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SANTA IN B-TOWN!

Santa Claus came visiting bollywood through the year, showering box-office goodies on films big and small, formulaic and fresh. which is your fave film of 2012? Tell t2@abp.in

THE CENTURY CLUB

Hrithik Roshan became Vijay Dinanath Chauhan in Karan Johar’s remake of the Amitabh Bachchan original. Its opening record of Rs 25 crore on R-Day was broken only by Ek Tha Tiger on I-Day. Sanjay Dutt’s brute force as Kancha Cheena, Rishi Kapoor’s menace as Rauf Lala and Katrina Kaif’s boob juggle in Chikni Chameli took it to Rs 120 crore. The bloodspill stopped it from going further. Sajid Khan kept his promise of his star-studded comedy joining the first film of the franchise in the century club by notching up Rs 112 crore at the box office. Inanity pays.
Akshay Kumar’s second Rs 100-crore hit of the year after Housefull 2 drew viewers for its good vs evil plot, the loud laughs, the gravity-defying action and Sajid-Wajid’s chartbusters. Also starring Sonakshi ‘love handles’ Sinha, Chinta ta ta’d its way to Rs 113 crore. This Rohit Shetty film inspired by Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s Gol Maal was not a patch on the original but Ajay Devgn’s Hindi-to-English laughter lines helped it touch the Rs 100-crore line.
Salman Khan’s star power and Katrina Kaif’s dream run at the box office ensured that Ek Tha Tiger opened huge — the record opener in Bollywood — and remained big. The final figure? A massive Rs 199.6 crore, within sniffing distance of 3 Idiots’s Rs 202 crore. Inanity pays. Yash Chopra’s swansong was propped up by a brooding Shah Rukh Khan, an assured Katrina Kaif and a zesty Anushka Sharma. Opening on Diwali, SRK fans made sure that Jab Tak Hai Jaan checked into the Rs 100-crore club within 11 days of release. And in no time it reached Rs 122 crore.
Ajay Devgn took on SRK on Diwali and still scored with this mad comic caper set in Punjab. With Salman chipping in with an item song and Sanjay Dutt, Sonakshi Sinha and Juhi Chawla turning in solid support acts, SOS has laughed its way to
Rs 105 crore.

the game-changers

Tigmanshu Dhulia bravely — and at times brilliantly — directed Irrfan Khan in this real-life story of a runner-turned-rebel. Powered by viewer buzz, the film with a heart budgeted at just Rs 8 crore netted Rs 35 crore! Run, Irrfan run — from international stadiums to the Chambal ravines. Even a few years ago, the story of a pregnant woman in search of her husband would not have found light of day in a Bolly of and by the big. But trust a Bong to say “cholbe na” and do it differently. Director Sujoy Ghosh not only placed his thriller in Calcutta but also signed on a host of Tolly faces to give us a real edge-of-the-seat ride. Vidya as Bidya Bagchi, Saswata as Bob Biswas and Parambrata as Rana took this
Rs 8-crore film to Rs 75 crore. Take a bow, Bangali.
A film on sperm donation. Huh? With two newcomers. Huh? A hit moneyspinner. Ha! Vicky Donor, directed by Shoojit Sircar, produced by John Abraham and starring Ayushmann Khurrana and Yami Gautam, proved every formula wrong. The fun film with a message struck gold by spending
Rs 5 crore and making nine times that. More power to the Bongs in Bolly, we say!
Anurag Kashyap set his gutsy tale of coalmine politics in the Bihar heartland to come up with a gangster saga — in two parts! — that even managed to put the women in the forefront in a man’s world. Bollywood got Nawazuddin Siddiqui (after a trailer as Khan in Kahaani) and the two films together pocketed Rs 51 crore.
Two friends in love with the same man may be a plotline as old as Bolly itself, but Cocktail scored with the new Indian woman — Deepika Padukone’s Veronica in the first half. She drank and she danced, she screwed and she peed... oh-so naturally. Diana Penty made a very pretty debut, Saif Ali Khan was okay but old and Dimple Kapadia was a riot. Cocktail stirred up a cool Rs 75 crore. It belongs to the list above, having netted Rs 106 crore, but India’s entry to the Oscars was a real game-changer. Anurag Basu took a deaf-mute boy and an autistic girl to spin a heartwarming tale of love and friendship, set in Darjeeling and Calcutta. Ranbir Kapoor proved that he is the best young Bolly actor in years if not decades. Priyanka Chopra was a revelation. Ileana D’Cruz’s Bolly debut was an eye-catcher. Another Bong triumph in B-town!
Akshay Kumar as God and Paresh Rawal as Atheist pulled off this laughter-laced attack on the modern relationship between man and his maker. Based on the Gujarati play Kanji Virudh Kanji, this was a word-of-mouth winner raking in Rs 70 crore. A delightful tale of a woman’s triumph against everyday odds. Sridevi’s feel-good comeback directed by first-timer Gauri Shinde notched up over Rs 40 crore. Our scene? When an Indian homemaker and a French chef connect without words.

the rest

Trust the Bhatts to come up with a few big earners every year. The sequel to their 2008 blockbuster set the tone for Vishesh Films in 2012. At the end of four weeks, the Emraan Hashmi-Esha Gupta-Randeep Hooda film notched up Rs 65 crore. Pornstar Sunny Leone made her Bolly debut with this Pooja Bhatt-directed erotic thriller. Sunny’s body and Calcutta boy Arkopravo Mukherjee’s beats helped the Rs 7-crore film pocket a neat Rs 35 crore.
Yet another Bhatt money-spinner, Raaz 3 had Vikram Bhatt as director with oomphy Bipasha Basu in a negative role. Emraan Hashmi kissed his way to Rs 87 crore with a film made on a Rs 25-crore budget. Karan Johar’s campus caper with fresh faces and foot-tapping music worked well with the yuppie crowd. Student of the Year made stars out of Varun Dhawan, Siddharth Malhotra and Alia Bhatt and Disco deewane-d to Rs 70 crore.
Vikram Bhatt followed up his 2008 horror fest with another tale of haunted mansions, restless spirits and black magic. This Aftab Shivdasani starrer made on a budget of just Rs 9 crore was the surprise hit of the year, taking home a creditable Rs 21 crore. Despite the loopy second half, Habib Faisal’s Romeo & Juliet-inspired tale of doomed love set in the Uttar Pradesh heartland won hearts with a feisty Parineeti Chopra and an earnest Arjun Kapoor, who debuted with this Yash Raj production. Amit Trivedi’s music — led by Pareshaan — was a plus. Ishaqzaade made close to Rs 50 crore and put Parineeti in the big bracket.
Aamir Khan returned three years after 3 Idiots with a supernatural suspense drama that kept us guessing. The twist at the end may not have worked for many, but that hasn’t stopped Talaash from collecting Rs 93 crore in just two weeks. The Reema Kagti film continues to play with riveting acts from Kareena, Rani, Aamir and Nawazuddin. “Salman Khan as Chulbul Pandey”. That writing on the screen says it all. The Arbaaz Khan-directed sequel to Dabangg is a carnival for Salman fans playing at a screen near you with Sonakshi as Rajjo and Kareena as Miss Fevicol pitching in. Opening weekend score?
Rs 60 crore-plus. Target? Rs 202 crore!