Nikhil Advani Career Analysis: Films and Box Office

By Archit Mishra (Tweets @architmishra_06)

This September, Nikhil Advani will have 2 successive releases just within the span of a week, competing with each other in the form of ‘Hero’ and ‘Katti Batti’. We thought it’s a good time to have a look into Advani’s past work/ accomplishments and analyze the prospects of his upcoming ventures.

Nikhil started his career as an Assistant Director to elite directors such as Sudhir Mishra (Is Raat Ki Subah Nahin), Karan Johar (Kuch Kuch Hota Hai and Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham) and Aditya Chopra (Mohabattein). His debut film as Director, Kal Ho Na Ho, was produced by Karan Johar’s Dharma Productions. The film did well at the box office, but all releases that followed have failed to make impact.

Nikhil Advani

Nikhil Advani


  1. Emotional Connect: Nikhil has ample abilities in handling emotional side of human nature. It was quite evident with the maturity he handled dramatic scenes in Kal Ho Naa Ho and Patiala House.
  2. An Ear For Music: Irrespective of the box office fate, most of his films left a mark with good music. All of his directorial ventures so far had music by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy and Katti Batti will follow the suit. Quite surprisingly, Hero will be his first movie not associated with the Music director trio.
  3. Critical Acclaim: He was also fortunate enough to be in the good books of the critics. Of his directorial endeavors, Kal Ho Na Ho and D-Day won the best acclaim. Both the films earned ‘winner/ nomination’ titles in multiple categories at reputed Award ceremonies.
  4. Foreign Appeal: Another skill Nikhil possesses is catering to the taste of NRI audience. Whether it was Kal Ho Na Ho, Patiala House or even Salaam-E-Ishq, he ably shot scenes in exotic foreign locations and portrayed some stories of Indians living abroad.


His biggest weakness is one of the most crucial aspects of film making, the almighty Box Office. After making a Hit directorial debut with Kal Ho Naa Ho, Nikhil has had a string of Disasters and Flops behind him. Interestingly, though he has worked with 3 superstars of Bollywood (Shahrukh Khan, Salman Khan and Akshay Kumar), success has come only with Shahrukh.

Box Office Performance as Director

Kal Ho Naa Ho2003Romance, Drama35Hit
Salaam-E-Ishq2007Romance, Drama22.5Flop
Chandni Chowk to China2009Comedy, Action31Flop
Patiala House2011Drama35.3Flop
Delhi Safari2012Animation2.1Disaster

Production Plans

Advani commands a decent experience in Production as well since he has co-produced Jaane Kahan Se Aayi Hai and D-Day. Currently he owns a production house with the name, Emmay Entertainment Private Limited. The company was behind D-Day and is now co-producing Katti-Batti, Hero and Airlift in partnership with reputed production houses like UTV, Salman Khan Films and T-Series respectively.

Hero vs Katti Batti

Hero and Katti Batti Posters

Hero and Katti Batti Posters

  • Banner: If Katti Batti (releasing on 18th Sep 2015) has a big banner like UTV associated with it, Hero (releasing on 11th Sep 2015) too has Eros International (Distribution) on its side. Not to mention, Salman Khan’s backing.
  • Advantages: The biggest USP of Katti Batti is that it’s the first major release of Kangana Ranaut after the blockbuster triumph of Tanu Weds Manu Returns (Here, we take your permission to assume that I Love New Year was just a nightmare and not reality). Kangana is at an all-time career high with the success of Queen and TWMR behind her. On the other hand, though Hero shall be the launch pad of two star kids, Sooraj Pancholi and Athiya Shetty, it is none other than Salman Khan himself who has got eye balls rolling in favour of Hero, as he is involved in multiple departments of this film, be it production, creativity or music. Moreover, Hero is a remake of the 1983 classic with the same name, which was directed by Subhash Ghai and Jackie Shroff and Meenakshi Sheshadri achieved stardom with that film.
  • Music flavour: Both the films have good light hearted music which majorly aims at the youth. Hero has couple of potential chartbusters in the form of ‘Main Hoon Hero Tera’, ‘Dance Ke Legend’ and ‘Yadaan Teriyaan’. Similarly, ‘Sarfira’ and ‘Lip-To-Lip’ lead from Katti Batti’s album.
  • Multiplex vs Single Screen Appeal: By the looks, Katti Batti seems to be the quintessential Rom-Com that can score on the strength of multiplexes. Contrary, Hero will have an edge at Single Screens as it has got action as its back drop in the romantic tale.

