Yash Raj Films (YRF) is an Indian film production and distribution company founded by veteran filmmaker Yash Chopra in 1970 and being handled and led by his son, Aditya Chopra since 2012. The company mainly produces and distributes Hindi films. The company has grown to be one of the largest film studios in India, releasing various films.[1]

Yash Raj Films
Company typePrivately held company
Founded1970 (1970)
FounderYash Chopra
Headquarters,
India
Key people
  • Aditya Chopra (Chairman & Managing Director)
  • Akshaye Widhani (CEO)
ProductsFilms released
Divisions
Subsidiaries
Websitewww.yashrajfilms.com Edit this at Wikidata

History edit

YRF was founded by Yash Raj Chopra, a veteran director and producer of the Indian film industry, in 1970.

YRF Studios edit

Upon realising the lack of a proper film shooting studio during their years of film-making, YRF went on build their dream film production studio in the year 2005, located in Mumbai city. The first film to be shot in YRF Studios was the company's 2006 critical and commercial blockbuster romantic thriller Fanaa. Some of the notable films of outside banners that were shot in the studio over the years are; Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna (2006), Partner (2007), Taare Zameen Par (2007), Dostana (2008), Wanted (2009), 3 Idiots (2009), Dabangg (2010), Bodyguard (2011), Ra.One (2011), Agneepath (2012), Chennai Express (2013), Jai Ho (2014) and PK (2014). The studio was created and designed by Chopra and his then-wife, Payal Khanna and is equipped with high technology film shooting equipment and materials. The studio, sprawling over 20 acres (81,000 m2) and towering up to six floors, is used to shoot films for the company and is also rented for other filming and television shoots such as 10 Ka Dum and Kaun Banega Crorepati for Sony and Kya Aap Paanchvi Pass Se Tez Hain?, Koffee With Karan and Satyamev Jayate for STAR.[2]

YRF Home Entertainment edit

Apart from film production, Chopra's YRF also distributed (theatrical, home entertainment and satellite) and canvassed a wide variety of independent films that came out of the Parallel Cinema industry of India, such as Godmother (1999), Zubeidaa (2001), Maqbool (2004), Meenaxi: A Tale of Three Cities (2004), My Brother Nikhil (2005), Mangal Pandey: The Rising (2005) and Maine Gandhi Ko Nahin Mara (2005), that helped them leverage with a powerful film production house such as his, and thereby reach a wider audience on their release. YRF Distributors also released several big-budgeted films such as Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (1998), Kaho Naa... Pyaar Hai (2000), Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham... (2001), Koi... Mil Gaya (2003), Kal Ho Naa Ho (2003), Black (2005), Krrish (2006) and Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna (2006). In 2013, the company's distribution leg reportedly sold the satellite rights of its highly anticipated venture Dhoom 3 for 75 crore (US$9.4 million)[3] to Sony Entertainment Television.[4]

YRF Music edit

After constantly delivering musical successes such as Darr (1993), Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge (1995) and Dil To Pagal Hai (1997) throughout the years of its existence, the company decided to leverage their growing clout in the music industry. YRF established their independent feature music distribution leg under the name YRF Music in 2004. The leg was developed for the purpose of digital as well as physical distribution of all the film soundtracks released under the banner. The first soundtrack to be distributed under YRF Music was the company's critical and commercial blockbuster epic love saga Veer-Zaara. The leg established careers of many budding music composers throughout the years, who leveraged themselves by scoring music for YRF projects such as Jatin–Lalit (Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge), Anu Malik (Dum Laga Ke Haisha), Shankar–Ehsaan–Loy (Bunty Aur Babli), Pritam (Dhoom), Vishal–Shekhar (Salaam Namaste), Salim–Sulaiman (Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi), Amit Trivedi (Ishaqzaade), Ram Sampath (Luv Ka The End), Sajid–Wajid (Daawat-e-Ishq), Sohail Sen (Mere Brother Ki Dulhan), Raghu Dixit (Mujhse Fraaandship Karoge), Sachin–Jigar (Shuddh Desi Romance), Mithoon (Shamshera), Jasleen Royal (Hichki), and Amartya Rahut (Aurangzeb).[5]

Walt Disney buyout-refusal edit

The Walt Disney Company entered Indian Entertainment in 2007 through a three-film co-production agreement (Ta Ra Rum Pum, Thoda Pyaar Thoda Magic and Roadside Romeo) with YRF. Disney's move was seen as a bid to increase its global clout and finally enter the increasingly lucrative Indian Cinema arena. The company offered a 49% acquisition of YRF at 2,500 crore (US$310 million)[6] (unadjusted for inflation) in 2009, which took the valuation of the Indian entertainment company to 5,000 crore (equivalent to 130 billion or US$1.6 billion in 2023),[7] at the time. YRF however declined the acquisition offer made by the American conglomerate.

