Uri, Mental Hai Kya, Bharat, Brahmastra: Like 2018, will small films overpower the biggies in 2019?

Uri, Mental Hai Kya, Bharat, Brahmastra: Like 2018, will small films overpower the biggies in 2019?

2018 was quite a phenomenal year for Bollywood with a bunch of small budget, well written, delightful stories that managed to capture the interest of the audience and took the top spot. Stree, Badhaai Ho, Andhadhun, Raazi and Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety were some of those that won big at the box office, whereas Thugs of Hindostan, Race 3 and Zero with leading aces of the industry, Aamir, Salman and Shah Rukh Khan, got a thumbs down from Hindi film aficionados, thus making the preference for content loud and clear.

Also, it was the younger stars like Ranbir Kapoor (as Sanjay Dutt in his biopic Sanju), Ranveer Singh (as Alauddin Khilji in Padmaavat and in and as Simmba, which saw him scaling new heights of stardom), Ayushmann Khurrana, Rajkummar Rao, Vicky Kaushal and Kartik Aaryan, who made their presence felt and had a great year at the box office.

Come 2019, and the audience will be treated to movies with enviable star cast and hopefully gripping stories. If ‘small’ was big the previous year, 'big' may get bigger this year. If his fans were let down in 2018, Salman Khan will bring Bharat during Eid in 2019, helmed by one of his trusted directors, Ali Abbas Zafar. It is common knowledge now that the director-actor combination results in blockbusters, as Sultan and Tiger Zinda Hai have proved. However, Aamir and SRK will be missed this year.

Akshay Kumar’s Padman and Gold may not have done a roaring business, but he has masala entertainer Housefull 4 for Diwali this year. Then he is teaming up again with Kareena Kapoor Khan for Good News; a joint venture with Karan Johar in Kesari, based on the Battle of Saragarhi; and he has booked Independence Day 2019 for Mission Mangal, based on ISRO's Mars Orbiter Mission. There is also Rohit Shetty's action entertainer Sooryavanshi, which was announced in the closing moments of Simmba. While Ajay Devgn had a huge grosser in Raid but this year, he has three chances to prove his box office dominance with Total Dhamaal, Taanaji: The Unsung Warrior and De De Pyaar De.  

“We have a great line-up of films in 2019 and many of those have wider universal appeal. There are a lot of films with great scripts and that is the major force to bring people to cinema halls, and along with that, there are superstars leading these projects which can do some business to the industry. There is content with stardom. The three Khans were part of bad scripts last year. But the releases this year can actually push the envelope,” said film exhibitor Akshaye Rathi.

“A good film like Badhaai Ho with Ayushmann rakes in Rs 130 crore and a bad film like Race 3 with Salman collects 160 crore. We can imagine the results with Salman working with a good director on a good script. Hrithik Roshan-Tiger Shroff action film is also looking very exciting and so is the dance spectacle with Varun Dhawan. Soon enough, we have Manikarnika, which seems to be high on the value of content,” adds Rathi.

So, we are expecting 2019 to be grander in scale with a good mix of classy, historical and commercial cinema which are likely to set the box office on fire. Let us take a look:


The onscreen pair Salman Khan and Katrina Kaif never fails to create magic. After the Tiger franchise, the hit pair will collaborate again for Ali Abbas Zafar's Bharat, which is an official adaptation of the 2014 Korean film Ode to My Father, which narrates the Korean history from the 1950s to the modern day through the life of an ordinary man and events such as the Hungnam Evacuation during the 1950 Korean War. Bharat is scheduled to release on Eid 2019.

Housefull 4

The fourth instalment of the hit comedy franchise will come as a Diwali treat at the ticket windows. Featuring Akshay Kumar, Bobby Deol, Riteish Deshmukh, Kriti Sanon and Rana Daggubati in pivotal roles, we are expecting firecrackers from this film at the box office.

Taanaji: The Unsung Warrior

Ajay Devgn features as the great Maratha warrior Tanaji Malusare, a commander in Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s army. Legend has it that Malusare won the Battle of Sinhagad against the Mughal army in 1670 by scaling an impregnable fort with the help of his pet monitor lizard Yashwanti. Malusare and the Battle of Sinhagad have been memorialised in Marathi ballads. Om Raut is the director and the period drama is slated to release on 22 November.

Total Dhamaal

Total Dhamaal is the third sequel to Dhamaal, sequel to Double Dhamaal and the final installment in the trilogy. It stars Ajay Devgn, Anil Kapoor, Madhuri Dixit and many of the actors from the previous films, including Arshad Warsi, Ritesh Deshmukh, Jaaved Jaaferi and Aashish Chaudhry. The film releases on 22 February and promises to make the entertainment triple than what it was in the prequels.

Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi

Kangana Ranaut's Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi is the first big release of 2019. The historical film, which is directed by Krish and Kangana, is based on the life of Rani Laxmibai of Jhansi and is releasing on 25 January. The epic period features her in the titular role and has impressed the cinegoers with its action sequences and camera work in the promo. Touted to be the most expensive female-led film, the period drama is likely to create noise in the cinema halls.


Brahmastra, the first part of Ayan Mukerji’s fantasy trilogy, starring Amitabh Bachchan, Ranbir Kapoor and Alia Bhatt, will hit screens on Christmas. While Ranbir has previously worked with Ayan in films such as Wake Up Sid and Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani, Alia and Ayan are working together on a film for the first time. Brahmastra also marks lovebirds Alia and Ranbir's first collaboration with this action adventure.


Kalank is one the biggest multi-starrer period partition dramas to come out this year. It stars Varun Dhawan, Alia Bhatt, Aditya Roy Kapur, Sonakshi Sinha, Madhuri Dixit, Sanjay Dutt and Kunal Kemmu in lead roles. The late Sridevi was initially signed for the role played by Madhuri. While their characters have been kept under wraps, it would be interesting to see Varun and Alia in a period drama for the first time, and also Sanjay Dutt and Madhuri Dixit reunite after 25 years. Directed by Abhishek Varman, Kalank is set to hit the screens on 19 April.

Hrithik Roshan-Tiger Shroff untitled Yash Raj film

Everything in this film, directed by Bang Bang director, Siddharth Anand, is about scale. The yet untitled film featuring some death-defying stunts has been shot extensively around the globe in countries like Spain, Italy, Portugal, Sweden, Georgia and India. The film is slated to release on 2 October.

Super 30

Hrithik Roshan's amazing transformation as mathematician genius Anand Kumar garnered immense praise. The actor seemed to have slipped easily into his character of a teacher based in Patna, who became popular for tutoring IIT aspirants belonging to underprivileged backgrounds. While the film was earlier slated to release on 25 January, it seems the makers are planning to shift the date.


Directed by Kabir Khan, the film will trace the story of Indian skipper Kapil Dev (played by the flamboyant Ranveer) and the entire Indian national cricket team when they won the 1983 World Cup, which has been a celebratory milestone in the history of the Indian cricket. The film is scheduled to release on 30 August.


After offering the magnum opus Baahubali, Prabhas, along with Shraddha Kapoor, will be seen in a new avatar in Saaho, an action drama and a multi-lingual film touted to be one of the most expensive Indian films made to date. Saaho, that releases on 15 August, will also marks the debut of Shraddha in Telugu cinema.


And on the other hand, the small film cavalcade with the new generation of stars, the kind that took the box office by storm without the help of star power, will also be marching on with Uri: The Surgical Strike, Mental Ha Kya, Luka Chuppi, Dream Girl and many more. Now it remains to be seen if these will triumph over the big budget star vehicles once again and manage to pull the audience in big numbers like the previous year. Well, the first judgment will be out in less than 10 days with the release of one of the most anticipated films, Uri: The Surgical Strike, which is Vicky Kaushal’s first big solo outing.

Uri: The Surgical Strike

Vicky, who had a very successful 2018 with his blockbuster and critically acclaimed films like Sanju and Raazi, is all set to begin 2019 with a bang with his first ever solo release. One of the most anticipated films and one of the first films to release in 2019 (11 January), it is based on the Indian Army's surgical strikes on terror launch pads across the Line of Control (LoC) in September 2016.

Mental Hai Kya

After winning hearts in Queen, Kangana Ranaut and Rajkummar Rao are back with Mental Hai Kya, a psychological thriller.  The actors will be seen showing their wacky side and we are absolutely ready to go on this mad ride with these two insanely talented stars. The movie is out on 29 March.

Luka Chuppi

It has been a wonderful year for Kartik Aaryan with his 2018 release Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety entering the prestigious Rs 100 crore club. Popular for his outings in the Pyaar Ka Punchnama series, Kartik will be seen opposite Kriti Sanon in Luka Chuppi, a desi romcom that tells the story of a television reporter in Mathura who falls in love with a headstrong woman. The film releases on 1  March.

Made In China

Rajkummar Rao will be seen in the role of a Gujarati businessman in Made In China. Paired opposite Mouni Roy, the film will show how his character becomes a prosperous enterpreneur. The film is directed by Mikhil Musale, who had directed the National Award-winning Gujarati film Wrong Side Raju. It will release on 30 August.

Dream Girl

2018 has been a phenomenal year for Ayushmann Khurrana who gave back-to-back hits, with his performances earning rave reviews as well. His films Andhadhun and Badhaai Ho outshone many big budget flicks with prominent stars that failed to meet expectations at the box office. This year, the actor will be seen in Dream Girl, produced by Ekta Kapoor, who claims the film to be a laugh riot and with a story will leave everyone baffled.