Final Word

In a career spanning over a decade, Nikhil Advani has juggled it up with diverse genres – Romance, Comedy, Drama, Animation and Thriller. In the process, he has earned good commendation for himself but the ticket window hasn’t been as merciful. He is one of the most capable directors in the industry who still needs to prove his mettle at the box-office and there can’t be a better time for that. After a long gap, he is returning to his forte, Romance, with these two upcoming films. They say that life doesn’t give a second chance. Well, this September has in its store, not one, but two opulent opportunities for the director. The big question is – Will Nikhil be able to break his Box Office jinx? We wish him the best!


Tell us, which of these two Nikhil Advani films you would like to give a watch this September?

Hero vs Katti Batti

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Message from the author: A big thank you to all Indicine readers for the fabulous response to the ‘STAR POWER’ article. I am currently working on the second part of the article, making a few changes based on the feedback that readers have given to the first part. It should be published this weekend. Meanwhile, you can read some of the article that I had written for Indicine about 2 years ago. Any article suggestions are welcome, do tell me what you would like to read in the comments section! You can also ping me on Twitter @architmishra_06



  • Hero and katti batti wil change his fate. Both wil b hits. Salman khan is supporting him so obviously nikhil adwani wil get benefit too like aishwarya katrina arjun kapoor zarine Jacqueline suraj athiya

  • Naseeruddin shah or Srk should play Sooraj’s grandfather in movies, as they look too old to play his father. Face full of wrinkles.

  • @Archit Mishra
    Can you please make an article comparing the three Khans in detail from their debut to current date..

    I’ll be grateful to you if you can do this….
    Thanks in advance !!

  • Nikhil Advani is a good director but something is missing in his movies . KHNH and D-Day were brilliant movies and Delhi Safari was decent . CC2C is one of the worst movies made in Bollywood . Patiala House was ok but it had too much melodrama . I have not seen SI completely . So September is a huge chance not only for Imran, Sooraj and Athiya but also for Nikhil . Honestly i think both Hero and KB will be flops at the Box Office . Hero looks like a crappy remake of Jackie Shroff’s Hero and KB is looking mediocre . So i have given vote to None . Nice to read a article by Archit Mishra after a long time and i am eagerly waiting for your next article . Best of Luck NA because you need it !!!!!!!!!!

  • Archit Mishra… You really deserve sky high praises for all the articles…
    Superb man..
    Waiting for your next article on superstardom…

    And about this article—>just one of the uncountable reasons why SRK is the BAADSHAH

  • though he has worked with 3
    superstars of Bollywood (Shahrukh Khan, Salman Khan
    and Akshay Kumar), success has come only with
    that is the power of king srk…..

  • I like Patiala house a lot .

    Heropanti did 55 cr with average promotions & hero with huge promotions should do around 70 crs …..!
    Otherwise salman khan’s huge dose of revital will go in vain tht he took 4 doing heavy promotions ??

    Katti batti too looking promising .
    Both movies can be average to hit .

    Hero ?50-60
    Katti batti ? 60-70

  • @Archit Mishra
    Can you please make an article comparing the three Khans in detail from their debut to current date??

  • Karan Johar wrote KHNH n apparently also assisted with its direction, so that’s a big reason why it was so good.

    Hero is a remake so will be easier to give a good film.

  • I voted to none.

    Only KING KHAN able to give HIT that director.and even if salaam-e-ishq is the biggest multistarrer film till date still it becomes failure because ROMANCE is the most difficult genre and only ONE MAN can able to give ATBB,blockbuster,SUPER HITS,HITS and HE IS THE KING OF BOLLYWOOD.

    anyways I liked Patiala house was also pretty good.and do dooni char is another such wonderful film.besides these movies rest are craps and couldn’t get watchable.

