The new top order
An unprecedented box office success of Singh is Kinng has turned Akshay Kumar and Katrina Kaif into Bollywood’s hottest properties, reports Minakshi Saini and Princy Jain.Updated: Aug 14, 2008 20:02 IST
An unprecedented box office taking of Rs 58 crore worldwide for Singh is Kinng has turned Akshay Kumar and Katrina Kaif into Bollywood’s hottest properties. They are tinsel town’s new Number Ones with movie earnings and endorsement deals that are elbowing the likes of Shah Rukh Khan and Aishwarya Rai from the top spots.
Katrina Kaif was proclaimed the ‘Sexiest Woman Alive’ by FHM magazine, her wallpapers are the most downloaded on the Internet — replacing Ash, whom she ousted again to become the brand ambassador for Nakshatra Diamonds.
Akshay Kumar has had a string of hits and has overtaken Shah Rukh Khan both on the big screen and the small screen. He has broken Om Shanti Om’s box office record — until Singh is Kinng, OSO was Bollywood’s top grosser — and his TV show Fear
Factor: Khatron Ke Khiladi with an average TRP of 1.67 has beaten SRK’s Kya Aap Paanchvi Pass Se Tez Hain?, which has an average TRP of 1.29.
Right at the top
Trade analyst Taran Adarsh declares Akshay king of Bollywood after Singh is Kinng. “Akshay has reached the king’s throne and has forced Shah Rukh to share the title with him.” A big Bollywood producer says, “Akshay is a stronger proposition than Shah Rukh because he is more versatile as an actor, and draws a wider audience.”
“They truly deserve the title of King and Queen of Bollywood,” says Singh is Kinng director Anees Bazmee. “Their popularity meter is soaring high and they also share some of the greatest on-screen chemistry ever seen in the industry.”
Akshay is already Bollywood’s highest paid actor with a reported remuneration of Rs 50 crore for Singh is Kinng. Katrina’s current take home from a film is between Rs 3 and Rs 4 crore. But industry insiders reveal that these figures will soon be history.
The way up
According to a source from a popular celebrity and endorsement management firm, “Akshay is now looking for an equity share in all the deals. He is in the best phase of his career. He has delivered his fourth hit in a row (Namastey London, Welcome, Bhool Bhulaiya and Singh is Kinng).”
HT City has learned that Akshay may soon sign more endorsements. He has been contacted by an international clothing line and an automobile company. As of now Akshay endorses only Thums Up and Grasim.
Katrina Kaif, who had signed a Rs 6 crore movie deal with Studio 18 — the highest for any Bollywood actress — is already renegotiating that contract to reflect her new status, revealed a source from the production house. She has also added the prestigious Nakshatra Diamonds endorsement to her existing list which includes Veet, Kodak, Dyna soap and Slice.