This man has quite a legacy. Being the elder son of veteran film maker Yash Chopra, Aditya Chopra naturally inherited the luxuries of the Chopra clan. A Bollywood mogul company of sorts, Aditya Chopra ventured into film production soon after the overwhelming success of his film Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge. Currently serving as the Chairman of the YRF gold mine, the company itself was established in 1976 when Yash Chopra moved out of his elder brother‘s production company BR Films. Though it is Yash Chopra’s name that gave the company a stable ground, Aditya Chopra’s hard work elevated the banner to the position that it holds today. With his flawless choice of witty scripts, this man’s sense of entertainment and what works with the audiences has invariably proved correct. On the eve of this man’s 42nd birthday, Koimoi brings to you his journey of how he kept true to his legacy and reached YRF at the zenith of success where it stands today.
Aditya Chopra moved into film production with Shah Rukh Khan, Madhuri Dixit and Karisma Kapoor starrer Dil Toh Pagal Hai. One of Yash Chopra’s contemporary masterpieces, the film was a beauty in its simplicity and heart wrenching value. The film was a superhit and earned 28 crores at the domestic box office.
Always on the hunt for good scripts, Aditya Chopra once again moved to film production with Mere Yaar Ki Shaadi Hai. Cating his brother Uday Chopra and Jimmy Shergill, the film was the launch vehicle of Tulip Joshi. The film was an average grosser and earned a meager amount of 5.75 crores at the domestic box office. The same year he also produced the Hrithik Roshan, Rani Mukerji and Kareena Kapoor starrer Mujhse Dosti Karoge. The film was a flop at the box office. Earning only 10.25 crores, it could not even earn back the investment made on it.
While 2002 was a dull time for Chopra, 2004 gained back his sturdy position again. He produced three films this year. The Saif Ali Khan and Rani Mukerji starrer Hum Tum was declared a hit. Based on the classic Hollywood Romantic Comedy ‘When Harry Met Sally’, the film earned 21 crores at the domestic box office. The same year Dhoom frenzy struck the Indian Entertainment markets. Speedy bikes racing against the cops, this film gave a stylish dimension to the genre of Bollywood thrillers. Earning a cumulative of 29 crores at the box office, Dhoom was declared a hit with John Abraham standing out as the most irresistible thief in the history of Hindi cinema. Following this, Yash Chopra’s epic directorial Veer Zaara managed to escalate the revenues of the banner to a higher mark. Earning 40 crores at the domestic box office, the film starring Shah Rukh Khan and Priety Zinta, along with Rani Mukerji is still remembered for its classic grandeur. Overall 2004 made up for a low 2002 Chopra had suffered.
In 2005 too, luck maintained its favorable stance on Aditya. With two striking films from YRF’s kitty that year, both performed commendably well. Cashing on the sparkling chemistry of actress Rani Mukerji and actor Abhishek Bachchan, Bunty Aur Babli managed to become a hit by earning 35.75 crores at the domestic box office. His next release brought into mainstream Bollywood the rare concept of live-in relationships (by the standards those days). Playing safe by placing the story in Australia, Salaam Namaste was received favorably by the audiences. Starring Saif Ali Khan and Preity Zinta in the main roles, the film was declared a semi hit at the domestic box office with its adequately good earnings of 25.75 crores.
An excellent year for YRF, well mostly, three major films came out of the company that year. Dhoom 2 starring the same cast of its prequel saw Hrithik Roshan playing the sleek thief in it. Raking up an overwhelming amount of 80.25 crores, the film was declared a blockbuster. The year’s next release Fanaa brought on screen together the unusual lead pair of Aamir Khan and Kajol. The film was declared a super hit and earned 52 crores at the box office. Riding high on success that year, it was a stark low when Kabir Khan’s Kabul Express failed to live up to its expectations. Set in Afghanistan, the story was a humane journey of two Indian journalists trying to get an insight into the life of Taliban, in times of turmoil when American forces are on a mission to eradicate them from the country all together. The film despite a brilliantly fresh premise was a flop and earned a measly sum of 9.75 crores only.
