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Is This Bollywood's Current Favourite?

April 02, 2024 14:00 IST
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Of late, Bollywood is showing a lot of interest in planes, the commercial and fighter varieties.

And audiences seem to love it too!

Crew, starring Tabu, Kareena Kapoor Khan and Kriti Sanon, sees the women play air hostesses, and it has become the third highest opener of 2024 (Number 1 is a flight movie too!). It has earned Rs 36.5 crore (Rs 365 million) at the box office so far, and is a hit already.

Joginder Tuteja looks at other films in this genre.


Box office collection: Rs 215 crore/Rs 2.15 billion

Yes, the Number 1 opener of 2024 so far is Fighter.

Set against fighter planes, the Hrithik Roshan-Deepika Padukone starrer seems to be inspired by the Top Gun movies.

It is also the biggest budget Bollywood film in this space.

With the kind of merits this Siddharth Anand directorial boasts of, it should have done much better business.


Box office collection: Rs 75.65 crore/Rs 756.5 million

Based on a true story, Neerja is the only clean superhit that Bollywood has seen in this genre.

Directed by Ram Madhwani, the film saw a good performance by Sonam Kapoor, who played the titular role.

Based on a hijack story that rattled the nation in 1986, Neerja worked because of the strong emotional quotient.


Box office collection: Rs 40 crore/Rs 400 million (expected lifetime)

Another film centered on a hijack gone wrong, Yodha is still playing in theatres.

The Sidharth Malhotra-Disha Patani starrer boasts of some really good mid-air action but its biggest strength lies in the film's suspense.


Runway 34
Box office collection: Rs 33 crore/Rs 330 million

Runway 34 deserved to be a good success at the box office, but it released immediately post-pandemic.

A film where the narrative moved back and forth, as suspense surrounded the real motive of a pilot played by Ajay Devgn, the film also featured Amitabh Bachchan in a key role.

The film didn't do well in theatres, but worked well on OTT.


Bell Bottom
Box office collection: Rs 31 crore/Rs 310 million

When the entire world was reeling under the pandemic, Akshay Kumar took the bold step of shooting an entire film at one stretch.

The idea was to revive the industry and it was good to see a well-made product, with a good story backing it up, arrive in theatres.

The film told the story of a hijacked flight, and how an undercover agent rescues the passengers.


Box office collection: Rs 12 crore/Rs 120 million

Before Runway 34, Ajay Devgn had worked in another film that told a story in the skies.

Zameen marked Rohit Shetty's directorial debut with Abhishek Bachchan in a key role.

A hijack drama, Zameen was a well made, action thriller, and a decent success at the box office.


Box office collection: Rs 5 crore/Rs 50 million

Shiney Ahuja had starred in a hijack thriller titled well, Hijack. Esha Deol starred in the film too.

The reviews weren't good, and the film failed to make an impression in theatres.


Box office collection: Rs 5 crore/Rs 50 million

The long-delayed Tejas, starring Kangana Ranaut, was a patriotic drama, but the exciting moments were far and few and audiences didn't quite fancy it.


Box office collection: Rs 5 crore/Rs 50 million

In 2021, Actor-Producer Mohit Chaddha made an interesting film titled Flight.

Made on a shoestring budget, Chaddha claimed that the plane was the hero of the film, while he played the second lead. It didn't do well at the time, but it has found traction on OTT.


Operation Valentine
Box office collection: Rs 2 crore/Rs 20 million (Hindi) 

Like Fighter, the recent release Operation Valentine had a strong deja vu of the Top Gun movies.

Telugu actor Varun Tej and Manushi Chhillar tried to make a pan-India film, but it was a disaster at the box office.

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