It’s no secret that blockbusters in Bollywood thrive on starring A-listers, incorporating expensive item numbers and of course loads and loads of masala. However, there seems to be a certain encouraging transition in Indian cinema with regard to small-budget films, even those that fail to get the supposed much needed nod of approval from critics. This is credited to positive word-of-mouth from audiences and members from the film fraternity themselves.Ayushman Khurrana’s latest release, ‘Dum Laga Ke Haisha’ is the latest film to join this new trend. Featuring newbie Bhumi Pednekar, the Sharat Katariya film had a disappointing opening. But, thanks to the grapevine, the small-budget rom-com was able to attract a considerable crowd in the days to follow, collecting approximately Rs 17.5 crore at the Box Office until Monday.The most recent film to have benefitted from the positive word of mouth was gritty crime drama ‘Badlapur’, which has become the second highest grosser of the year, despite being given an A- certificate. The Sriram Raghavand-directed film also starring Irrfan Khan, Huma Qureshi and Yami Gautam collected close to Rs 23 crore in its opening weekend.Neeraj Pandey’s ‘Baby’, which is the biggest earner of 2015 till now, had a slow start at the box office initially. But the movie picked up pace in its first weekend and made Rs 60-65 crore. No doubt, ‘Baby’ boasted of a stellar cast – Akshay Kumar, Anupam Kher, Kay Kay Menon, Rana Daggubati, Taapsee Pannu and Danny Denzongpa among others, but we think this action drama deserves a shout out, as it was due to word-of-mouth that its earnings improved.Shahid Kapoor managed to finally shrug off his ‘chocolate boy’ tag with his incredible performance in Vishal Bhardwaj’s ‘Haider’ last year and walked away with almost all the Best Actor awards for his role. The moderately budgeted adaptation of Shakespearean drama, ‘Hamlet’ garnered much media attention and audiences flocked theatres to watch the film, set in tumultuous Kashmir. Though it faced tough competition from Hrithik Roshan-Katrina Kaif starrer ‘Bang Bang’, ‘Haider’ is said to have made around Rs 50 crore at the Box Office. Vishal went on record to say that ‘Haider’ was his first movie to ever make a profit.Irrfan Khan-Nimrat Kaur starrer, ‘The Lunchbox’ won our hearts despite the unconventional pairing. The Ritesh Batra film, made on a small budget was screened at International Critics’ Week at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival, and later won the Critics Week Viewers Choice Award also known as Grand Rail d’Or. It was also shown at the Toronto International Film Festival that year.Nitin Kakkar’s 2013 release ‘Filmistaan’ is another example of cinematic excellence that struck a chord with audiences. Though the film failed to have an impressive opening, it managed to make Rs 6 crore after word spread.Another incredible win has been Vikas Bahl’s ‘Queen’ which tells the tale of a traditional Indian girl who has been dumped at the alter, leading to her own beautiful journey of self-discovery and independence. Starring Bollywood talent, Kangana Ranaut in the lead role, ‘Queen’ was made on a budget of Rs 12.5 crore. Yet, the film emerged a huge success, taking home six much deserved awards, including Best film, Best Director and Best Actress. Though it debuted with low collections, the film rounded up with Rs 61 crore in its kitty.
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