In comparison to the West, India was rather slow to adopt the idea of sequels and franchises. Series and franchises have been created by Hollywood as early as the 1960s and 1970s. Franchises were nonexistent in India, with the exception of a few peculiar sequels like Nigaahein and The Return of Jewel Thief. However, sequels saw a boom at the start of the twenty-first century in all Indian film industries. In fact, over half of the highest-grossing Indian movies released today are a part of a series or franchise. The highest-grossing Indian movie franchise has really raked in over Rs 2000 crore at the box office.
Highest-grossing Indian film franchise or series
A franchise or film series is defined as a collection of films that are either sequels or prequels (like Baahubali or KGF), thematic sequels (like Housefull or Murder), or set in the same universe (like Rohit Shetty’s Cop Universe or theLokesh Cinematic Universe). The highest-grossing Indian film franchise currently is the YRF Spy Universe, which consists of four films that have a combined worldwide gross of Rs 2424 crore. This exceeds the gross of the Baahubali series (Rs 2303 crore in two films), KGF series (Rs 1500 crore in two films), and Rohit Shetty’s Cop Universe (Rs 1049 crore in four films).
YRF Spy Universe’s box office numbers
The YRF Spy Universe consists of four films, three of which were added to the series retroactively after the fourth one released to weave them in one fabric. The first film in the series – Ek Tha Tiger – released in 2012 and earned Rs 325 croe. Then came the 2017 release Tiger Zinda Hai with a gross of Rs 565 crore. In 2019, the franchise’s third film War grossed Rs 475 crore. However, it was the series’ fourth film that made it the most successful Indian film franchise. Released in January 2023, Shah Rukh Khan’s Pathaan earned Rs 1050 crore, taking the YRF Spy Universe past Baahubali’s lifetime earnings. With Tiger 3, the next instalment of the series set to release later this year, the numbers will only go higher.