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Rajkumar Hirani - the director who never heard the word 'flop': A look-back at his career and warm-up for Shah Rukh Khan’s Dunki

In a career spanning two decades, Rajkumar Hirani helmed five massive hits, and is now onto his sixth with Shah Rukh Khan's Dunki

Rajkumar Hirani - the director who never heard the word 'flop': A look-back at his career and warm-up for Shah Rukh Khan’s Dunki
Rajkumar Hirani

Last Updated: 07.03 PM, Nov 20, 2023


While the Box Office doesn’t define the merits of the movie, it has become a litmus test for a fair share of audiences over time. The words hit, blockbusters, and successes are some that sound like music to the ears of the filmmakers and it is not always that they get to listen to them. But there is one director who has only seen the word HIT attached to his movies and in the course of 21 years and 5 movies has never been a slow performer, forget dud. He only knows how to make a blockbuster and it is none other than Dunki maker Rajkumar Hirani.

In a career that spans 21 years, Rajkumar Hirani has made films that have spoken to the masses, entertained them, made them cry, and taught them to be better human beings. It’s not just about the theatrical release, but his movies have a homely feeling that makes the recall value high. Can you count how many times you have watched the Munna Bhai franchise on satellite TV? That’s what we are talking about.

So, as Rajkumar Hirani celebrates his birthday today, we list down his filmography and the heights of success the filmmaker has scaled with each film and has never seen a single average performer in his career.

Munna Bhai MBBS (2003)


2003 will always be remembered as the years Sanjay Dutt turned Munna Bhai and Arshad Warsi re-entered our lives as the amazing Circuit. Rajkumar Hirani’s entry into the industry was massive because he probably made the most feel-good film of the decade until then (well, it was he who made the other one too). Made in Rs 10 crore, the film back in the day went on to earn Rs 36 crore. More than double, the man entered with magic up his sleeves.

Lage Raho Munna Bhai (2006)

Bringing a sequel before it was cool to bring a sequel, Rajkumar Hirani carried forward his tale of two friends who can make anything better with their presence. With Vidya Balan joining them this time, Lage Raho Munna Bhai became a rage because the predecessor had prepared people for what was to come. Made at Rs 19 crore, it earned a staggering Rs 126 crore worldwide. You can do the profit math.

3 Idiots (2009)

Third film in the same decade, even the filmmaker himself wouldn’t have calculated what monster he was creating. Aamir Khan, R Madhavan, and Sharman Joshi led 3 Idiots is a masterclass for many filmmakers and screenwriters. The movie not only struck the right chords but went on to bring a box office of Rs 400.61 crore. It was a movie that set the benchmark too high and is to date one of the best Indian cinema has to offer.

PK (2014)

Reuniting with Aamir Khan again in 2014, after a longer hiatus, Rajkumar Hirani made a movie that spoke about religion and belief, also starring Anushka Sharma. The movie did stir some controversy, but nothing could bother loyal Hirani fans who stormed the theatres and helped the movie earn a massive Rs 616 crore worldwide

Sanju (2018)

His last film Sanju based on the life of his first muse Sanjay Dutt, did open to mixed reviews from critics. But Ranbir Kapoor’s audience pull and Rajkumar Hirani’s successful influence was so strong that the audience ended up storming the theatres. The movie garnered Rs 578 crore.

Dunki (2023)

The filmmaker now returns to the big screen with Shah Rukh Khan and Taapsee Pannu in Dunki. A movie that looks like a massive canvas in itself. Considering Shah Rukh has had two blockbusters in the same year, and Hirani has been away from the screen for 5 years, one can only imagine what the Box Office windows at the cinema hall will look like. Dunki hits the big screen on December 22, 2023. 

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