    And hero will be nothing but a trash,better he would have try another such good films with KING KHAN rather working with these useless and unwanted actor and productions.

  • ” Interestingly, though he ( Nikhil Advani ) has worked with 3 superstars of Bollywood (Shahrukh Khan, Salman Khan and Akshay Kumar), success has come only with Shahrukh.” — Indicine
    too much funnn …

  • Delhi Safari is the 3rd Highest Bollywood earner behind PK and 3 Idiots in China.

    A huge feat, considering the crap track record of B’wood animation films.

  • Pls correct it Salman was not the lead actor in salam e ishq. Lots of actors were in it that one can point finger and say it’s because of them the movie flopped. Akshay on the other hand I learnt ddnt want to start shooting for cctd before a certain amount which was very high was paid to him. Such a greedy Gobar. Now 2 movies with Akshay lead roles flop is not a surprise.

  • He is in industry even after flops and disasters. Due to kal ho na ho. Kal ho na ho and Patiala house are his only good movies.

    Will watch hero because of Salman.

  • Interesting Salman & Aamir are backing & promoting youngsters.
    On the other hand third Khan trying to save his career with the help of youngsters like Varun.

  • The film should open well as the Salman Khan song has become a hit but its very unlikely to become as big as the 1983 film simply because that was directed by one Hindi cinema’s best ever directors Subhash Ghai and this is directed by a director with a very bad track record so has to surpass his previous works by leaps and bounds. The film has good chances to work as hype has been created and its a ready made blockbuster story but almost impossible to be as big as the 1983 film.
    K. Gulrez

  • His kal ho naa ho is one of my all time fav is hard to believe he is the same directer who made movie like kal ho na ho after watching his other movies..not intrested in both movies..anyways all the best..

  • Nikhil Advani is a talented director. If you watch Kal Ho Naa Ho and his other movies (Except D-Day) you will find these are directed by 2 different directors. I dont know what happened to him after KHNH !!!! Salaam-e-Ishq was a total mis-concept coming with 5-6 love stories and too many cooks spoiled it. D-Day is his best work for me. KHNH was good too but Srk was at prime when it released it and the emotional angle made it look like bigger !!!!!!!!!!

    I wish all the best for of his movies. Kangana will be the sole reason if Katti Batti becomes successful as it looks like usual Rom-Com. Hero have high chances due to Remake, Hit music and Salman’s backing !!!!!! Hope Nikhil delivers in both the movies as a director !!!!!!

  • Now some morons will come and bark about KHNH and give entire credit to Srk !!!!!!!

    Ashutosh Gowariker also worked with 3 superstars Aamir (Lagaan), Srk (Swades) and Hrithik Roshan (Jodhaa Akbar) and Failure has come only with SRK !!!!!!!!!!

    Too much fun !!!!!!!! :-p

  • @Indicine : love the ”Weakness” point.. you had to write after making a Hit directorial debut with KHNH as reason behind that was working with SRK.. & Nikhil has had a string of Disasters and Flops & reason behind that was working with Salman. Nikhil’s career would be as shining as his first Film if he wouldn’t have worked with all decades disaster Bhojpuri Bhaijaan after KHNH.

    KHNH is one of mine most fav films. as well as D-Day that was Damn good.. still I have voted for none as well as i’m not interested to watch anyone . with one movie salman is related ( so called helping youngsters when he couldn’t help himself despite of huge multi starrer & delivered Disaster with Nikhil & made him zero from hero by throwing it to the same condition where he was before SRK’s KHNH) from whom we can expect just a crap remake..

    & with 2nd movie disasters actors like Imran kaun amiri Kaun is related from whom we can expect just flop,cheap films & as well as fake tears Still if i’ll watch any film that would be Hero bec of Athiya Shetty as her choice still looks good as she has chosen SRK over a Bhojpuri actor .

  • It is the difference between BAADSHAH and CRIMINAL. SRK’s KHNH was hit and Buddha’s SALAAM E ISHQ WAS EPIC DISASTAR. LOL

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