In a surprising turn of events, it’s Swara Bhaskar and her nachaniya act in Anarkali of Araah that is getting far better reviews than the bigger release of the day, Anushka Sharma’s Phillauri. Like last year’s PINK, even Anarkali of Araah is about how a woman’s consent is ar more important than a man’s hurt pride, no matter what her profession is. Swara Bhaskar’s performance has been getting praises from most of the reviewers, and thanks to that, even the movie is getting its fair share of appreciation. Anarkali of Araah didn’t have an enviable publicity drive, like Phillauri which even had Shah Rukh Khan endorsing the movie, and hence we don’t expect any huge opening records from the movie. However, it still has hope in the form of a very good word of mouth publicity campaign that has made sleeper hits out such small movies.

Good reviews doesn’t necessarily guarantee a hit status; it’s all about the luck factor here. However the below ten movies have gained popularity at the box office, even after getting a slow start, all thanks to some really good word of mouth campaign.

Neerja

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For me, last year’s best movie was Neerja. The well-directed hijacking drama, starring Sonam Kapoor as the former Pan Am airhostess Neerja Bhanot, had an okay start, collecting mere Rs 4.70 crore at BO. But some really positive reviews made Neerja one of the most profitable movies of the year. It also ended up being the darling at the awards circuit.

Talvar

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Meghna Gulzar’s take on the real-life Aarushi Talwar murder case won the critics’ love, earning some fantastic reviews for Talvar. These reviews, along with the curiosity surrounding the case, convinced people to get into the theatres to watch the movie, after a weak start at the box office.

Queen

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Queen is surely Bollywood’s fave chick flick if you ask anyone. Even with a slow box office opening, Queen went on to carve a miraculous success route thanks to people flocking in to watch Kangana Ranaut’s National award winning performance and London Thumakda.

Dum Laga Ke Haisha

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One of YRF’s best films in recent years, Dum Laga Ke Haisha is proof that you don’t need to have a bikini babe and an NRI setting to make people flock into the theatres. A good product, a heartwarming topical premise, some nice songs and admirable performances are enough to make your film work. It may have the one of the slowest openers when it comes to YashRaj Films, but it is often one of the most loved movies of theirs this decade.

NH-10

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While we don’t know how Phillauri may work at the box office (and thanks to the poor reviews it has been getting we don’t have much hopes), we cannot say the same about Anushka Sharma’s first home production, NH-10. A gritty road thriller, on the lines of Michael Fassbender’s Eden Lake, NH-10’s tight direction impressed the public, despite its violent and gory nature.

Tanu Weds Manu

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Kangana Ranaut had been going through some flops before TWM, and Hindi audiences were yet to warm up to R Madhavan. However Aanand L Rai’s breakout movie about two diametrically opposite characters meeting and falling in love, along with Haryana’s rustic tones, helped make Tanu Weds Manu such a huge success that it also spawned a sequel (that worked well too).

A Wednesday

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Seriously, did anyone expect a movie starring Naseeruddin Shah and Anupam Kher in the lead to be such a cult hit? Neeraj Pandey made a smashing debut with A Wednesday, that dabbled with the topic that a common man can completely relate to – the fear of terrorism, and he is aided by an unpredictable screenplay and fine performances. Though he showed with A Wednesday that you don’t need stars to make a good movie, it feels bizarre that he need to rope in at least one star in all his subsequent releases.

Pyaar Ka Punchnama

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Girls still hate the movie, quite understandably so. But the guys empathised with this non-starter so much that it became a decent hit, with people still owing the movie repeated viewings. And to think Pyaar ka Punchnama had all new names in the cast! It even went on to have a sequel that had nearly the same plot and yet worked at the box office too.

Kahaani

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Kahaani had one of Vidya Balan’s best performances of her career, but people didn’t have much hopes from the movie thanks to director, Sujoy Ghosh’s track record. The thriller only earned about Rs 2.59 crore on Day 1, but then went on to gross about more than Rs 70 crores at the box office . The makers have to thank the excellent reviews that came their way for this profitable venture.

Jolly LLB

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If you are one of the admirers of Akshay Kumar’s Jolly LLB 2, you have to thank the original Arshad Warsi and Boman Irani starrer for flagging off the legal dramedy franchise. Jolly LLB’s satirical depiction of the corruption in our society and how our legal system works, had the viewers relate to the proceedings, resulting in the movie getting a hit status.