Why Dabangg is bigger than 3 Idiots

Indicine writer Abhishek Sharma on why the success of Dabangg was bigger than 3 Idiots.

The messiah of the masses, Salman Khan, has unleashed the first trailer of his home Production and arguably the most awaited movie of the year ‘Dabangg 2’. The phenomenal craze for Khan, who is on a dream run, with one blockbuster after another, has raised the expectations exponentially.

While we are all set to hear and read several predictions, reviews and forecasts for this movie from the so called ‘trade experts’, let us spare few moments to revisit the aura created by the original first film – Dabangg in 2010.

Right from Maine Pyaar Kiya, Salman has always been a huge star with a humungous fan following, but he never had an extended strong hold on the numero unospot. Dabangg changed it all. Released on 10th Sept 2010, the film created history by breaking the first day, first weekend and first week records of 3 Idiots which was released almost 9 months before. Although it fell well short of the final figure (202 c) which remains untouched even today, the unprecedented and unbelievable success of Dabangg cannot be ignored.

Below mentioned is a quick comparison with 3 Idiots, one that makes the unexpected success of Dabangg look much bigger.


  • Before 3 Idiots, Aamir Khan’s was enjoying probably the best phase of his career with Ghajini (All Time Blockbuster), Taare Zameen Par (Super Hit) and Fanaa (Super Hit) whereas Salman’s was on a horrid run before Dabangg – Veer (Below Average), London Dreams (Flop) and Main Aur Mrs Khanna (Disaster).
  • 3 Idiots was directed by Rajkumar Hirani, one of the most successful directors in the industry, with both commercial success and critical acclaim. The first two Munnabhai films were classic masterpieces. On the other hand Dabangg was directed by a rank newcomer Abhinav Kashyap.
  • 3 Idiots is a dream production of the established and reputed Vidhu Vinod Chopra banner while Dabangg marked the debut of Arbaaz Khan Productions.
  • Kareena Kapoor was a huge star and commands a fan following of her own, while the makers of Dabangg were taking a chance with debutant Sonakshi Sinha.
  • 3 Idiots, understandably, got exceptional reviews from critics all over the globe and the word-of-mouth was outstanding. Dabangg was panned by most critics as a loud movie without a storyline.
  • 3 Idiots was aimed at universal audience as the subject had a global appeal while Dabangg is a typical old fashioned single-screen targeted movie with a routine revenge saga and predictable storyline.

The Business of Indian Cinema has increased manifolds in the last 2 years since the release of Dabangg. But there are only two movies which have managed to cross it’s collections in India. And it goes without saying that both were Salman starrers.

Note: This article above is not to undermine or degrade the achievement of 3 Idiots, as it is one of the finest movies ever made. It deserves to be the biggest blockbuster of all time. The whole purpose of the comparison is just to showcase the magnitude of the stardom of a phenomenon known as ‘Salman Khan’, a man who carried Dabangg entirely on his shoulders with his charisma and made ‘Chulbul Pandey’ .

Article by Abhishek Sharma



  • Excellent Article…..

    To Some Fools Who Are Commenting Here Without Understanding The Article….

    English Mein Hai Isliye Shayad Unpadh Logon Ku Samajh Mein Nai Aara…

    Article Headline It Self Says Its ‘BIGGER’ Not ‘BETTER’

    3 Idiots Was Brilliant Movie Ever Made…. Dabangg Is The Best Example For The Phenomenon Ever Created…. :)

  • Some of the people commenting negative about salman but they should know “he clearly said many times he is making movies to entertain people those who like entertainment (Masala Movies) watch it or else don’t watch it, why someone not saying that Salman is the only actor who did not give any kissing scene or intimate scene on screen, so the whole family can enjoy the movie together.

    That is the best compliment for him.

  • Ask yourself first how many times u have watched 3 IDIOTS and how many time(s) u have watched DABAANG…If u could get answer from ur heart, then we will talk about this article…If u have nothing to write stay idle but don’t give us this crap…. BTW I have watched 3 idiots 14 times and Dabaang 1 time…

  • @TALAASH Nov. 30: if you are educated read the article again and try to understand it. It says ” bigger not better” I hope you know the difference of these two words.

  • Great article. Best work by Abhishek and Indicine.
    After a long long time, I like the Article by Abhishek. Salman is the real longest super star india had.
    Salman is the crowd puller. His earlier films Maine Pyar kiya, Hum Aapke hain kaun, Karan Arjun, Sanam bewafa, Sajan are were Block busters. Salman’s wanted, Dabangg once again brought salman to the biggest Super Stardom. His Dabangg2 will also rocks and breaks all boxoffice records.
    Thank you Abhishek and Indicine for the excellent article.

  • @ Mr. Sudip,

    Do you understand the crux of this article, or even the basic point ?

    Why shouldn’t an entertainment film not gross more than an intelligent movie? Even in Hollywood, the entertainment movies makes most records and collection.

    But since that is hollywood, it is okay. Anything of goras is okay, right?

    In general, people go to movies for entertainment. There are hundreds of entertainment movies releasing, but do all get success as Dabanng or ETT?

    Do all intelligent films gross like 3 idiots?

    Answer me why?

    Because, you need to connect with the people, and people have different taste, and connecting with these taste is like catching the nerve of the people, which isn’t possible for every director or actor? It needs understanding the exact need of the people and delivering it. It is like the perfect dish, that need to be served to the ‘Right’ people.

