+3 votes




The difference between a star and a superstar is the ability of the latter to ensure a good opening for most of his films and deliver big grossers that create benchmarks at the box-office. Over the last 75 years, Bollywood has seen several stars, however, there have been select few stars, who managed to get the superstar tag due to the culmination of record openers and big grossers. And without any doubts, the names which will find a place in top 10 superstars of all time in books of Bollywood history include Dilip Kumar, Amitabh Bachchan, Dharmendra, Raj Kapoor, Salman Khan, Shah Rukh Khan and Aamir Khan, as these seven names (in any order) have been consistent for a larger part of their career in delivering not just big hits but also record openers. The battle for 8, 9 and 10 spots will be between Rajesh Khanna, Jeetendra, Mithun Chakraborty, Rajendra Kumar, Manoj Kumar, Hrithik Roshan, Akshay Kumar and Ajay Devgn, depending on the success count, box-office impact and longevity.  Over the last few days, social media has been buzzing about the superstars who have delivered maximum highest grossers of the year since the time India became Independent i.e. 1947. We at Bollywood Hungama have come up with the list of superstars with maximum highest grossers of the year, which would give a sense of who has dominated box-office like never before in their career.


Box Office Analysis: Salman Khan is the biggest Bollywood superstar at box office since 1947; Dilip Kumar, Amitabh Bachchan, Aamir Khan, Shah Rukh Khan and Dharmendra follow!


Rank 6 - Hrithik Roshan

Hrithik Roshan is the most successful actor who has made his debut in the last 20 years. Well, going a step further, it wouldn’t be wrong to already label him one of the most successful superstars, as in a short career of merely 20 years, he has delivered as many as 4 highest grossing films of the year, standing tall in front of his seniors like Akshay Kumar, Ajay Devgn, Govinda, Sunny Deol and many more. Though the volume of releases is an issue, he is probably the only actor in the last 25 years who has stood tall in front of the three mighty Khan’s – Salman, Shah Rukh and Aamir – when it comes to delivering the big grossers/blockbusters at regular intervals. His four highest grossers of the year include Kaho Naa…Pyaar Hai, Koi Mil Gaya, Dhoom 2 and War.


Rank 5 - Shah Rukh Khan, Raj Kapoor and Dharmendra

At number five is a tie between the HeMan of Bollywood, Dharmendra and the global giant, Shah Rukh Khan with five highest grossing films of the year each. While Dharmendra’s top grosser of the year include Pathhar Ke Phool, Ankhen, Seeta Aur Geeta, Sholay and Hukumat; Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, Devdas, Veer Zara and Om Shanti Om are Shah Rukh Khan’s highest grossing film of the year. Both the superstars command terrific fan following, and with some gas still left in Shah Rukh Khan’s tank, he stands a chance to go a notch above Dharmendra in this aspect before the end of his career. While Dharmendra has the record of being the superstar with maximum longevity in his career spanning over 3 decades as male lead, Shah Rukh Khan is undoubtedly the biggest movie star of Indian Cinema in the overseas market. More on this soon, when we speak of worldwide grossers. Raj Kapoor too has five highest grossers of the year in capacity of an actor and 2 highest grossers of the year in capacity of a director. His highest grossers post-Independence include Barsaat, Awaara, Shree 420, Anari and Sangam whereas his highest grossing film of the year as director includes Bobby and Ram Teri Ganga Maili, thereby becoming a rare all-time great to attain this feat in the capacity of an actor as well as a director.

