Watching films is one of the best forms of entertainment in India. A lot of time, effort, and money go into the making of each film. Every decade has seen its share of expensive films. If it was Mughal-E-Azam in 1960s, it could be Enthiran (Tamil) in the first decade of the twenty-first century.
It is always difficult to list out the most expensive movies ever made because of the inflation factor. Statistics is always fun. You can compare it to the ‘bikini’ in Indian movies because what they reveal is interesting and what they conceal is important. Therefore, you will always find the latest movies doing the rounds irrespective of the quality of the film.
Here is the list of the Top Ten Most Expensive Movies ever made in India as on date until 2017-2018 without adjusting for the inflation factor.
11. Sultan (Hindi – 2016) – Yashraj Films
Budget – Rs 140 Crores
Worldwide Earnings – 584.15 Crores
Released in 2016, the romantic-sports drama starring Salman Khan and Anushka Sharma in the lead roles focuses on the issue of women wrestlers making their way into the typical male bastion. This film is a beautiful depiction of the problems faced by female wrestlers from the Jat Community in Haryana. Costing around Rs 140 crores to make, this film did great business with a worldwide grossing in the range of Rs 584.15 crores.
10. Kick (Hindi – 2014) – Nadiadwala Grandson Entertainment
Budget – Rs 140 Crores
Worldwide Earnings – Rs 351.80 Crores
It is a tie at the No. 10 position. An official remake of the Telugu movie, Kick, this entertainer stars Salman Khan in the lead role with active support from Jacqueline Fernandez and Randeep Hooda. Released in 2014, this is an out and out entertainment movie (Masala movie in local terminology). Made at a cost of Rs 140 crores, this was one of the most expensive films ever made at that time. The film industry trusts Salman Khan to deliver the goods every time. This film not only recovered its cost but also went on to earn Rs 351.80 crores worldwide.
09. Bajirao Mastani (Hindi – 2015) – SLB Films
Budget – Rs 145 Crores
Worldwide Earnings – Rs 358.2 Crores
Historical films are always expensive to make. You need to recreate the scenes perfectly. They require grand, pompous sets. These can set back the producer’s budget by a great deal. Sanjay Leela Bhansali is not a person known for cutting corners. This historical romantic film, Bajirao Mastani, starring Ranveer Singh, Deepika Padukone, and Priyanka Chopra in the lead roles has its roots in the glorious history of the Maratha Kingdom. Taking over 15 years to finalize, this film finally saw the light of day with a budget of Rs 145 crores. However, this film made fantastic amends by generating revenue of Rs 358.20 crores worldwide.
08. Happy New Year (Hindi – 2014) – Red Chillies Entertainment
Budget – Rs 150 Crores
Worldwide Earnings – Rs 345.26 Crores
You do not have to be politically correct to make a hit film. The industry allows you this leeway. In spite of the critics giving this film a poor rating, this film managed to rake in the moolah. You can attribute this fact to the charm of the leading man, Shahrukh Khan. Released in 2014 under his home banner, Happy New Year has Deepika Padukone, Abhishek Bachchan, Boman Irani, and Jackie Shroff in pivotal roles. Based on a diamond heist centered round an International Dance Competition, this film earned RS 345.26 crores worldwide after investing Rs 150 crores in its making. This qualifies the film to be a hit.
07. Bang Bang (Hindi – 2014) – Fox Star Studios
Budget – Rs 160 Crores
Worldwide Earnings – Rs 340 Crores
At No 7 in the list, we have this adaptation of Hollywood movie, Knight and Day. Bang Bang boasts of the most beautiful looking lead pairs in Hrithik Roshan and Katrina Kaif. Receiving mixed reviews from critics, this film has some of the most breathtaking stunts from Hrithik Roshan. He literally carries the film on his shoulders with his intense looks. Matching him stride for stride is Katrina Kaif with her eternal beauty. Costing around Rs 160 crores, this film is a worldwide hit with earnings in the range of Rs 340 crores.
06. Dilwale (Hindi – 2015) – Red Chillies Entertainment and Rohit Shetty Productions
Budget – Rs 165 Crores
Worldwide Earnings – Rs 394 Crores
You have Dilwale at No 6 in the rankings. Shahrukh Khan comes back to weave his magic of charm all over the Bollywood film industry. This time he has his old flame, Kajol back trying to recreate the chemistry of their Kuch Kuch Hota Hai days. Lending active support is the young rising star Varun Dhawan. You can always trust a Rohit Shetty – Shahrukh combination to be liberal in their spending. However, the best aspect of the film is that Shahrukh has the international fan following to recover the costs. This film has worldwide earnings of Rs 394 crores as against an initial budget of Rs 165 crores.
