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Dharma Productions Pvt. Ltd. is an Indian production and distribution company established by Yash Johar in 1979. It was taken over in 2004 after his death by his son Karan Johar. Based in Mumbai, it mainly produces and distributes Hindi films, and is known in the media for its relatively high production-value content. In November 2018, a new sector of the company was introduced, called Dharmatic, focusing on producing digital content for online distribution platforms.
|Founded||Mumbai, Maharashtra, India (1979)|
Hiroo Yash Johar
Initial success (1980–1998)Edit
The company then went on to produce Duniya (1984) and Muqaddar Ka Faisla (1987). Its next film was Agneepath (1990), which was not a major box office success, but won a National Film Award for its lead actor Amitabh Bachchan. Its next two films were Gumrah (1993) and Duplicate (1998), which were both directed by Mahesh Bhatt.
Rise to prominence (1998–2009)Edit
The production house reached a turning point with the release of Karan Johar directorial debut, the blockbuster romantic drama Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (1998) starring Shah Rukh Khan, Kajol, Rani Mukerji and Salman Khan. The film won several awards, including the National Film Award for Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment and the Filmfare Award for Best Film, and has become a classic over the years.
The company's next film was Karan Johar's family drama Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham... (2001) featuring a large ensemble cast including Amitabh Bachchan, Jaya Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan, Kajol, Hrithik Roshan, and Kareena Kapoor. This was followed by Nikhil Advani's tear-jerking romantic drama Kal Ho Naa Ho (2003) starring Jaya Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan, Saif Ali Khan and Preity Zinta. Both of these films earned commercial success and critical acclaim.
Dharma's next release was the natural horror film Kaal (2005), which received mixed to positive reviews from critics. This was followed by Karan Johar's musical romantic drama Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna (2006) featuring a large ensemble cast led by Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan, Abhishek Bachchan, Rani Mukerji, Preity Zinta and Kirron Kher. The film became a moderate commercial success despite the fact that it dealt with the controversial subject of marital infidelity, though it was the all-time biggest earner in the overseas markets at the time of its release.
Dharma's next release was Tarun Mansukhani's commercially successful romantic comedy Dostana (2008) starring Abhishek Bachchan, John Abraham, and Priyanka Chopra. This was followed by Ayan Mukerji's coming-of-age film Wake Up Sid (2009) starring Ranbir Kapoor and Konkona Sen Sharma. Rensil D'Silva's counter-terrorism thriller Kurbaan (2009) starring Saif Ali Khan, Kareena Kapoor, and Vivek Oberoi. Both Wake Up Sid and Kurbaan received critical acclaim, but the latter failed to make a mark at the box office.
Widespread success (2010–Present)Edit
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In 2010, Dharma produced two of the top ten highest-grossing Bollywood films of the year. The fifth spot on the list was taken by Karan Johar's counter-terrorism drama My Name Is Khan (2010) starring Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol, while the seventh spot was taken by Punit Malhotra’s romantic comedy. All movies of Dharma productions were flops though
I Hate Luv Storys (2010) starring Imran Khan and Sonam Kapoor. Later that year, the production house produced the family drama We Are Family (2010), a Hindi remake of the 1998 American film Stepmom. The film was not a major commercial success, but received praise for the performances of the two lead actresses Kajol and Kareena Kapoor.
The company's first film of 2012 was Karan Malhotra's Agneepath, a retelling of Dharma's 1990 film of the same name. It featured Hrithik Roshan and Sanjay Dutt in the roles originated by Amitabh Bachchan and Danny Denzongpa respectively, while Priyanka Chopra and Rishi Kapoor played principal roles not in the original film. This film emerged as much larger commercial success than the original Agneepath. This was followed by Shakun Batra’s moderately successful romantic comedy Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu (2012) starring Imran Khan and Kareena Kapoor. After this came Karan Johar's coming-of-age comedy-drama Student of the Year (2012), which marked the debut of its three lead actors Sidharth Malhotra, Varun Dhawan and Alia Bhatt.
Dharma's first release of 2013 was the unsuccessful teen comedy Gippi. This was followed by Ayan Mukerji's coming-of-age romance Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani (2013) starring Ranbir Kapoor and Deepika Padukone in the lead roles with Aditya Roy Kapur and Kalki Koechlin in supporting roles. The film became a major commercial success upon its release and still ranks among the highest-grossing Bollywood films of all-time. Dharma was also one of the many production houses associated with the widely acclaimed drama The Lunchbox (2013) starring Irrfan Khan, Nimrat Kaur, and Nawazuddin Siddiqui. They finished off the year with Punit Malhotra's relatively unsuccessful romantic comedy Gori Tere Pyaar Mein (2013) starring Imran Khan and Kareena Kapoor Khan.
In 2014, Dharma produced three commercially successful romantic comedies all directed by first-time directors. The first was Vinil Matthews's Hasee Toh Phasee (2014) starring Sidharth Malhotra and Parineeti Chopra, which Dharma co-produced with Phantom Films. They then teamed with Nadiadwala Grandson Entertainment to produce Abhishek Varman's 2 States (2014) starring Arjun Kapoor and Alia Bhatt, a film adaptation of Chetan Bhagat’s novel of the same name. After this came Shashank Khaitan’s Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania (2014) starring Varun Dhawan and Alia Bhatt. After these three romantic comedies came Rensil D'Silva's relatively unsuccessful black comedy Ungli (2014).