Rank 4 - Amitabh Bachchan

While Amitabh Bachhchan is undoubtedly the biggest superstar of Hindi Cinema, it’s a rather surprising discovery of him having 6 highest grossing films of the year under his kitty, far off from the name topping this list. Nonetheless, what gives the lead to Sr. Bachchan to be an all-time great is the fact that most of his hits have garnered bigger footfalls than highest grossers of the stars from modern time, and that too with films opening at record numbers despite releasing in a short span of time. His six highest grossing films of the year include Roti Kapda Aur Makaan, Sholay, Amar Akbar Anthony, Muqqadar Ka Sikander, Suhaag and Coolie.  While these stats put him at number 4, Amitabh Bachchan is an all-time biggest megastar, who commands a terrific success ratio, a huge blockbuster ratio and maximum number of films that have opened to 100% occupancy. In terms of raw fan following, he is undoubtedly the biggest ever Hindi film star followed by Dharmendra and Salman Khan.  This isn't a loosely used statement, but backed by historical data, facts and on-ground hype for the respective stars.

Rank 3 - Aamir Khan

Aamir Khan is the modern day name for quality cinema and it’s not surprising to see as many as seven of his films becoming the highest grosser of the year in a career spanning 32 years. Like Shah Rukh Khan, even Aamir has a lot of gas left in his tank, and stands a chance to jump the ladder further. His highest grossers of the year include Dil, Raja Hindustani, Ghajini, 3 Idiots, PK, Dhoom 3 and Dangal. He is a modern great and is definite to find a spot in names of people who have redefined Hindi Cinema with quality content. We place our bet on Laal Singh Chaddha to emerge the HGOTY of 2021.

Rank 2 - Dilip Kumar

The thespian of cinema, Dilip Kumar is remembered for his acting and script selection. On digging through the archives, we discovered that the mega-movie star has delivered 9 highest grossing films of the year and that too with a career of less than 65 Hindi films. His highest grossing films of the year include Jugnu, Shaheed, Aan, Madhumati, Mughal-E-Azam, Ganga Jamuna, Kranti, Vidhata and Karma. His record stood tall for over 30 years, which speaks volumes about his dominance, before one man came and shattered all records in 2017.

Rank 1 - Salman Khan

Salman Khan is the perfect example of a superstar with raw stardom, whose fan following will stay intact irrespective of the film’s quality. And to have such a loyal fan following in the social media age is in itself an achievement. In his career spanning over 30 years, he has delivered 10 highest grossers of the year, which is a record for any actor in the history of Indian cinema. With some gas still left in the tank, he stands a chance to add a film or two more to the list, making him out of reach for most of the actors in today’s time. It was a surprise for us to discover this, but well, Salman has never really broadcasted his achievements in the media and hence, everything comes across as a surprise. His 10 highest grossers of the year include Maine Pyar Kiya, Saajan, Hum Aapke Hai Koun, Hum Saath Saath Hai, No Entry, Dabangg, Bodyguard, Ek Tha Tiger, Bajrangi Bhaijaan and Tiger Zinda Hai. He stands tall against the stalwarts of Bollywood indeed.

From the current lot of actors, Ajay Devgn got his first highest grosser of the year in 2020 with Tanhaji and Akshay Kumar is yet to open his account when it comes to delivering highest grossing film of the year. Rajesh Khanna on the other hand has 2 highest grossing films of the year in Aaradhana and Haathi Mere Saathi. Sunny Deol too is in the list with 2 highest grossers of the year in Border and Gadar.


Stay tuned for detailed analysis of all the top actors and an in depth account of all HGOTY since 1947 in part 2 of this series.

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in General Queries by All Time best! (302k points)

6 Answers

+2 votes

Bollywood Hungama comes up with some of the most ridiculous articles at times. Their news are mostly fake and quite biased as well depending on the star.

Nothing against Salman or Aamir, but both of them ahead of Big B is too much. While comparing actors of different eras isn't possible, but the magnitude of Big B is huge and consider Inflation and his films running housefull for weeks, there is no comparison.

