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Before Rs 1000-crore Mahabharata, these were India’s most expensive films

Malayalam superstar Mohanlal's Mahabharata based on Randamoozham will be the biggest motion picture-ever produced in India.

Written by Manoj Kumar R | Bengaluru |
Updated: April 18, 2017 6:41:48 pm
Mohanlal’s The Mahabharata will be India’s most expensive film.

We were still not done with which is the most expensive Indian film ever — Baahubali 2 or 2.0 — and south industry has dropped another bomb. Mohanlal has announced that he will be a part of a film based on MT Vasudevan Nair’s Randamoozham, called The Mahabharata, which will be made on a mammoth budget of Rs 1000 crore. While we are a long way off from Hollywood — quick perspective, Avengers: Infinity Wars 1 and 2 is said to have a budget of over Rs 6000 crore — a bigger budget is ensuring that Indian films look and feel world-class.

Filmmaking is a very expensive business now more than ever. In India, a major portion of the budget of a film is spent on roping in a leading actor, who can guarantee the producers a minimum success at the box office. Instead, the filmmakers should be spending their money on special effects and technologies that enhance the film viewing experience of the audiences. Like Hollywood studios’ focus on making the film an astonishing viewing experience. Some of the Indian filmmakers like SS Rajamouli, Shankar and Malayalam superstar Mohanlal are rewriting the rules of producing a film. Here are their films, ranked according to budget.

Read | Forget Baahubali 2 and 2.0, Mohanlal to star as Bheem in Rs 1000-crore The Mahabharata


Director Shankar made Jeans 20 years ago, which was made on a budget of Rs 20 crore. And the director has come a long way since then. His upcoming film 2.0, starring Rajinikanth and Akshay Kumar, is touted to be the most expensive film made in India (at least until The Mahabharata was announced). The early estimates suggested that the film will cost its producers more than Rs 400 crore and a large chunk of the budget goes to CGI.

Baahubali 1 and Baahubali 2

It has always been very expensive to make director SS Rajamouli’s vision a reality. He upped the ante in terms of productions with his blockbuster franchise, Baahubali. The film producers, Shobu Yarlagadda and Prasad Devineni, have spent a whopping about Rs 400 crore in the making of these films. As Baahubali 2 is ready to land, its trailers have already made a buzz with the high-quality CGI and production values.



Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan’s superhero film Ra.One was celebrated as the most expensive film at the time. The production cost of the film was pegged at Rs 150 crore. However, it did not live up to the expectations at the box office.


Director Shankar is touted to be the James Cameron of India for the sheer scale he brings to his films. And that costs money. In 2009, Enthiran, starring Rajinikanth, was made at a budget of Rs 132 crore.


Superstar Rajinikanth’s Kochadaiyaan was the first India film to be made using the motion capture technology. A technology which was used in Hollywood films like The Adventures of Tintin and Avatar. However, the final output was not up to its Hollywood counterparts. The film was made on a budget of Rs 125 crore.


Krrish 3

The was the most expensive film starring Hrithik Roshan in the Krrish franchise. The Roshans had spent Rs 115 crore on this superhero film, which had an all-star cast, including Priyanka Chopra, Vivek Oberoi, Kangana Ranaut among others.


It is Shankar again. His second outing with actor Vikram, I, is one of the highest grossing Tamil films of all time. The film with the huge budget of Rs 100 crore, went on to collected a whopping Rs 225 crore worldwide. In the film, Vikram was seen in three avatars, including a hunchback.


Many films don’t share the actual budget. However, based on estimates, industry observers arrived at a consensus that the Vijay film was made at the cost of Rs 100 crore.

Dhoom 3

The third instalment in the popular heist movie series clearly had a higher budget than its predecessors. However, there are conflicting reports about the actual number. While many reports suggest it was made at a budget of Rs 175 crore, some reports peg it at Rs 125 crore.


This timeless classic deserves a special mention. The film was made at Rs 15 million on a never-seen-before scale in 1960. It may not be a big budget now. But at the time of its release, it was a big deal. Probably, it gave courage to other filmmakers to push the envelope further.

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