The year 2012 saw the release of Kahaani which was a game changer for the Hindi Film industry. The Vidya Balan film raked in approximately 60 crores in its lifetime run at the Box-Office therefore becoming the highest grossing Hindi film of all time starring a female protagonist. The thriller fared better than a lot of bigger films that released in the same year like Agent Vinod, Joker, Teri Meri Kahani to name a few.
In the same year, another female centric film rocked at the Box-Office. The film is question was Sridevi’s comeback film, English Vinglish, which raked in approximately 40 crores in its lifetime run. The success of these two films prompted a lot of film-makers to break the norm of making conventional Hindi films with male protagonists. The producers and directors started making more films with female protagonist and the audience too accepted the films with open hearts. All the females devoid of the male stars that had good content struck gold at the Box-Office. As years passed by, more and more films with female stars in lead started getting made and a lot of them also found success. The industry started realizing that the female actresses are capable of carrying the films on their own shoulders and earn big bucks at the Box-Office.
Although the collections cannot be compared to big budget event films starring male superstars, they can easily be compared to the content driven films of major Bollywood stars. As years passed by, we saw the success of films like Mardaani (Rani Mukerji), Neerja (Sonam Kapoor), Queen (Kangana Ranaut), Mary Kom (Priyanka Chopra) and more recently Hichki (Rani Mukerji), Raazi (Alia Bhatt) and Veere Di Wedding (Kareena Kapoor/Sonam Kapoor). Even Ragini MMS 2 (Sunny Leone) succeeded at the Box-Office, but that had more to do with the bold content.
The last 5 years also saw the success of films like Piku and Tanu Weds Manu Franchise wherein accomplished actresses like Deepika Padukone and Kangana Ranaut were the face of the film, however the two were supported by male counterparts with reasonable fan-following in the Hindi belt. The producers have slowly started realizing that audience is looking to watch films that are entertaining, irrespective of the fact that it features a male protagonist or female protagonist.
Recently, there are reports about Deepika Padukone featuring in a big budget female superhero film and if that film indeed happens, it would truly be another landmark for the Hindi film industry. The film in question would become the first ever female superhero film of India and if it succeeds at the ticket window, it would pave way for a lot other films with female protagonists. Well, times have now changed and the industry might well just see an era wherein female would be in a position to command equal pay as the men. Like they say, “Equal Pay has to be commanded and not demanded” and the Box-Office collections of female centric films would make the female counter-parts command that position. Here’s a look at how major female centric films have fared at the Box-Office since 2012:
Kahaani: 59.26 crores
Heroine: 44.25 crores
English Vinglish: 40.00 crores
Queen: 61.00 crores
Ragini MMS 2: 47.00 crores
Mardaani: 36.00 crores
Mary Kom: 64.00 crores
Neerja: 75.61 crores
Hichki: 46.17 crores
Raazi: 119.94 crores*
Veere Di Wedding: 69.68 crores*