05. Dhoom 3 (Hindi – 2013) – Yashraj Films
Budget – Rs 175 Crores
Worldwide Earnings – Rs 585 Crores
You do not need an original script to make a hit in Bollywood. At No 5, we have the third installment in the Dhoom series starring Aamir Khan and Katrina Kaif as its leading pair. Abhishek Bachchan and Uday Chopra portray their usual roles in this series. Inspired by the Hollywood classic, Prestige, Dhoom 3 was the most expensive Indian film ever made at that point in time. The cat-and-mouse games between the police and the thieves continue in this installment as well. With a budget of Rs 175 crores, this film was a runaway hit with gross worldwide earnings of Rs 585 crores.
04. Prem Ratan Dhan Payo (Hindi – 2015) – Fox Star Studios and Rajshri Productions
Budget – Rs 180 Crores
Worldwide Earnings – Rs 432 Crores
Salman Khan is back in the role of ‘Prem’ in this Rajshri Productions film, Prem Ratan Dhan Payo. After giving two blockbusters in Maine Pyar Kiya and Hum Aapke Hain Koun, this actor-director pair of Salman Khan and Sooraj Barjatya is back to woo the families back to the theaters. Sonam Kapoor completes the romantic angle to the quintessential Prem in this runaway hit. Salman Khan has the habit of delivering blockbusters, right, left, and center. You can classify this film as a blockbuster because of its worldwide earning of Rs 432 crores against the initial budget of Rs 180 crores.
03. I – (Tamil – 2015) – Aascar Films Pvt Ltd
Budget – Rs 180 Crores
Worldwide Earnings – Rs 240 Crores
Until now, you had seen only Hindi films in the most expensive bracket. Naturally, Bollywood is the biggest film industry in India with a far-reaching audience. One cannot expect the regional language films to have such huge budgets unless they are as outstanding as the Top 3 on this list. Shankar has a great reputation of making big budget films. At one point in time, his Enthiran was the most expensive film made in India. However, ‘I’, a romantic thriller with Vikram in the lead role has shattered the glass ceiling. With P C Sreeram as the cinematographer and the genius A R Rahman to provide the music, you should expect the film to have a tremendous budget. In spite of having a monstrous budget of Rs 180 crores, this film is an average hit with worldwide earnings of Rs 240 crores.
02. Baahubali – The Beginning (Tri-lingual) – Arka Media Works
Budget – Rs 200 Crores
Worldwide Earnings – Rs 650 Crores
This historical film, famous for its magnificent sets, should occupy the top spot as far as budget is concerned. Directed by S S Rajamouli, this tri-lingual film (released simultaneously in Telugu, Tamil, and Hindi) has Prabhas, Rana Daggubati, Sathyaraaj, and Ramya Krishnan in prominent roles. Tamannah completes the romantic angle. The first part of this two-part series (second one is in the making) has received positive critical acclaim all over the world. Having an original budget of Rs 200 crores, this film is the topmost grosser in the history of Indian cinema until date with worldwide gross earnings of Rs 650 crores. In spite of all the ‘hoopla’ over its achievement, this film ranks No 2 in the list.
01. Robot 2.0 (Bi-lingual) – Lyca Productions
Budget – Rs 350 Crores plus (Still growing)
Worldwide Earnings – NA, Film Not Released Yet
This film has a tremendous cast. With Shankar as the director, A R Rahman as its music director, you have the inimitable Rajnikant as its lead actor along with the Boss of Bollywood today, Akshay Kumar for the first time in a negative role. This star cast can deliver the goods irrespective of any budget. This film is poised to break all the records in Bollywood history until date. As on date, the film is still not complete with an incurred budget in excess of Rs 350 crores. This film rightfully occupies the Pole Position today.
Records are made to be broken. Some film in the future will break this record. We have not considered the inflation factor. This makes us miss on classics like Mughal – E – Azam that had a budget of Rs 1.25 crores in 1960. That was an astronomical amount at that point in time. Remember that the value of $1 was Rs 4.77 at that time. Today, I need not specify the conversion rate of the US Dollar. This list is perfect as on date. Tomorrow, you may have some other film sneaking in between.