In 2011, a 99% share acquisition offer by Disney was accepted by UTV at 2,000 crore (US$250 million)[8] (unadjusted for inflation). The two companies together established Disney UTV, that functioned as the Indian subsidiary of the American company. In December 2016, Disney announced that is restructuring its Indian operations and UTV will no longer produce movies and will focus only on distribution of its Hollywood films.[9]

Aditya Chopra as Vice-Chairman edit

The company saw an all-time low, with several of their high-budgeted films not doing well at the box office, despite favourable critical reviews and the company thereby suffering losses amounting to millions from 2007 to 2010. The films broke YRF's perfect success ratio and were oddly released one after another. Some of the most unsuccessful films produced under the banner were Jhoom Barabar Jhoom, Laaga Chunari Mein Daag, Aaja Nachle, Tashan, Thoda Pyaar Thoda Magic, Roadside Romeo, Dil Bole Hadippa!, Rocket Singh: Salesman of the Year and Pyaar Impossible.

Aditya Chopra then took over as the vice-chairman of Yash Raj Films in 2010, soon after the release of the film Badmaash Company under the same banner.[10]

In 2011, the company went into production of three individual mainstream films with Aamir Khan for Dhoom 3, Shahrukh Khan for Jab Tak Hai Jaan and with Salman Khan for Ek Tha Tiger, the first installment in the YRF Spy Universe. The three films turned out to be the most expensive productions by YRF; Ek Tha Tiger[11] was produced at 75 crore (US$9.4 million),[12] Jab Tak Hai Jaan was produced at 60 crore (US$7.5 million)[13] and Dhoom 3 was produced at 150 crore (US$19 million).[14]

Film Day of Release Screen Releases Distribution Budget Worldwide Gross
Ek Tha Tiger Eid (2012) 3,850 screens[15] YRF Distributors 75 crore (US$9.4 million)[12] 320 crore (US$40 million)[16]
Jab Tak Hai Jaan Diwali (2012) 3,100 screens[17] 60 crore (US$7.5 million)[13] 241 crore (US$30 million)[18]
Dhoom 3 Christmas (2013) 5,250 screens[19] 150 crore (US$19 million)[14] 542 crore (US$68 million)[20][21]

All three of these films broke box office records in India and went on to become some of the highest-grossing films of their time. Ek Tha Tiger,[11] which released on the 66th Independence Day of India, earned approximately 320 crore (US$40 million)[22] and became the eleventh highest-grossing film of Indian cinema. Jab Tak Hai Jaan opened worldwide on the Diwali day of 2012 and went on to earn 241 crore (US$30 million)[18] and became the fifteenth highest-grossing film in India. Dhoom 3 released in (Hindi, Tamil, Telugu and Arabic) on the Christmas week of 2013 and grossed approximately 542 crore (US$68 million),[23][24] in the worldwide market and went on to become the twelfth highest-grossing film of Indian cinema, as of January 2022.

Aditya Chopra as Chairman edit

After the demise of Yash Chopra in October 2012, Aditya Chopra was elevated to the position of chairman and Chief Executive of the company's studio wing. Facing overwhelming pressure by the Indian bourses to be publicly listed around the same period, the company went for a soft-launch on 3 January 2013.

The company received angel investment by institutional fund-raisers such as LIC of India, RNT Associates, PremjiInvest, Catamaran Ventures, Maruti Udyog and Unilazer Ventures. YRF was made open to Indian enterprises only and no FDI was accepted. Venture capitalists also showed interest with Adi Godrej, Y. C. Deveshwar, Kumar Birla, Arundhati Bhattacharya, Anand Mahindra, Chanda Kochhar, Sunil Mittal, Shikha Sharma and Uday Kotak investing undisclosed sums. YRF came out with more films, under the chairmanship of Chopra and the new management.[25]

Produced and distributed films edit

YRF Entertainment edit

In November 2011, YRF Entertainment was announced as a subsidiary of Yash Raj Films, set in Beverly Hills, US, with Uday Chopra serving as CEO.[26] Under it they produced two English films:

By 2023, YRF Entertainment was transformed into the streaming division of Yash Raj Films.[28] Under this, they have produced the following projects:

Work with newcomers edit

YRF launched a number of budding screenwriters and directors under their banner throughout these years. Directors and screenwriters such as Kunal Kohli, Kabir Khan, Sanjay Gadhvi, Ali Abbas Zafar, Jaideep Sahni, Siddharth Anand, Shimit Amin, Habib Faisal, Shaad Ali, Maneesh Sharma and Vijay Krishna Acharya debuted under YRF and have gone on to become independent entities in films. The company also produced films for filmmakers such as Anil Mehta, Chandraprakash Dwivedi and Pradeep Sarkar under their banner. The company was eventually ranked #1 (among the most successful film production companies in India) in a survey conducted by Filmfare and Number 27 (among the most successful film production companies in the world) in a survey by The Hollywood Reporter.[30]

