The world is shifting towards digital, and so is Bollywood. Last year, there were a lot of hits that weren't released at the box office, given the circumstances back then, but released on OTT instead and were stellar hits. But that is not what we are going to talk about today.
We talk about nepotism in the industry without taking responsibility for the reason that it is not only prevalent but thriving. It's not like we go to the theatres to watch low-budget, newcomer movies, right? Well, there are a lot of movies that didn't do well at the box office because of this very reason, but once they were launched on OTT, they became a hit. We've rounded up some of those sleeper hits that, if you haven't already seen them, you should certainly add to your list.
1. The Tashkent Files
The Tashkent Files – Who Killed Shastri? is a thriller about unravelling the death of the former Prime Minister of India, Lal Bahadur Shastri. It was released in 2019 and received overwhelmingly negative reviews. Made with a low budget of ₹4 crores, the movie earned around ₹20 crores at the box office.
The Tashkent Files went on to become a sleeper hit after its release on the OTT platform Zee5. It even won two national awards. So, if you haven't watched it already, go give it a watch.
Chhichhore was the last box office release of Sushant Singh Rajput. It revolves around the fear created by parents' expectations and peer pressure on a student, so much so, that even suicide seems like a viable option. It did not perform that well at the box office but after its OTT release, it became one of the best movies available on Hotstar.
Tumbbad is a low-budget indie horror film. It didn't have any A-starers, just a good story and a stellar performance from the cast, so, obviously, it didn't perform well at the box office. But once it was released on the OTT platform Amazon Prime Videos, it became a cult favourite. It has an IMDb rating of 8.2 with 85% on Rotten Tomatoes. So, yeah, if you haven't watched it, give it a go.
Karwaan is a coming of age road trip movie. It is the directorial debut of Akarsh Khurana and the Bollywood debut of Dulquer Salmaan. Made with a budget of ₹23 crores, it only managed to earn ₹26 crores at the box office. It received its due praise only after its release on the OTT platform Amazon Prime Videos making it another sleeper hit.
Thappad is a movie with brilliant acting and a social message that a country like ours desperately needs to receive. The movie illustrates how domestic violence is not a small issue, and even a thappad is not something that can be ignored, simply because a husband who respects his wife would not do such a thing. Especially when he would not even acknowledge that his actions were wrong.
Regardless to say, it didn't work at the box office, thanks to the fragile male ego. But after its release on the OTT platform Amazon Prime Video, it received the much deserved love from the audience.
Trapped is a 2016 survival drama film starring Rajkummar Rao. It first premiered at the Mumbai Film Festival, where it received a standing ovation. But the movie failed to convert it as earnings at the box office. Made with a budget of ₹5 crores. it only earned around ₹2.8 crores at the box office, making it a commercial failure.
After its release on Zee5, it became a sleeper hit. So, if you haven't watched it yet, do give it a watch.
Mukkabaaz is a sports drama film starring Vineet Kumar Singh, debutant Zoya Hussain, Ravi Kishan and Jimmy Shergill in the lead roles. Mukkabaaz premiered in the Special Presentations section at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival and was also screened at the 2017 Mumbai Film Festival. After its release at the box office, it could only manage to earn ₹10.51 crores. This sleeper hit currently has a rating of 8 on IMDb and is available online on Zee5, if you wanna give it a watch.