From being genres unheard of in Bollywood, biopics and films based or directly inspired by true events have come into their own in 2016. Nine releases in 2016 came from these two genres, with different levels of dramatization and creative liberties on the original story.

Four of these (Dangal, Rustom, Airlift and M.S. Dhoni – The Untold Story) crossed Rs. 100 Cr at the box office. Only seven films crossed 100 Cr this year, and four of them belong to these genres: Dangal, Rustom, Airlift and M.S. Dhoni – The Untold Story. Neerja received widespread acclaim too, and emerged a box office hit at Rs. 72 Cr.

The contribution of these genres to the box office has increased from less than 10% every year till 2015, to a staggering 30% in 2016, even with a conservative estimate taken on Dangal’s lifetime business.

The chart above captures the incredible growth of the genre over the last five years. Some of these films are official biopics, while others like Bajirao Mastani and Airlift are adaptations of true events, with significant use of the creative license.

Will 2017 be able to sustain this momentum?

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