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Does sex sell at the box office?

August 06, 2019 14:22 IST

Bollywood has stepped over the threshold of bold, erotic films and now makes movies about sex and its everyday problems.

Movies like Badhaai Ho, Shubh Mangal Savdhan, Vicky Donor and the recent Khaandaani Shafakhana explore sex and the issues that come with it without battling an eyelid.

The audiences seem to be loving this change.

So, just how well do these films work at the box office?

Joginder Tuteja looks at films/franchises with sex as the integral theme, and how well they do at the BO.

 

Khaandaani Shafakhana
Box office collection: Rs 5 crore (expected lifetime collection)
Verdict: Disaster
 

Khaandaani Shafakhana tried to bring sex out of the closet. 

It even had a song, Baat to karo, encouraging people to talk about sex.

But audiences were just not interested, even though the film did not have any uncomfortable visuals.

 

Badhaai Ho
Box office collection: Rs 138 crore
Verdict: Blockbuster

Badhaai Ho is the story of a middle-aged couple with grown-up sons, who accidentally conceive another child.

The movie asks a pertinent question: 'Should age be a restriction to have more kids?'

Director Amit Sharma told his story sensitively and won over the audiences.

 

The Dirty Picture
Box office collection: Rs 80 crore
Verdict: Superhit

Producer Ekta Kapoor and actor Vidya Balan did not shy away and went all out with erotic scenes, sexy outfits and direct references to sex in their film.

The Dirty Picture provided 'entertainment, entertainment, entertainment'.

 

Shubh Mangal Savdhan
Box office collection: Rs 43.11 crore
Verdict: Hit
 

Based on erectile dysfunction, this Ayushmann Khurrana and Bhumi Pednekar-starrer was the right mix of humour and drama, with direct and indirect references to sex.

Since there were no erotic visuals, it brought in the family audiences too.

 

Vicky Donor
Box office collection: Rs 41 crore
Verdict: Hit
 

Ayushmann Khurrana has been the flag-bearer of films that bring sex out of the closet, a trend he started with his debut film.

Vicky Donor was a light-hearted film about sperm donation.

It was a clean movie and the audiences loved it.

 

Hate Story
Box office collection: Rs 13.55 crore
Verdict: Average

Hate Story 2
Box office collection: Rs 28 crore
Verdict: Semi-hit

Hate Story 3
Box office collection: Rs 54.50 crore
Verdict: Hit

Hate Story IV
Box office collection: Rs 22.38 crore
Verdict: Flop

The longest running franchise, which revolved around sex and revenge, maintained the erotic quotient right through.

The first part worked and the sequel was a success as well. 

The third film did even better, but the fourth was a damp squib.

 

Murder
Box office collection: Rs 15 crore
Verdict: Superhit

Murder 2
Box office collection: Rs 48 crore
Verdict: Superhit

Murder 3
Box office collection: Rs 22.88 crore
Verdict: Flop

Mallika Sherawat's Murder was a huge success and paved the way for more such films.

The sequel, starring Jacqueline Fernandez, was a big hit too but the last one in the franchise -- with Aditi Rao Hydari and Sara Loren -- flopped.

 

Ragini MMS
Box office collection: Rs 11 crore
Verdict: Semi-hit

Ragini MMS 2
Box office collection: Rs 46 crore
Verdict: Hit
 

Considering the fact that Ragini MMS as well as its sequel were hits, it is surprising that producer Ekta Kapoor hasn't brought out a third instalment.

The first one started with a sexual encounter and worked well even though it didn't have much nudity.

In the second film, Sunny Leone went all out and ensured that audiences loved her.

 

Jism
Box office collection: Rs 8 crore
Verdict: Hit

Jism 2
Box office collection: Rs 35.19 crore
Verdict: 
Semi-hit 

When the very title of the film is Jism, you know what to expect.

A Pooja Bhatt creation, Jism had Bipasha Basu and John Abraham leading the cast.

Jism 2 was also successful, thanks to Sunny Leone taking over.

 

Lipstick Under My Burkha
Box office collection: Rs 19.25 crore
Verdict: Above average
 

Lipstick Under My Burkha explored sexual repression among women, and their empowerment.

The film had it all -- sex, visually explicit scenes, drama, dark humour.

Word of mouth, and the controversy surrounding the film, made it a talking point, and it did very well.

JOGINDER TUTEJA
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