The man has done it again. Right at the start of the New Year, he has scored yet another century. With Jolly LLB 2 going past the Rs. 100 crore mark on Tuesday, Akshay Kumar now has an enviable record of scoring four centuries in a row. What makes it all the more special is the fact that he has managed to do that in 13 months flat, a feat that no other superstar has achieved so far.
It was in January 2016 when he scored his first century of the year. The film was Airlift. This was followed by Housefull 3 [June 2016] and Rustom [August 2016]. Now in February 2017, its time to bring another film of his in the Rs. 100 Crore Club, hence making it four centuries in 13 months. That’s one record that would be very difficult to break for any actor in the coming future, considering the fact that no one actually makes these many films in a single calendar year.
To think of it, even Aamir Khan doesn’t have this record. Yes, he has scored the biggest of them all in the history of Bollywood. He is the founding father of the Rs. 100 Crore, Rs. 200 Crore and Rs. 300 Crore club. He has back to back biggies like Dangal, PK and Dhoom 3 behind him. However, he had Talaash just before these films which couldn’t enter the Rs. 100 Crore Club. Had that happened, he would have enjoyed six centuries in a row, what with Ghajini and 3 Idiots before it. That said, it would all have happened in a span of 8 years, what with Ghajini releasing in 2008 and Dangal arriving in 2016.
The winning formula
It is the cost factor that is keeping all in the supply chain happy for Akshay Kumar films. From 2016 onwards he has cracked the winning formula, what with cost of production being kept under the Rs. 30 crore mark for each of his films. He finishes his films well under 45-50 days. His own shooting days are around 30-35 days. There are no fancy sets or elaborate shooting schedules abroad. Moreover, the star of the show invariably stays on to be himself with a strong supporting cast around him. There is controlled spent on P&A while his own remuneration comes from the profits that the film makes. As for those who have invested in it, the film typically turns out to be safe within first week of run. This has happened with Airlift, Rustom as well as Jolly LLB 2, all of which have followed this formula.
This mode of working is pretty much working for everyone, right from the producers to the exhibitors to the distributors. Producers are happy since they can bankroll a major film with Akshay on a consistent note, and don’t have to wait for years to procure his dates. Exhibitors are happy since they are aware that three-four Akshay Kumar films would release round the clock in a year and that would keep guaranteed footfalls coming. Distributors are happy since the films are sold at a reasonable price and they don’t have to pay through their nose or worry about return on investment.
What does future beckon
2017 could well turn out to be the most interesting year for Akshay Kumar, both critically and commercially. He has two ‘truly different’, yet promising-to-be-entertaining films releasing in months to come. First to arrive would be Toilet – Ek Prem Katha and the other one is PadMan. Both actually deal with sanitary issues, and are being pitched as being mainstream, which is a huge experiment that one could think of from any superstar. Shooting of Toilet – Ek Prem Katha has again been wrapped up in less than 50 days. PadMan would go on floors soon and may reach the finishing line even quicker. Both are cost effective again.
The BIG one
As for the biggie of the year, there is 2.0 for Akshay Kumar. The film is easily one of the most ambitious affairs that he has starred in, ever since one can remember. As a villain in the sequel to the immensely popular and very successful Robot, Akshay Kumar has shot for a record number of days for the film and has shuttled between Mumbai and Chennai at a rapid pace. While in South the Rajinikanth led film is expected to arrive like a hurricane, even up North the film is set to have a Bahubali-an effect amongst the audiences. The Diwali release, by all means, is set to be Akshay Kumar’s biggest grosser till date.