With Sholay’s release in 1975, Bollywood industry witnessed a huge jump in revenue but before that the numbers weren’t huge. Even films which were doing 2-3 crores of lifetime business were considered big grossers. The reason was that budgets were very low and ticket rates were also very less.

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For example in 1974, Manoj Kumar, Amitabh Bachchan, Shashi Kapoor, Zeenat Aman & Moushumi Chaterjee emerged highest grosser of the year at a total of just 5.5 crores.

Another huge hit of that year was Shashi Kapoor’s Chor Machaye Shor which did a business of 3.5 crores and became 2nd highest grosser. Dharmendra, Amitabh Bachchan, Hema Malini, Shatrughan Sinha starrer Dost followed with a business of 2.75 crores.

Take a look at the Top 10 Bollywood Box Office grossers of 1974:

RankIndia Nett (Cr)
1. Roti Kapada Aur Makaan5.50
2. Chor Machaye Shor3.50
3. Dost 2.75
4. Prem Nagar2.50
5. Bidaai 2.25
6. Amir Garib2.20
7. Roti 2.10
8. Patthar Aur Payal2
9. Aap Ki Kasam1.75
10. Haath Ki Safaai1.60

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