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So, it’s not the box office figures alone that decides whether the movie is a hit or a flop, but there are several other factors like acting expertise, awards and recognition, rousing reviews, word-of-mouth marketing as well as public ratings that are predictors of movie success. 

11 Films That Didn’t Do Well At Box Office When They Released But Gained A Cult Status Later!

Here is a list of movies that tanked at box office when they were released in theatres, but over the years, they have gained cult status. 

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#1 Andaz Apna Apna

Movies that flopped but are good: Andaz Apna Apna


Andaz Apna Apna had released right after Salman Khan had delivered a box office hit Maine Pyar Kiya and Aamir Khan had given two blockbusters including Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak and Dil. For this one, both the superstars weaved the magic of their crackling chemistry, yet it turned out to be an utter box office failure.

Neither the duo’s antics nor Shakti Kapoor's legendary dialogues or the hilarious confusion created by Paresh Rawal's double roles impressed the audience at that point in time. But thanks to the private TV channels that finally gave the movie the recognition it deserved.

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It is said that the movie did better in Mumbai as compared to other regions. Still, it couldn’t cast a great impact at the time when it was released. Andaz Apna Apna, according to several reports, made a profit of only Rs 5 crore. However, today, Andaz Apna Apna is one of the best comedy films that Bollywood has ever made. So much so, that many actors including Ranveer Singh want to be cast in the remake. For the unversed, a remake of the movie is already in the works. It is said that Varun Dhawan and Ranveer Singh will reprise Salman and Aamir Khan’s role. 

#2 Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro

Movies that flopped but are good: Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro


Did you know Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro was re-released in 2012? NFDC (National Film Development Corporation) in association with PVR Director's Rare had re-released Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro theatrically. But it wasn't quite a hit when it had originally released.

This political satire remains very much relevant even now. Is that the reason why the movie failed at the box office? A lot of people argue that the movie was way ahead of its time, and that is why it didn’t struck a chord with audiences at the right time.

Despite the fact that it was a box-office dud, there isn’t any movie made until today that highlighted so many issues that Indian society goes through in a light-hearted way of comprising of only humour and satire. That’s perhaps what makes it a cult movie now.

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#3 Khosla Ka Ghosla

Khosla Ka Ghosla: movies that flopped but became cult later.


This was Dibakar Banerjee's debut movie that had all brilliant actors including Anupam Kher, Ranvir Shorey, Vinay Pathak, Navin Nischol and Parvin Dabbas. This dark comedy did strike a chord with the audience thanks to its relatable content. 

Khosla Ka Ghosla has a unique storyline about a middle class Punjabi family living in West Delhi. The story revolved around a retired man, played by Anupam Kher, who tries to get his land back from a swindling property dealer with the help of his sons and their friends.

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It showcased struggles and aspirations of typical Punjabi families that audiences could easily connect with it. The movie didn't make much noise when it had released, however, with strong word of mouth, it became a sleeper hit. It is still one of the massively entertaining Bollywood movies of all time.

#4 Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye!

Movies that flopped but are good: Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye!


Inspired by the life of real-life ‘super-chor’ Devinder Singh aka Bunty, who hails from Vikaspuri, Delhi, this movie by Dibakar Banerjee was not well-received by the audiences at first. However, the film gained cult status through word of mouth reviews.

This movie stars Abhay Deol and Richa Chadha who were yet to dole out hits like Dev D and Gangs of Wasseypur.  On the surface, the movie looks like a simple comedy-drama, but it dealt with many stronger issues including class-divide and dysfunctional families among others. Moreover, it explores the sub culture of Delhites that people could easily relate to. Despite the lukewarm response from audiences, the movie won a National Film Award that year, and it still has a cult following among youth.

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#5 Dil Chahta Hai

Movies that flopped but are good: Dil Chahta Hai


Dil Chahta Hai only minted Rs 15.75 Crores which is only slightly more than what Mela, Aamir Khan’s biggest flop, earned -- 13.25 Crores. A movie that is close to the hearts of every '90s kid is still referred to as a cult classic that redefined friendship and motivated the youth to follow their hearts and dreams. Nobody imagined at that time that a movie about three college boys, who has messed up lives and confused aspirations, would find a place in people's hearts and continue to impact the youth decades later.

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#6 Udaan

Movies that flopped but are good: Udaan


Udaan is one of the those rare Bollywood movies  that proved a point. The film didn’t do quite well at the box office, but it did touched a million hearts with his brilliant storyline. Rajat Barmecha, who played the lead role, became a star after the film gradually got recognition. 

