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From Dhoom to Singham: 6 successful franchises that worked and are still going strong

en Bollywood News From Dhoom to Singham: 6 successful franchises that worked and are still going strong

As Tiger 3 continues to roar at the box-office (official reports place the global box-office gross at Rs. 300 crore as of day six, that is November 17), let us look at which sequels have sparkled the most down the decades. Irrespective of the phenomenal response to Gadar 2, we lay down one rule: that a franchise must have a minimum three films.

From Dhoom to Singham: 6 successful franchises that worked and are still going strong

From Dhoom to Singham: 6 successful franchises that worked and are still going strong

And if we include Singham here, it is for two reasons: one, that Singham (as played by Ajay Devgn) has contributed in his own way to the success of both Simmba and Sooryavanshi, so technically he has already featured in four films, and his under-production Singham Again is making a lot of anticipatory waves. Also, the Little Singham animated TV series created by Rohit remains active five years down the line.

Here then are the six superstars, so to speak, of the Hindi Sequel Universe!


In 2007, director Indra Kumar made a rare experiment: a situational, very 1960s-Hollywood kind of clean comedy laugh-riot called Dhamaal that had no female lead. The spicy plot made it a success, though not a blockbuster, but the film has since joined the ranks of our cult comedies. In 2011, he made Double Dhamaal, a sequel with two heroines added, and this film too got a moderate level of success. But then, eight years later, the ambitious filmmaker brought in almost all the main characters of the series to make his most ambitious comedy, Total Dhamaal, co-producing it with Ajay Devgn. Ajay also led the add-on cast along with 1990s Indra Kumar favourites Anil Kapoor and Madhuri Dixit-Nene. The film was a huge hit and crossed the Rs. 150 crore nett domestic collections in 2019.

The director, who also co-produced all these films with Ashok Thakeria, has declared that a fourth Dhamaal is decidedly on the cards, and the title, Full On Dhamaal, already registered!


The first franchise ever from Yash Raj Films, long before Tiger and its extension—the YRF Spy Universe. Producers Yash Chopra and Aditya Chopra designed Dhoom as a modest-budgeted bikers-based crime caper with John Abraham, then barely a star, and a struggling Abhishek Bachchan besides the in-house Uday Chopra. A one-flop old Sanjay Gadhvi was the director. Pritam, who was now on his own after Jeet Gannguli split their duo, was assigned the music.

The film emerged as a whopper hit and had cult songs, led by the title-track, sung both in Hindi (by Sunidhi Chauhan) and English (by Thai singer Tata Young). This inspired the Chopras to make the much-bigger Dhoom:2. The format of two cops on a new adventure was followed, with Hrithik Roshan replacing John Abraham as the antagonist. Dhoom:2 proved the biggest hit of 2006, beating even Krrish. And so was born Dhoom:3, in which the director was changed (the writer of the entire franchise, Vijay Krishna Acharya, helmed the show). Aamir Khan was the new antagonist.

Public adulation for the series has never stopped, and they have gobbled all subsequent buzz—that Shah Rukh Khan or another superstar may be the new antagonists in Dhoom:4¸ as and when it is made. And who knows? Maybe this will emerge as Ajay Devgn’s first film with YRF after they shelved the recent collaboration!

From Dhoom to Singham: 6 successful franchises that worked and are still going strong


The franchise began with Golmaal—Fun Unlimited in 2006. This was Rohit Shetty’s first success, after which he went on to make Golmaal Returns, which arrived in 2008. Though the four main characters shared names and traits, the storylines were diverse. With the second film, Shreyas Talpade replaced Sharman Joshi and was here to stay.

With the third film, Golmaal 3, Rohit got his first of 9 consecutive Rs. 100-crore grossers. A fifth character, that of Laxman as played by Kunal Khemu, was added from hereon. The fourth movie, Golmaal Again, which incorporated elements of the supernatural, was released in 2017. Incidentally, this remains the first-ever Hindi franchise to release a fourth member.

The female leads (Kareena Kapoor Khan was repeated in the second and third instalments as different characters, Ekta and Daboo, respectively) were different, but what was remarkable was the increasing success of each film in the franchise, with the last movie crossing Rs. 200 crores. And Golmaal too is a children’s animated TV series, as Golmaal Jr. has already crossed a mammoth 300 episodes!

Koi…Mil Gaya

In 2003, Rakesh Roshan experimented with the alien genre, last seen in the 1967 B-grade Wahan Ke Log. He gave us the iconic Jadoo, and brought out the best from son Hrithik Roshan as Rohit. Three years later, he went on to fashion Krrish, an ingenious true sequel on how the once-backward Rohit now fathered a superhero son. This was the first Indian A-grade superhero film to strike it big and was Hrithik’s first dual role. In 2013, after producing mishaps like Krrazy 4 and Kites, Rakesh went back to Krrish, calling the continued true sequel Krrish 3 as Koi…Mil Gaya now was, actually, Krrish 1. If Krrish 3 film was not a huge hit, it was only because the profits were lesser in proportion to the bigger budget.

Time and again, we keep hearing of the next film in the franchise, because people’s expectations remain high. The rumors since have included the return of Jadoo in Krrish 4 and the simultaneous making of Krrish 4 and Krrish 5!


From Dhoom to Singham: 6 successful franchises that worked and are still going strong

Sajid Nadiadwala has been badgered with flops recently, but has announced Housefull 5, which if it hits the screen in time, will be the first part 5 in Hindi cinema. From Housefull (2010) to its latest version, Housefull 4 (2019), the fixed points in this comedy franchise are Akshay Kumar and Riteish Deshmukh, with Chunky Pandey’s funny cameo as Aakhri Pasta. The rest of the cast changes as per the crazy plotlines.

The most star-studded (in terms of ensemble) among the franchises, the series owes its existence in part to the Tamil Singeetham Srinivasa Rao comedy, Kaathala Kaathala, which had then landed Nadiadwala in a legal tangle.


Rohit Shetty did not merely remake the 2010 Tamil Singam—he modified it substantially and gave Ajay Devgn a whopper hit in 2011. In 2014, he designed its original sequel, Singham Returns, which also did well. Cult lines, trailblazing action and a strong villain worked big, and the public loved Singham’s character, despite the change in heroine from Kajal Aggarwal to Kareena Kapoor Khan. Ajay’s Aata maazhi satakli is a fave catchphrase to this day and the mercurial cop has since helped Simmba (Ranveer Singh) and Sooryavanshi (Akshay Kumar) in their 2018 and 2021 adventures.

Rohit Shetty is now back to action with Singham Again, which will continue as his third film in his ‘Cop Universe’. Tiger Shroff and Deepika Padukone also come in, with Kareena Kapoor Khan reportedly reprising her Singham Returns role. This film is easily among the most awaited movies of 2024.

Statutory Warning: We have left out the Race franchise, because the third had nothing whatsoever in common with the first two hits, but for brand owners Tips Films, though it did average business!

Missing Out!

And just for the record, which are the sequels that have missed the bus? The list includes 1920 (only one hit in four!), Raaz (three successes of four), Hate Story (two of four), Murder (two of three), Masti (two of three), Baaghi (two of three), Commando (two of three), Kyaa Kool Hain Hum (two of three), Sarkar (one of three) and Yamla Pagla Deewana (one of three).

More Pages: Singham Box Office Collection , Singham Movie Review


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