)

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It didn't do well, no. But it did come with the hype, Farah Khan making her third film after two massively successful films, Akshay Kumar riding his wave and trying to bounce into the bigtime yet again, and, of course, Katrina Kaif dazzling us all with Shiela Ki Jawani.
 
So when we say it didn't do well, we still mean it had one of the best opening weekends of all time -- before it crashed, that is.

Image: A scene from Tees Maar Khan


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