By Taran Adarsh, Bollywood Hungama News Network
The number game does matter and those who feel it doesn’t, are either living on another planet or it’s a case of sour grapes. Every Friday, the ratings change and so do the equations. Take Akshay Kumar, for instance. Not too long ago, he was in the B-list, with film-makers offering him done-to-death roles, which stifle the growth of any actor. But Akshay smelt coffee and decided to experiment.
The journey from being an ‘action hero’ to a ‘complete actor’ has taken time, with the actor working doubly hard and burning the night candles to attain the super-successful results. As things stand today, Akshay occupies the prime place in the Premium List and his companions are SRK, Aamir, Salman, Hrithik and now, Saif.
Of late, there’ve been news-reports that suggest that Akshay has grown insecure of Saif’s increasing popularity, post RACE. On a personal level, I feel there’s not an iota of truth in this spiteful write-up, for Akshay’s movies enjoy tremendous pull at multiplexes/single screens or metros/mini-metros/towns. If we get real and talk of facts-n-figures, the volume of business of Akshay’s films has put him on the pedestal, right next to SRK.
In Overseas, the biggest territory today, Akshay has attained a strong foothold. In U.K., SRK occupies the top position, with Akshay being the No. 2 star there, if the business of NAMASTEY LONDON, HEYY BABYY, BHOOL BHULAIYAA and WELCOME is an indicator.
Let’s talks facts! Four years ago, in 2004, the Akshay starrer AAN fetched a miserable £ 19,460 in its opening weekend in U.K. The same producer’s WELCOME , also starring Akshay in the lead, fetched £ 369,321 in its opening weekend, which, to enlighten the gullible souls, is the second biggest opener of 2007, after OM SHANTI OM.
In the U.S., Akshay is next to SRK and Hrithik [both DHOOM 2 and JODHAA AKBAR were massive hits] and if Akshay starts featuring in romantic movies, the business should reach the same figure for sure. Hence, all insinuations of Akshay being insecure could be the handiwork of an over-enthu mind who has zilch knowledge of movie business.
The popularity of any actor is gauged by the price his films fetch and a solo Akshay starrer, SINGH IS KINNG, has fetched Rs. 71.4 crores, which clearly puts him right next to SRK and Aamir.
Also – this is very important – had Akshay been insecure, he wouldn’t have told Vipul Shah to plan a project with Saif and him [Akshay] together. “Yes, he told me he enjoyed working with Saif in TASHAN and would love to work with him again. ‘Why don’t you plan a project that teams us together?’ Akshay told me,” Vipul Shah enlightens me. If Akshay was indeed feeling the heat, he wouldn’t have uttered these words, right?
Am sure, Akshay must be laughing at the ignorance of some wannabe journos!