Salman has the biggest pull at the box office TODAY and has given most HGOTY. But sorry he isn't the biggest of all time. Ranking actors on the basis of number of HGOTY can't be the only parameter.

by Location Scout (4.9k points)
+1 vote

Indians need to let go off their obsession over comparing different eras, All time Biggest list is just BS.
I mean comparison should be era wise, what's the gain in comparing Apples with oranges.
When we compare different eras many factors will come at play and you really can't get real value without those factors(remember you troll boi for their real value numbers).
All of them are Biggest Superstars of All time and also there's a distinction between yesteryear's superstars and current superstars.

by Executive Producer (66.5k points)
+1 vote

There is a mistake with Amitabh Bachchan. I do not know why, but a man for whom a documentary was made in 1989, was considered a "one-man industry" having only 6 HGOTY and one being while he was yet to be n°1 is quite disillusioning.
-> Mard was n°1 HGOTY in 1985 and not Ram Teri Ganga Meli. There is a proof as well (I do not remember the exact post) on Mard's collections.
-> Shaan was HGOTY after re-release in 1980.
-> Sholay was re-released in 1982, 1987 and were HGOTY.
Total : 10 HGOTY technically.
At one point or another, Amitabh Bachchan did achieve this feat (I know re-runs are not included), but it is clear the doubt of him lagging behind in terms of HGOTY.
He has around 60 movies in top 10, and 23-25 movies in top 3. Including re-runs, the results would be phenomenal as the tally would be raised to 25-30 movies in top 3 grossers which is insane.

It is not out of nowhere that everytime he is mentionned in ceremonies as a Legend and a Megastar. I've often wondered why Khans aren't being awarded in the same way. You get of course all the fans on social network or on the internet praising them, however, when it comes to functions, they're still treated as Huge Superstar.

I first thought that it might have been a gap of Years, but then, I realized Amitabh Bachchan days as a hero ended by 1992 and he was 48-50 at that time. He was already called Megastar (Watch Hero Hiralal - 1988 in special credits at the end of the movie).

The only one that matches his stature is Dilip Kumar, but lags behind in some aspects as well. SRK is another big name that is close to him, specially due to his overseas fan-following which is the highest. Globally, he is a giant. However, in India, there are far bigger Megastars than him.

By the way, it's a shame in itself to not have included in this list the one who introduced "Superstardom" to the Hindi film industry, Rajesh Khanna.

by Costume designer (1.1k points)

Sholay is already considered as Hgoty for 1975,if reruns are considered then too it'll remain as Hgoty of 1975 only.


Of course, but considering it on a separate year, it earned 9 crores in 1982 and 7.35 crores in 1987. Therefore, it respectively crossed the HGOTY in both mentionned years.

Like I've said, if considered, he also at one point touched 10 times the HGOTY and who knows maybe more.


Naah that's not how it works
Firstly re runs aren't considered, 2ndly even if it would be considered then that'll be added to initial release.
Ghayal won't be Hgoty of 1990 then if reruns would be considered in different years.
I agree Hgoty shouldn't be the only criteria to judge also there shouldn't be any comparison between yesteryear's superstars and today's superstars but as you said top3 Hgoty should also not the only criteria as then Salman has 21 movies.

+1 vote

Yes Megastar is the Undisputed amongst Khanz having
41 Successes
30 Hits
15 Blockbusters
3 Atbb
15 Bumpers
18 Excellent openers
6 Opening Records
9 weekend records
8 week records
10 Hgoty
7 2nd Hgoty
95.5cr Footfalls which are the highest since 88
37 movies having 1cr footfalls
14 movies having 2cr footfalls
5 movies having 3cr foofalls
21 movies in top 3 since 88
27 movies in top 5 since 88
36 movies in to 10 since 88

by Unit Manager (37.1k points)
edited by
+1 vote

He is the biggest in the current generation. I don't like to compare eras. Dilip Saab and Big B are in a league of their own. I don't think the Khans should be clubbed with them.

by Mega Star (226k points)
–1 vote

haha salman won't be even in top 5 , next article Chunkey pandey bigger than khans (party)

by Set Designer (2.0k points)

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