Just like Holi, Eid, Diwali and Christmas, the Republic Day and Independence Day weekend slots hold great importance for Bollywood film releases. Most often these two National Holidays are reserved for films based on patriotic subjects or some highly-awaited films. In fact in the past decade, we have seen some of the biggest Bollywood blockbusters lighting up the box office on Republic Day just like this time around when Shah Rukh Khan, Deepika Padukone and John Abraham’s Pathaan has received a bumper opening.
So, here’s a look at some of the biggest releases that hit screens during the Republic Day weekend slot.
Rang De Basanti (2006)
Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra’s Rang De Basanti starring Aamir Khan, Sharman Joshi, Siddharth, R Madhavan, Kunal Kapoor and Soha Ali Khan sent the entire nation into a whirlwind of emotions with its patriotic depiction, friendships and standing up for your beliefs and what’s right.
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Agneepath, Hrithik Roshan and Priyanka Chopra Jonas’ remake of Amitabh Bachchan’s iconic film of the same name, released in 2012. The film was a blockbuster hit and depicted Rishi Kapoor in a negative role for the first time. Sanjay Dutt’s menacing antagonist, Kancha Cheena also was much appreciated.
Race 2 (2013)
Abbas-Mustan’s directorial Race 2 with Saif Ali Khan, John Abraham, Deepika Padukone, Ameesha Patel, Anil Kapoor and Jacqueline Fernandez in the lead was the perfect start to the year in 2013. Although the film was not in the same league as its prequel but had enough steam to make it to the Rs 100 crore club.
Akshay Kumar’s spy thriller was the actor’s second outing with director Neeraj Pandey after their hit Special 26. Despite having a confusing title, Baby raked in moolah for the makers and fell just short of the Rs 100 crore mark at the box office.
Akshay Kumar returned with another patriotic film Airlift in 2016. The rescue drama was based on the true incident of the biggest ever human evacuation during the Gulf war in 1991. The film also starred Nimrat Kaur in the lead and was directed by Raja Krishna Menon. The film did good business and entered the 100-crore mark as well. Airlift was also counted as Akshay’s noteworthy roles.
Raees and Kaabil (2017)
2017 saw one of the biggest box office clashes in Shah Rukh Khan and Mahira Khan’s Raees vs Hrithik Roshan and Yami Gautam’s Kaabil. SRK donned a new avatar as a mafia don but lost the fight to Hrithik’s Kaabil as the latter did better numbers at the box office.
Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmaavat despite the numerous controversies before its release was one of the most successful Republic Day movie. The film starred Deepika Padukone, Ranveer Singh and Shahid Kapoor in the lead and opened on Rs 24 crores on its first day. It made above Rs 300 crores at the box office.
Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi (2019)
Kangana Ranaut’s Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi released in 2019 and became the first female-driven film to cross Rs 100-crore mark at the box office. The biographical period drama garnered rave reviews from the audience and the critics alike and lit up the box office.
Street Dancer 3D (2020)
Varun Dhawan, Prabhudeva and Shraddha Kapoor-starrer Street Dancer 3D released in 2020. While the promos and the songs impressed the audience the film did not fare too well at the box office as it raked only Rs 68.28 crore during its theatrical run.
Shah Rukh Khan, Deepika Padukone and John Abraham’s Pathaan has lit up the box office like a Christmas tree. Today is truly Pathaan Day as the film has opened to unprecedented box office numbers through current and advance bookings. Directed by Siddharth Anand under the Yash Raj Films banner the film is a part of YRF’s Spy Universe and is included in YRF50 slate. The film has put an end to the drought of SRK’s films on big screen and will definitely become one of the biggest grosser of the year.