If you type ‘Akshay Kumar Film’ in Google search box, the second suggestion shown is ‘Akshay Kumar film Jaanwar’. This may surprise you but not many of the film buffs and box-office experts. The 1999 film directed by Suneel Darshan ran for over three months in a theatre in Purnea in Bihar and was declared a hit. Jaanwar was one of those few films in late 1990s with which Akshay Kumar began his bid to change his image of an action star. Not to forget, Jaanwar was made on a budget of Rs 4.5 crore, it garnered over Rs 12.5 crore, almost 300% returns to producers. In the same year, he had also done Sangharsh which proved he can do serious roles and that too with an ease.
Akshay Kumar has come a long way since the days of Jaanwar and Sangharsh and is in a phase where he can almost do anything. From playing a special officer in Baby to a village simpleton in Toilet: Ek Prem Katha, he never looks out of place. He is currently the most consistent Bollywood star in the industry. And you know why, because the last time Akshay’s films flopped was in 2013 – Once Upon ay Time in Mumbai Dobaara! and Boss. Since then, even a mindless entertainer Singh is Bliing too became an average hit, riding on stardom of Akshay Kumar.
Once writer-lyricist Mayur Puri had said that any story has three parts- beginning, middle and end. Same is the story of enigma called Shahrukh Khan. His beginning was humble as well as crackling with middle-class cinema films like Raju Ban Gaya Gentleman, revenge-thriller Baazigar, Darr, Anjaam, all-time superhit DDLJ and so on. The middle was marked by Dil Se, Devdas, Kal Ho Naa Ho, Yash Chopra classic VeerZaara, my all-time favourite Swades, Farah Khan’s debut Main Hoon Na, Paheli, Don and sports drama Chak De India.
I would like to believe that end of King Khan is still quite far but the phase from 2008 has seen more disappointments than hits and has not been kind enough. He has done more experiments lately but sadly most of them have failed to generate the results as everyone would have expected.
Ever since Jab Harry Met Sejal released, critics and fans have been asking Why Harry met Sejal? According to me, this one line summarises the recent choices of films of Shahrukh Khan and their box-office collections. Why SRK chose those films and why did they fail to garner collections?
On May 7, 2017, epic drama Baahubali 2 became Indian cinema’s first film ever to gross Rs 1000 crore box office business worldwide within nine days of its release. Both the parts of Baahubali had collected close to Rs 1700 crore globally by second week of May 2017. This is historic and unlikely to repeat in the near future.
But what if I tell you that Vinay Pathak starrer comedy Bheja Fry (2007) is the most successful film in last 15 years and on the second position is Aashiqui 2.
Looking at Rs 1000 crore it would be easy to say that Baahubali 2 is the biggest film of Indian cinema in terms of business but is it the most profitable film? If we tweak the parameter of success a bit, we can get the real picture.
In the business analogy, it is often said that the success of the business does not depend on the money it earns but the returns it gives on investment. The same applies to movie business as well.
The first part of Baahubali was made at the cost of Rs 150 crore and the second at Rs 280 crore. Against the estimated investment of Rs 430 crore, both the films together earned a little over Rs 1600 crore (by 2nd week of May) giving a return of over 372%. Remember Rs 1600 crore is gross collection including that of overseas and not net collections (still counting). Now consider Bheja Fry, the Indianised version of a French film earned Rs 12.6 crore worldwide and it was made at shoe-string budget of Rs 1.5 crore, giving a whopping return of 739%.
When you get up in the morning and still the thought lingers in your mind about the movie you saw a day before, this means director was successful in conveying what he wanted to say. And for me it was Sushant Singh Rajput’s performance in Abhishek Kapoor’s Kai Po Che which I couldn’t get off my mind. Here was an actor who till last year was ruling the TRPs on the 9pm slot with his role of Manav in Pavitra Rishta on Zee TV and today has successfully made a transition on big screen. He already has 3 films in his kitty including Rajkumar Hirani’s P.K. and a YRF untitled with Parineeti Chopra.
Kamal Hassan almost wanted to leave India after what he termed as “Cultural Terrorism” stalled the release of his mega budget film Vishwaroopam for 10 days before it finally released on 7 Feb. Demanding some scenes to be cut in the movie, Muslim Groups lodged a protest with the CM and a Censor Board certified film’s release was stopped by Tamil Nadu Government. Hassan went to Supreme Court where one-judge bench ruled in his favour but the decision was overturned by a Two-Judge bench. Ultimately, a consensus was reached between the two parties and the film released with the controversial scenes muted.