When we decided to put together a power list of actors, directors and producers as a special story for Hindustan Times’ seventh anniversary in Mumbai, we wanted a list that reflects the film industry as it actually is today, rather than one that merely reflects our perception of it. So we decided to focus on money.
For whatever it’s worth (a lot!), ticket sales and therefore box office returns are the biggest indicator of who’s hot in the film industry and who’s not. While it’s true that perception also matters hugely (money, or the lack of it, is not the only reason a film succeeds, fails or just vanishes unremarked, as many filmmakers have found to the cost of their bank accounts and the despair of their accountants), hard cash, most often, delivers truths.
So using box office returns, and in keeping with our seventh anniversary, we set off on our quest to discover Bollywood’s seven hottest male actors, female actors, directors and producers, based on the box office totals of their five most recent films. To allow perception its due, we gave our film trade experts longlists of all the actors, directors and producers who we were convinced would feature on the final lists of seven, and asked them to get back to us with shortlists based on box office numbers. When we eventually got these final lists back, we found the names of not only the usual suspects but, to our stunned surprise, quite a few names we hadn’t even considered! Go figure!
The various lists featured were created on the basis of box office collections for the last five years. All lists were discussed with trade analysts Vajir Singh, Taran Adarsh and Komal Nahta separately. Named in random order, these lists were collated as per the theatrical collections available at the time of going to press.
NOTE: All acting and endorsement fee details courtesy Komal Nahta.
Box office figures in the lists inside are lifetime theatrical India collections. The details are courtesy Box Office India.