Also starring Ram Kapoor and Ronit Roy in prominent roles, Udaan is a story about a boy  and how he deals with his adolescence. He has an abusive father and they don’t share a great relationship. He has a younger step-brother, but the only one who understands him and supports him is his uncle. 

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In the end, the movie leaves a strong message that life always goes on and you should never stop doing what you like to do.  It draws attention of society towards their thinking and prejudices. This message that it gave was hard-hitting.

#7 Pyaar Ka Punchnama

Movies that flopped but are good: Pyaar Ka Punchnama


In 2011, Luv Ranjan made his debut with a film that had new cast and new faces. Nobody working on this movie had a major connection with the filmy world. It was bound to go unnoticed. But gradually, when Rajjo’s six-minute rant went viral on social media, millennials took notice of it. When they watched the film, they loved it. Pyaar Ka Punchnama, is still remembered for its lead actor Kartik Tiwari's woman-bashing monologue. Because of the success of the film later, a sequel was made, which audience thought was even more hilarious than the first part.

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#8 Sholay

Sholay: Movies that flopped but are good


Despite having a top-notch star cast, Sholay was declared a flop by media critics in its first week of release itself. Ramesh Sippy was so disappointed that he thought of re-shooting the ending of the movie so that Amitabh Bachchan’s character could live. Later, the makers released a soundtrack that had some dialogue snippets, and suddenly, the film caught people’s fancy and became an overnight sensation.

At the Filmfare awards in that year, Sholay was nominated in many categories but it didn’t win a single award in popular category. 

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#9 Sooryavansham

movie flops that became cult classics: Sooryavansham


This movie has become a butt of jokes for being telecasted on Set Max almost every weekend. People really love the drama that unfolds in the Thakur Bhanupratap Singh’s family, it seems. From the father-son’s love-hate relationship to Heera Thakur’s stand for his love and living a miserable life thereafter, Sooryavansham is TV’s favourite movie. 

Do you know why Sooryavansham is telecasted on Set Max on a regular basis? In 1999, when Sooryavansham was released, Set Max was freshly launched. Set Max purchased the rights to Sooryavansham for 100 years. So, a film that had Amitabh Bachchan in dual roles couldn’t create the magic at the box office, but ended up earning at least 10 times more than its budget. No matter how many memes about this movie we share and laugh at, we’re still sometimes glued to TV screens when it plays.

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#10 Rehna Hai Tere Dil Mein

Rehna Hai Tere Dil Mein: Movies that flopped but are good

Who doesn’t love Maddy? Who doesn’t love the songs of RHTDM? Despite the fact that everyone went crazy over the sensational Zara Zara song in Rehna Hai Tere Dil Mein, not many people went to the theatres to watch the movie. The chocolaty boy of Bollywood at that time was seen as a wannabe Shah Rukh Khan, but gradually he made an ardent female fan following who still go crazy over his selfies on Instagram.

The movie didn’t do a great business at the box office, but it minted lots of money from TRPs on TV channels.

#11 Rockstar

Rockstar: Movies that flopped but are good

Rockstar is one of the Imtiaz Ali’s finest works until today. But did you know when the movie was released, it wasn’t much loved by the audiences. Ranbir Kapoor did deliver a flawless performance, but not many people liked Nargis Fakhri’s acting skills. The music was, sure, extraordinary, but the plot, people thought, wasn’t as strong. 

And like they say, Imtiaz Ali movies are a little tough to understand. Each time you watch them, you discover a new perspective. Perhaps, that’s the reason why this movie was a TRP slayer on TV.

#12 Dhol 

movie flops that became cult classics: Dhol


No matter how many times you watch this movie, it is never going to fail you with its humour. It is considered Rajpal Yadav’s one of the best performances in terms of comic timing. When Dhol was released, the critics didn’t appreciate the film much. However, when it premiered on TV, it became one of the most loved movies that people still enjoy watching over weekends. The fluent sarcasm in the movie keeps laughs and giggles flowing throughout the film.

#13 Nayak

Nayak: Movies that flopped but are good


It is said that Nayak failed at the box office because of poor-marketing. However, over the years when the movie was broadcasted on TV, it earned a lot of appreciation. It suddenly became even more relatable, when Arvind Kejriwal formed Aam Aadmi Party and became the CM of Delhi in 2015. Arvind Kejriwal was being compared to Anil Kapoor's character not only by the people but also by the media. Kejriwal's actions were reminiscent of Anil 's character Shivaji Rao, a cameraman who takes up the challenge and becomes CM for a day to clean up the corruption in the system. Kejriwal, at that time, was being hailed as the real-life Nayak. 


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