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DDLJ is Bollywood’s second highest grosser of all time

It’s been 19 years since Raj and Simran first enthralled audiences with their love story in Yash Raj Films’ (YRF’s) Dilwaale Dulhaniya Le Jaayenge, or as it came to be known later DDLJ.

The film, apart from being one of the most successful projects out of the YRF stable, recently earned the distrinction of running for 1,000 uninterrupted weeks in Mumbai’s Maratha Mandir. But what many don’t know is that the film is also the second highest grosser when one adjusts its box office earnings in 1995 to the present day.

Netting Rs 61 crore when it was released 19 years back, the Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol starrer’s adjusted box office is Rs 302 crore as of today. 

Salman Khan and Madhuri Dixit’s romance saga of 1994 Hum Aapke Hain Kaun is the highest earner with Rs 354 crore in adjusted box office earnings.

Maratha Mandir currently plays one show a day (morning 11.30 am show) with an average ticket price of around Rs 60 through the week. The business agreement between the studio and the theatre is the rental based model. The occupancy for the show averages at 40% for the 1,000 weeks, with some weekends actually having a “Housefull” board outside the booking window at the Mumbai Central movie hall. 

Industry estimates figure that the movie would have received at least 10 million (one crore) audience footfalls and the collections would be in the range of Rs 14 to 16 crore. This takes the movie’s actual collection over the past 19 years to Rs 77 crore approximately.

Movie Release year Original lifetime collection (Rs crore) Inflation adjusted collection (till date in Rs crore)
Hum Aapke Hain Koun 1994 70 355
Dilwaale Dulhaniya Le Jaayenge 1995 61 302
Sholay 1975 15 187
Mughal-e-Azam 1960 5.5 153
Mother India 1957 4 135
Source Independent Distributor and Box office Analayst Suniel Wadhwa 

DDLJ, which marked the debut of Aditya Chopra as a director, beat GP Sippy’s Sholay to become the longest running film at a theatre. Until then, Sholay held the honour, having been screened at Mumbai’s Minerva theatre for five years. Sholay, which released in 1975, attained cult status with its dialogues and songs becoming popular. The film made Rs 15 crore on release and its adjusted earning is estimated at Rs 187 crore.

Set in Europe and Punjab, DDLJ was well received in India and abroad. The movie made around Rs 10 crore on the international circuit.

Analysts believe that the movie’s evergreen nature comes not only from the lead pair’s chemistry, but also from the treatment of the love story. The dialogues, by Javed Siddiqui and the film’s music largely lent to its success. The movie’s marketing was also iconic with images of a fedora donning SRK carrying Kajol over his shoulder as both exchange mischievous looks imprinted in the audience’s memory.

Suniel Wadhwa, an independent distributor and box office analyst says, “You can make a movie about anything, as long as it has a hook to hang the advertising on. Cinema has the power to make audience not feel lonely, even when you are. Audience are drawn to filmmaking that can transport them which can immerse them, put you there.”

The studio behind the movie celebrated the 1,000-week milestone with the launch of a new trailer and many properties of multiplex giant PVR also played special shows of DDLJ. The lead pair and members of the cast have been appearing on television shows and interviews across news and entertainment channels to commemorate the occasion. At a recent event held by YRF, SRK and Kajol unveiled a coffee table book on the making of DDLJ penned by Aditya Chopra.

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