Talent Management edit

Apart from producing big-budgeted films with established actors, YRF also announced several films featuring relative newcomers in the fourth quarter of Fiscal year 2012; Aurangzeb starring Prithviraj Sukumaran, Sashaa Agha and Arjun Kapoor, Gunday starring Ranveer Singh, Bewakoofiyaan starring Ayushmann Khurrana and Sonam Kapoor, Daawat-e-Ishq with Aditya Roy Kapur, Mardaani with Rani Mukerji, and Kill Dil starring Ali Zafar and Govinda.[31] The films released all through 2013 and 2014 were seen as a strategic move by the company to infuse newer talent into Indian Cinema in the form of actors, screenwriters, directors and technicians. In a bid to break away from the traditional star system of Indian cinema, the company ventured into producing low-budgeted independent films with new talent (actors, creatives and technicians) from 2008. Apart from working with upcoming actors, the company independently launched several new faces as leading actors in several of their big-budgeted films through their home banner and through Y-Films,[32] including:

Talent Film Description Year Contract Status
Ranbir Kapoor Bachna Ae Haseeno Second film 2008 Terminated
Deepika Padukone
Anushka Sharma Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi Debut Existing
Ranveer Singh Band Baaja Baaraat 2010 Terminated
Saqib Saleem Mujhse Fraaandship Karoge 2011
Parineeti Chopra Ladies vs Ricky Bahl
Shraddha Kapoor[33] Luv Ka The End Second film
Arjun Kapoor Ishaqzaade Debut 2012 Existing
Prithviraj Sukumaran Aurangzeb Second Film 2013 Terminated
Sushant Singh Rajput[34] Shuddh Desi Romance
Vaani Kapoor Debut Existing
Ayushmann Khurrana Bewakoofiyaan Third film 2014
Aditya Roy Kapur Daawat-e-Ishq Sixth film (as lead) Active
Tahir Raj Bhasin Mardaani Debut
Bhumi Pednekar Dum Laga Ke Haisha 2015 Existing
Aadar Jain Qaidi Band 2017 Terminated
Anya Singh Existing
Vishal Jethwa Mardaani 2 2019
Sharvari Wagh Bunty Aur Babli 2 2021
Manushi Chhillar Samrat Prithviraj 2022
Shalini Pandey Jayeshbhai Jordaar

Offices edit

YRF is headquartered in Mumbai. In India, YRF has a network of distribution offices in Mumbai, Delhi, Jalandhar, Jaipur, Amravati, Indore, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Chennai and Kochi. Internationally, there are offices in the United Kingdom, the United States of America, and the United Arab Emirates.[35]

Tie-ups edit

Throughout the years of its existence, YRF inked various strategic business agreements with independent film and media entities present in the country.

Entity Period Description
Sa Re Ga Ma HMV[36] 1995 to
2005
Music rights of all films produced under the YRF banner (deal existed until the launch of the company's independent music distribution leg, YRF Music)
Raj Kapoor Films[37] 1995 to
present
Satellite and home entertainment rights to all films produced under the Raj Kapoor Films banner through the company's home entertainment division, YRF Home Entertainment
Sony Pictures Networks India[38] 1995 to
2018
Exclusive satellite rights of all films produced under the YRF banner
Star India 2019 to present Satellite rights of recent YRF releases
Red Chillies Entertainment 2014 to present Overseas Distribution rights of all films produced by Red Chillies Entertainment
Dharma Productions[39] 1998 to
2008
Film distribution and home entertainment rights of all films produced by Dharma Productions (deal existed until the release of Dostana)
FilmKRAFT[40] 2000 to
2008
Theatrical and home entertainment rights to all films produced under the FilmKRAFT banner (deal existed until the release of Krazzy 4)
Disney[41] 2006 to
2008
3-film (Ta Ra Rum Pum, Thoda Pyaar Thoda Magic and Roadside Romeo) co-production agreement with Walt Disney Studios
The IMAX Corporation[42] 2012 to
present
2-film co-production agreement (with IMAX) for Dhoom 3, Thugs of Hindostan, War, Shamshera, and Pathaan
Dolby Laboratories[43] 2013 to
present
Multi-film co-production agreement for all YRF projects (as of October 2013)
The Nikkatsu Corporation[44] 2013 to
present
3-film exclusive distribution agreement for Ek Tha Tiger, Jab Tak Hai Jaan and Dhoom 3 in the Japanese market
Dell Inc.[45] 2013 to
present
Joint Venture agreement with Dell Computers for digitization and electronic re-distribution of the entire YRF Library up to Fiscal year 2015
Dibakar Banerjee Productions[46] 2013 to
2015
3-film co-production agreement for feature films to be directed by Dibakar Banerjee

References edit

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External links edit