In the film industry, they say, 'You can never predict when it comes to audience's choice.' You know why? We have one of the biggest examples for you and it happened back in 2001!
Exactly 18 years ago, on June 15, 2001, two big films had released on the same day. One was Aamir Khan-starrer Lagaan and the other was Sunny Deol-starrer Gadar Ek Prem Katha. It was the biggest clash at that time, with two big stars coming with two big period films - one set during the British rule in India and the other one set during the partition era. The clash carried a lot of speculations regarding which film will do better and the expectations of media were higher on Lagaan.
As the films released, to everyone's surprise, Gadar had more than double the audience coming to cinema halls as compared to Lagaan. People preferred Gadar despite the fact that Lagaan was critically acclaimed and was later nominated in the best foreign film category at the Oscars. It was the third Indian film to make it to the final five at the Oscars. On the other hand, the hype around the Sunny Deol-starrer was so much among the audience here, especially in Punjab, that the first show of the film was at 6 in the morning and people were seen outside the cinema halls from 4:00 am waiting in queue to buy the tickets.
At the end, the lifetime collections of Gadar came to Rs 70 crore and the lifetime collections of Lagaan came to Rs 30 crore, approximately. Both the films were successful at the box office in their own way but Gadar turned out to be a blockbuster as far as numbers are concerned. However, like other classic films that we have been calculating vis-s-vis gold rate, what if we calculate the worth of these films today in terms of the value of the current gold price? The price for 10 grams of gold was Rs 4300 in the year 2001, and in 2019 it is Rs 33,950 for the same weight of gold. The difference in the gold price is huge and similarly the difference in today's value of both the films is gigantic.
As per our calculations, Lagaan's worth today will be Rs 233.37 crore (approximate) and Gadar's worth will be Rs 544.53 crore (approx), making it more than two times of Lagaan's numbers. Have you ever seen a bigger clash than this along with such a surprise? Hence, it is said correctly, you never know with audience! And they truly have the last word!
- Bhavi Gathani