The moroseness that began in 2006, continued into 2007 as well. Tara Rum Pum starring the hit Jodi of Rani Mukerji and Saif Ali Khan despite being slammed by critics for being an unreal and tedious film, managed to become a semi hit by raking up an income of 35.02 crores. However the year’s next release was Shimit Amin’s Chak De India starring Shah Rukh Khan. Shimit, who has worked closely with celebrated international director Mira Nair delivered a blockbuster for YRF. Earning 67.69 crores, the film was a magnanimous hit, mostly for SRK whose undeterred acting earned him accolades from critics. However, the next two releases were dull that year. Rani’s Laaga Chunari Mein Daag was a damp show and earned a low sum of 19.20 crores. The next release Aaja Nachle that served as iconic actress Madhuri Dixit’s comeback film flopped too. With a small income of 14.85 crores, the film unexpectedly had a doomed fate at the domestic box office.
YRF again tried to put together the hit Hum Tum pair of Rani and Saif in Thoda Pyaar Thoda Magic. A magical fairytale based on the 1965 classic The Sound of Music, the film earned a scantly amount of 21.50 crores at the box office. The next film that year was Ranbir Kapoor’s Bachna Ae Haseeno. The film was a semi hit and earned 36.64 crores. However, the expectations from the film were higher which it failed to level.
YRF had a mixed bag in 2009 as well. Though the John Abraham and Katrina Kaif starrer New York had great collections and went on to become a hit by earning 42 crores, the subsequent films Dil Bole Hadippa starring Rani and Shahid Kapoor and Rocket Singh – Salesman Of The Year starring Ranbir Kapoor both fared below average at the box office. Earning 23.66 crores and 20.22 crores, the films had a dissatisfactory performance at the box office.
After a slow year in 2009, 2010 was mediocre year for YRF. Neil Nitin Mukesh and Deepika Padukone starrer Lafangey Parindey earned an average amount of 22.71 crore at the box office. The year continued into the next release, Badmaash Company that had Anushka Sharma and Shahid Kapoor in lead roles. It fared above average at the box office and earned 33.02 crores. The year’s third YRF release was Ranveer Singh and Anushka Sharma’s Band Baaja Baarat. Though the film struggled to reach above average collections of 23.31 crores, critics praised the film for being a quirky and realistic romantic story. Anushka and Ranveer both scored for magnetic chemistry and strong acting.
Ranveer Singh and Anushka Sharma continued to sizzle the silver screens with their chemistry next year as well but it was met with the same fate again. Ladies Vs Ricky Bahl had an above average earning at the domestic box office with 37 crores. The year’s next release was a romantic comedy starring Imran Khan, Katrina Kaif and Ali Zafar which again had an above average earning of 58 crores at the box office. Not having a substantial hit to their credit for 2 years, YRF was facing a little downhill time.
The previous year’s misery was all rectified in one straight shot. Beginning with Ishaqzaade, the film launched actors Parineeti Chopra and Arjun Kapoor catapulting them into fame. Delivering a hit, the film earned a good lifetime collections of 45 crores. The next two releases had a magnificent performance. Salman Khan-Katrina Kaif starrer Kabir Khan’s Ek Tha Tiger was a super hit earning 198 crores. Joining the distinguished 100 crore club, the film was one of the year’s top grosser. October was an unfortunate time for Chopra personally as he lost his father few days before the release of their next film Jab Tak Hai Jaan. The film which was to be the veteran director’s last directorial venture was packed with grandeur and beauty. Declared a Superhit, the film earned a lifetime total of 120.65 crores. Starring SRK, Katrina and Anushka in lead roles, the film was a legendary man’s last work and hence will remain memorable!
Yash Raj Films would be unrecognizable without Aditya Chopra. The man’s sweat and blood has gone into building the brand into a magnanimous success. Attaining the exquisite position as one of India’s most elite entertainment companies, Aditya Chopra has for years personified YRF. While his father, Late Yash Chopra was alive he remained a more passive hand behind the success of his ventures, but all along YRF films have attributed their fortunes to Aditya’s acute understanding of cinema.
Koimoi takes the cue and extends our best wishes to one of India’s most reputed entertainment barons – Happy Birthday Aditya Chopra!
N.B. This Article is based on Aditya Chopra as a Producer. Hence his Directorial Ventures like Mohabattein, DDLJ, RNBDJ have not been included.