In July 2015, Dharma distributed the Hindi-dubbed version of S. S. Rajamouli's epic film Baahubali: The Beginning (2015), which was originally filmed in Telugu and Tamil. Upon its release, the film became a major commercial and critical success and currently ranks as one of the highest-grossing Indian films of all-time. In August 2015, the company released Karan Malhotra's Brothers, an adaptation of the 2011 American film Warrior, starring Superstar Akshay Kumar and Sidharth Malhotra in the lead roles with Jacqueline Fernandez and Jackie Shroff playing supporting roles. Dharma also collaborated with Phantom Films to co-produce Vikas Bahl's romantic comedy Shaandaar starring Shahid Kapoor and Alia Bhatt, which was released one month later. Neither of these films fared well commercially or critically.
March 2016 saw the release of Shakun Batra's critically and commercially successful family drama Kapoor & Sons starring Rishi Kapoor, Ratna Pathak Shah, Rajat Kapoor, Fawad Khan, Sidharth Malhotra, and Alia Bhatt. This was followed in September 2016 by Nitya Mehra's relatively unsuccessful romantic drama Baar Baar Dekho, a co-production with Excel Entertainment starring Sidharth Malhotra and Katrina Kaif. In October 2016, Karan Johar's romantic drama Ae Dil Hai Mushkil, featuring Ranbir Kapoor, Anushka Sharma, and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan in the lead roles, was released. It received mixed to positive reviews from critics and became a commercial success. This was followed in November 2016 by Gauri Shinde's coming-of-age film Dear Zindagi, which Dharma co-produced with Red Chillies Entertainment and Hope Productions. Starring Alia Bhatt and Shah Rukh Khan, the film became a commercial success and was praised for addressing themes of mental health and wellness.
In January 2017, Dharma released Shaad Ali's romantic film OK Jaanu starring Aditya Roy Kapur and Shraddha Kapoor, a Hindi-language remake of Mani Ratnam's Tamil film O Kadhal Kanmani (2015). The film received a tepid response critically and commercially. This was followed by Shashank Khaitan's Badrinath Ki Dulhania (2017) starring Varun Dhawan and Alia Bhatt. A follow-up to 2014's Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania, this film became a major commercial success. In April 2017, the company distributed the Hindi version of Baahubali 2: The Conclusion, which emerged as a larger success than the original. It currently ranks as the highest-grossing film in India and the second-highest grossing Indian film. The next was Abhay Chopra's moderately successful mystery thriller Ittefaq, an adaptation of Yash Chopra's 1969 film of the same name. Co-produced with Red Chillies Entertainment and BR Films, the film starred Sidharth Malhotra, Sonakshi Sinha, and Akshaye Khanna in the lead roles.
Dharma's first release of 2018 was Meghna Gulzar's spy thriller Raazi starring Alia Bhatt and Vicky Kaushal. Based on Harinder Sikka's novel Calling Sehmat, the film became a major critical and commercial success. Later that year came Shashank Khaitan's romantic drama Dhadak (2018), which launched the careers of lead actors Ishaan Khatter and Janhvi Kapoor. An adaptation of the widely acclaimed Marathi film Sairat (2016), the film emerged as a major commercial success despite mostly negative reviews.
In 2019, Anurag Singh's Kesari, a period drama based on the Battle of Saragarhi, starring Akshay Kumar and Parineeti Chopra in the lead roles. The movie earned 200 crores worldwide in the box office and is Akshay Kumar’s highest grossing film. This will be followed by Abhishek Varman's period drama Kalank featuring an ensemble cast including Madhuri Dixit, Sonakshi Sinha, Alia Bhatt, Varun Dhawan, Aditya Roy Kapur, and Sanjay Dutt. Kalank received negative reviews and only praised Kunal Khemu’s acting.
The company's next release will be Student of the Year 2 directed by Punit Malhotra and starring Tiger Shroff, which will mark the feature film debut of lead actresses Tara Sutaria and Ananya Panday.
Dharma has also announced the production of Good News, a comedy film starring Akshay Kumar, Kareena Kapoor Khan, Diljit Dosanjh, and Kiara Advani. The film will be directed by first-time director Raj Mehta and is currently slated to release in July 2019. This will be followed in December 2019 by Ayan Mukerji's fantasy film Brahmastra starring Amitabh Bachchan, Ranbir Kapoor, and Alia Bhatt.
Dharma has currently announced more productions to be released in 2020 and beyond. One is Rohit Shetty's cop comedy masala action film Sooryavanshi starring Akshay Kumar as Veer Sooryavanshi, Katrina Kaif as his love interest, and Amyra Dastur as the victim. Another is Shashank Khaitan's war film Rannbhoomi starring Varun Dhawan The other is Karan Johar's Takht, a period drama based in the Mughal era, which is set to feature a large ensemble cast including Ranveer Singh, Kareena Kapoor Khan, Alia Bhatt, Vicky Kaushal, Bhumi Pednekar, Janhvi Kapoor, and Anil Kapoor.Shershah which it’s directed by Vishnu Vardhan and stars Sidharth Malhotra and Kiara Advani, Untitled Horror Comedy which is directed by Bhanu Pratap Singh and it stars Vicky Kaushal, and Bhumi Pednekar, Kargil Girl, which it is directed by Sharan Sharma and will star Janhvi Kapoor, Angad Bedi, and Pankaj Tripathi.
On 28 November 2018, Johar announced on Twitter that Dharma Productions had officially expanded into creating digital content for web channels via a new division, called Dharmatic. This new sector of the company would be headed by Somen Mishra and Aneesha Baig, who would head the fiction and non-fiction divisions, respectively.
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