Andaz Apna Apna is today considered a cult classic for its performances, dialogues, characters and comic moments. A small reason for its popularity is also the fact that it is considered to be a flop at the box office. The fact that such a legendary flick was a commercial failure made it slightly more loved by the cinephiles. However, herein lays confusion. There are three conflicting versions about the film’s fate at the ticket window. On the 25th anniversary of this comedy, Bollywood Hungama analyses the conflicting narrative with regards to Andaz Apna Apna’s box office performance.
It is the Screen magazine that had claimed that Andaz Apna Apna was a hit. In its January 6, 1995 edition, it mentioned the Rajkumar Santoshi directorial along with Krantiveer, Yeh Dillagi, Laadla, Raja Babu and even Suhaag as the hits of 1994. In another paragraph, it said that Salman Khan had two hits in 1994 – Hum Aapke Hai Koun and Andaz Apna Apna with Chaand Kaa Tukda being his only flop in that year. And for Aamir, the article states that the success of Andaz Apna Apna ‘consolidated his reigning position’! 5 years ago, during the 20th anniversary of this film, producer Vinay Sinha also seconded and said that though the film went over budget and that it was shot over four years, it managed to do well at the box office.
Trade analyst Taran Adarsh however states that Andaz Apna Apna was neither a hit nor a big flop and was somewhere in between. He explains, “It did well in select cities. Over the years, it became a cult classic and is today a much loved film. I remember going for its mahurat party at Sun-N-Sand Hotel.” He adds, “At that point, both Salman and Aamir were riding high. They still are! Even Raveena Tandon and Karisma Kapoor were at the top of their game. Rajkumar Santoshi had delivered a string of hits like Ghayal and Damini. The expectations naturally multiply. So probably the expectation at that time was that this combination would deliver another massy, action flick. But Andaz Apna Apna was not that kind of a flick.” How much did the delay factor affect the film’s prospects? He exults, “I don’t really feel that affected the film. And anyway, it was not that delayed. See, in today’s times, actors work in only one film at a time. But then, everyone used to do multiple films. So the delay was not a huge concern.”
Calling Andaz Apna Apna one of the finest films of Rajkumar Santoshi, Taran Adarsh even states, “Has this combination of Aamir Khan and Salman Khan come today in a film, it would have been pandemonium in the cinemas!”