On Akshay Kumar’s birthday, decoding what makes him Bollywood’s most successful
Akshay Kumar once thanked the media for criticizing him to a point that it brought out the best in him. The man who has famously spoken about his 16 back-to-back flops is Bollywood’s foremost actor with the Midas touch. Akshay has had 10 consecutive hits, starting with Airlift (2016). He has not had a flop in this period, which makes it a record few can replicate.
While Mission Mangal is on its way to enter Rs 200 crore club, here’s how much his last 10 films earned -- Kesari: Rs 154.4 crore, 2.0 (Hindi): Rs 189 crore, Gold: Rs 105 crore, PadMan: Rs 81.8 crore, Toilet - Ek Prem Katha: Rs 134.2 crore, Jolly LLB 2: Rs 117 crore, Rustom: Rs 128 crore, Housefull 3: Rs 109 crore and Airlift: Rs 129 crore.
Experimenting with genres while addressing social issues, Akshay has made himself into a brand whose name is enough to bring people into theatres. Akshay delivers between 3-4 films each year unlike most of his contemporaries. The actor has already delivered two blockbusters in 2019: period film Kesari and science drama Mission Mangal. He has two more films lined for release -- multi-starrer comedy Housefull 4 and romcom Good News. Not only this, he has already booked next year’s calendar for multiple projects: Rohit Shetty’s Sooryavanshi, Laxmmi Bomb, Bachchan Pandey and historical Prithviraj.
It seems Akshay is competing with himself -- each of his films is breaking the last one’s record. Mission Mangal has earned Rs 194 crore till now, making it his biggest film till date.
Among highest earning actors in the world
Akshay is the highest earning star in Bollywood and it is no fluke. He has secured the 33rd spot in Forbes’ 2019 list of 100 highest-paid celebrities. According to Forbes, Akshay’s earnings are in the range of Rs 444 crore ($65 million) as he “pulls in at least $5 million and up to $10 million per film” and earns “millions for endorsement deals with over 20 brands”.
What sets this 52-year-old apart from his competitors in Bollywood is his star power, his commercial reliability at the box office, his image and the variety he brings out in his work to stay relevant at all times.
Variety of roles
Akshay has rightfully earned the respect he holds in the industry for his choice of films, most of which give a social message to his millions of fans. Not many would have said yes to play a Pad-Man or sign a film titled Toilet: Ek Prem Katha. The actor has featured in several women-oriented films and added his box office pull to them without watering down the subject or taking attention away from his co-stars.
Akshay once told Hindustan Times in an interview, “All these things have been taught to me by my own experience. I’ve learned that if I do different genres, I won’t be tagged. When I used to do a lot of action, everyone said, ‘He is an action hero and nothing else’. So, I tried comedy, and then everyone was talking about just that. Then I decided I’ve to do different kinds of films. So, I am thankful to people, and the media, for criticising me to that point and bringing out the best in me.”
Akshay swears by discipline
Akshay can easily be passed off as the fittest man from his generation of Bollywood stars. The actor is a martial arts expert and still prefers to perform his own stunts. His recent gimmick had him hanging from a helicopter while shooting for Rohit Shetty’s Sooryavanshi. The actor even upset his wife Twinkle Khanna by setting himself on fire at the launch of his forthcoming Amazon show, The End.
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Hardly seen at any of the glitzy Bollywood parties that have almost the entire film industry in attendance, Akshay doesn’t compromise on his fitness routine or his sleep timings. The actor doesn’t drink or smoke and continues to pose a stiff competition for the younger brigade with his chiselled bod.
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