There are hits. There are flops. And then there are sleeper hits. While several films managed a good opening, there was a handful of them which emerged as slow winners. They were made on humble budgets, did not boast of any big superstar, and yet managed to receive a great word of mouth publicity. We list films which became sleeper hits at the box office in 2018.
Mulk is a courtroom drama directed by Anubhav Sinha.
Anubhav Sinha’s Mulk clashed with a bigger film, Fanney Khan. And while the latter bit the dust, Mulk slowly made its way and won hearts for its hard-hitting plot and a strong message. The story of a Muslim family who fights to regain its lost honour in a Hindu locality was portrayed by actors Rishi Kapoor, Taapsee Pannu, Neena Gupta, Ashutosh Rana and Manoj Pahwa with utmost conviction.
Actor Sohum Shah has also produced Tumbbad.
The trailer of Tumbbad might not have created enough buzz, but good reviews boosted the film. Sohum Shah as Vinayak is Bollywood’s best discovery this year.
Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety
Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety reunited Pyaar Ka Punchnama 2 actors Kartik Aaryan, Nushrat Bharucha and Sunny Singh.
Many thought it was on the lines of Pyaar Ka Punchnama. But soon, the audience realised it was different. A fun tale of a man caught up between his best friend and his fiancee, the film starred Kartik Aaryan, Nushrat Bharucha and Sunny Singh. This feel-good entertainer had colourful sets, foot-tapping music and a great ensemble cast. Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety gained pace days after its release and ended up crossing Rs 100 crore.
Mukkabaaz had actor Vineet Kumar Singh playing the main lead.
Not many thought it would be a love story weaved into a sports-drama. This Anurag Kashyap directorial was nothing like his other release this year- Manmarziyan. Mukkabaaz, set in a small town, dealt with simple characters and their daily life hardships. It found more takers days after its release.
Trust Sriram Raghavan to give us the best crime thrillers. The only deal being his films take time to seep in and find its place at the theaters. This is exactly what happened with Andhadhun too. The dark comedy, starring Ayushmann Khurrana, Tabu and Radhika Apte, took time to settle down at the box office. However, once it did, the film continued to rule the box office for months!
Stree, directed by Amar Kaushik, received a thumbs-up from audience and critics alike.
Many claimed it was inspired by the urban legend ‘Nale Ba’. Despite an exciting trailer, Stree opened to low numbers and took time to gather momentum. But soon the horror-comedy won hearts with its unique storyline and great performances by actors like Rajkummar Rao, Aparshakti Khurrana and Pankaj Tripathi. Stree crossed the Rs 100-crore mark at the box office.
Varun Dhawan starrer October also marked the Bollywood debut of Banita Sandhu.
A film sans any commercial appeal, October had a slow start upon its release. Here was another script picked right by Varun Dhawan!
Vicky Kaushal and Alia Bhatt played husband and wife in Raazi.
What happens to a film with a female protagonist, and a female director? Either the audience thinks it deals with feminism or an absence of a male superstar becomes a risky proposition. Raazi took few days to settle down at the theaters. The Alia Bhatt starrer now finds itself in the list of best films of 2018.
Badhaai Ho was Ayushmann Khurrana’s second hit film after Andhahdun in 2018.
Its quirky trailer had already won hearts, and hence expectations were running high. But to club it with other massive hits of 2018 was still a far cry for many days post its release. But the slice-of-life comedy-drama impressed with its relatable storytelling and some outstanding performances. People soon realised it was indeed a family entertainer, despite dealing with a subject many would still feel awkward about.