Aamir Khan and Juhi Chawla’s Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak was a film that revived the dull phase of Hindi film Cinema. Released in 1988, the film was the third highest-grosser that year. Helmed by Mansoor Khan, the Romeo-Juliet adaptation had a box-office collection of around 5 crore. However, the film was released at a time when the Hindi Cinema was struggling at the Box Office.
Amidst the action era, which was strongly introduced by Amitabh Bachchan and his Angry-Young Man image, Bollywood reached a saturation point during the 80s with Mithun, Jackie Shroff, Sunny Deol and Dharmendra all populating the screen with their He-man avatars. So the number game saw a major decline, with only a few films making a mark and the rest of them dying a slow death.
It was during this time that Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak revived the love story and romance genre, which was dying a slow death at the box office. The film, directed by Mansoor Khan and produced by Nasir Hussain, turned into a blockbuster, running at the box office for 50 weeks.
However, the film had a brilliant marketing strategy, which helped it achieve the status it could and nail the number game-changing genre of movies that dominated the Hindi Box Office.
The ‘Master’ Marketing Campaign
If there is someone who might have mastered the marketing move, it definitely would have been Aamir Khan, ever since his debut film. Before Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak was released, it offered one of the most innovative campaigns that was effulgent and favored the film most definitely. There were hoardings promoting the film without any posters or pictures but hoardings which just said, Who is Aamir Khan?… Ask the girl next door!”
Aamir Khan Made An Offer You Won’t Refuse!
While Jawan and Gadar 2 this year got a box office booster with a Buy One Get One offer, the film in 1988 made an offer none would refuse! The film gave signed posters of Aamir Khan and Juhi Chawla to whoever bought eight tickets or more. This was a massive move, and it worked since the box office collection for the film witnessed a major jump.
The ‘China’ Move
Aamir Khan’s debut film was his first film released in China. However, it is still unclear whether the China box office offered a booming success; many early reports suggest that the film collectively earned almost 1.3 crore overseas.
From 4 Lakh To 50 Week & 5 Crore
Many reports suggest that the film opened in the range of 4 – 5 lakh on day 1. It got a pump once the promotions did not stop even after the release. Before and after the release, Aamir Khan himself used to stick the posters of the film on public transport – buses and rickshaws. In fact, he even used to convince people that he was the actor in the film.
A YouTube channel, India In Frames, also shared a rare old video where the Dangal superstar can be seen sticking posters of the film along with actor Raj Zutshi.
The ‘Tragic’ Box Office Move!
The film was shot with two climaxes, and distributors predicted the box office disaster it would turn out if not released with the ‘Happy Ending’ version. However, Mansoor Khan stuck to his tragic version and wanted to dissociate if it was released with a Happy Ending. So, producer Nasir Hussain supported his director son’s decision and instinct for the film.
Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak turned into a cult classic. Made on a budget of 1 crore, the film had a box office collection of 5 crore. It was the third highest-grosser of the year after Anil Kapoor & Madhuri Dixit’s Tezaab, which collected 8 crore, and Shahenshah, starring Amitabh Bachchan, which collected 6.25 crore.
Note: Box office numbers are based on estimates and various sources. Numbers have not been independently verified by Koimoi.
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