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



  • @ hrithik :
    Salman has many good films , but none of them can be called ‘cult’ (according to neutral people, not according to Bhai fans) .

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