    Salman star power and Abhinav’s direction did this with Dabanng, while others were dud, while Aamir and Hirani did this with 3idiots.

    The comparision was the weightage each film carried, and the whole movie of Dabanng was carried on the shoulder of Salman, while Aamir had the best script and best Director to support. So, comparatively he did a better job, meaning, Dabangg did a better job, though collection-wise it didn’t break 3idiots record, but the odds were much against it, and yet it did superb.

    Entertainment movies include action, romance etc., while intelligent movies are more arty. But, if you infuse entertainment and art, like 3idiots, it becomes a winner, and it is not possible every time.

    To make a movie is not like typing this comment. First, you should get a good script. You cannot manufacture it in your kitchen. Then you need to find the right directors, as they are all busy and with hundreds of scripts lying, it needs a huge luck that the director have time to go through it. Then needs the finance, then the dates of the actors, and many more things. All these need to gel together to make a hit.

    So, instead of insulting a movie, just imagine what the moviemakers and people involved go through and appreciate it, when they give a hit.

  • @ Talaash,

    That’s your choice. I have watched some 10 times both movies. What do you have to say about that?

    Just because you watched 3i 14 times doesn’t make it better in the above comparision. First, check what is mentioned in the article, and then comment.

  • 3 Idiots, understandably, got exceptional reviews from critics all over the globe and the word-of-mouth was outstanding. Dabangg was panned by most critics as a loud movie without a storyline.
    3 Idiots was aimed at universal audience as the subject had a global appeal while Dabangg is a typical old fashioned single-screen targeted movie with a routine revenge saga and predictable storyline.
    dese two pt.s written by d writer clearly conveys dat 3 idiots is mch mch mch bttr dan dabangg in all aspects, bt its our stupid brainless audience dat went to c faltu content movie n made it blockbuster n due to dat poor content films lyk ready n bodyguard also grossed so mch . audience shud actually realise hw bad content films dey r payin fr

  • i would say salman’s Baghban and Tere Naam were his biggest movies and they are far better than the clueless movies that he is making today

  • very gud article but the problem release of this kind article before jthj film release is shcoker for me..after 2008 kat b’day party btw sallu-srk everyone thought sallu is over becoz srk is media’s darling i.e zoom tv,ndtv,vicky lalwani etc..but now salman has raised his own standard. He is brilliant as the host of Bigg Boss too.

  • Mr. JC,s comment is the most appropriate comment with context of article, it is salmania ,salmania ,salmania…..???

  • @indicine……..
    But ; 3 idiots is better than dabang…where dabang was not a story. Then why u have says a dabbang is better???????
    3 idiots is a oscar winning movie where dabbang is veey bad.

  • What a comment @JC. I would say this is the best comment ever posted in Indicine website.
    It brilliantly explained the meaning of article.
    @Indicine : Try to publish this comment itself. Good work JC.

  • I don’t like none of the movies, even if I ador both actors.
    “3 Idiots” , at the begin of the movie the sister of Kareena has a name, at the end, another name ~ HUGE MISTAKE , and that is the most important, they are other few. But the subject was really good, and Aamir did an amazing job.
    “Dabangg”, that type of movies were good in the 60’s ….the man is beating 10 people and survive, than is taking a slap and is sleeping for a few houres….Seriously???

    Bollywood has many movies that are much better than this 2 …but this is BO !!!!

  • @Indicine: No doubt the comparisons made are unarguably correct, all said and done, but whether this article/Comparisons was required??? :) Coz at present its clear that whatever salman does, people like it no matter hw really it is!!! this is purely what i feel.

  • Haha! :D By this logic, Aamir should never be called a star & directors like Raju Hirani should always be rated below Abhinav Kashyaps because they ensured their films have good content!

    Does the writer even know what he’s talking? Comparing apples & oranges & using absurd logic!

    Kareena had miniscule role in 3I. As for Aamir, he’s equally contributed to ensure 3I had good content! Read book on making of 3 Idiots! There Hirani himself describes how Aamir got them to re-write the script of 3I & with his inputs they changed the story! Otherwise 3I was getting rejected by everyone & initially even Madhavan was not sure about it!

    It’s absurd how stars & makers who ensure good content should now be portrayed inferior! Where did good content come from? Did it fall from skies? No sir! The makers & stars WORKED & CREATED the good content! Give them credit for their achievement!

    Salman is fixed in one image. He can never get acceptance in different kind of films like 3I or TZP. Whereas Aamir did shatter all records with even a masala film like Ghajini!

    Indicine please be FAIR & publish this comment even if it’s long! Please!

  • Highly bias article.. 3 idiots was a risky gesture. No doubt Raju Hirani had BB before, but 3 idiots is biggest hit because of Aamir’s extraordinary acting skills, body language and his out-of-box promotions. Comparing Dabangg with 3 idiots is a Blasphemy. In fact, if you go by footfalls, Ghajini is bigger hit than Dabangg, let alone 3 idiots.

  • Aamir set a trend of action movies back again with Ghajini. If no Ghajini, then Dabangg would have been not an ATBB. So credit goes again to Aamir. Aamir is a phenomenon. Salman is biggest star of India, but when it comes to Aamir, he is beyond numbers and stardom. He redefines stardom.

    Ask Salman to star in 3 idiots and/or TZP and make it a BB. Answer will be a BIG NO. If Aamir tries anything like Dabangg, he will easily set benchmarks..

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