When it comes to the business of Bollywood films, we are blinded by the big figures. The 100 and 200 crores benchmark has become a necessity and thus when it comes to the big stars; we are constantly expecting record breaking business. While it is indeed these stars that make the big buck, it is the complete package which includes content and star cast that make the entire effort count.


It is safe to say that there is no tried and tested formula for making a film push itself to the century and that it is entirely dependent on its audience appeal. The trade records so far show that the Bollywood business is growing by the day and with collections in the range of 280 crores (Dhoom 3), there is no looking back. In recent times, the estimation of business a film will do has become a number game and it’s time we take a look at why a film does well and a point when the star values do not overpower or help in achieving great numbers at the Box Office.

Here is a look at today’s top listed actors and their performances so far:

Shah Rukh Khan:

Shah Rukh Khan in a still from movie 'Happy New Year'
Shah Rukh Khan in a still from movie ‘Happy New Year’

Shah Rukh Khan is one star who has a huge star value. While almost all of his films have tasted box office success, it’s not that luck has always been on his side too. When he smashed the box office with Chennai Express, everyone went gaga over him. With the kind of business that Chennai Express made, the expectations had reached at its peak for Happy New Year although, it is clear now that in spite of making it to the 200 crore club, the film literally pushed itself to this total in three weeks. Earlier too Ra.One was one such film for Shah Rukh that made over 100 crore business but due to its content not being well appreciated by the audience overall, the film wrapped up a little sooner than expected.

Salman Khan:

Salman Khan in a still from movie 'Kick'
Salman Khan in a still from movie ‘Kick’

Salman Khan took over the No. 1 spot again when he rattled the box office with Dabangg in 2010. The film made a business of 145 crores and gave Salman his first 100 crore film. Post this, in spite of having a lesser appeal than its first film, Dabangg 2 too made a good business of 158 crores. While this seemed to be an upward phase for the star and just when we started expecting more from business from his upcoming films, Jai Ho which released in 2014 was a huge disappointment. The film was bashed by critics and only survived on Salman’s star value. Jai Ho struggled to reach the big figure and truthfully be said, dragged itself to reach 100 crores. Once again proving that there is nothing constant when it comes to box office success.

Hrithik Roshan:

Hrithik Roshan in a still from movie 'Bang Bang'
Hrithik Roshan in a still from movie ‘Bang Bang’

Hrithik Roshan has proved his acting prowess umpteen times. The actor, who played India’s first superhero hero ‘Krrish’ literally broke box office records when his film Krrish 3 made a whopping business of over 200 crores, thus giving him his first 200 crore entry. Prior to Krrish 3, Hrithik had tasted success with Agneepath too which thanks to his power packed acting made it a 100 crore film. Looking at his graph, Bang Bang was expected to create history although the film performed average for Hrithik’s stature.

Aamir Khan:

Aamir Khan in a still from movie 'Dhoom 3'
Aamir Khan in a still from movie ‘Dhoom 3’

The first Bollywood film to make 100 crores business was Aamir Khan’s Ghajini. It was Aamir who led the race and after the super success of Ghajini, he gave another box office blow with 3 Idiots which carved another benchmark when it reached a total of 202 crores at the domestic box office. While one may have thought that he was on a roll, Aamir too faltered with Talaash. The film couldn’t even push itself to make it 100 crores. Of course, we cannot forget the fact that he bounced back with a Dhoom 3 which is the Highest grosser so far, but once again there is uncertainty and it cannot be foretold the kind of fate PK will meet.

Ajay Devgn:

Ajay Devgn in a still from movie 'Singham Returns'
Ajay Devgn in a still from movie ‘Singham Returns’

Ajay Devgn is a star who is driven by content. He has always chosen films that have built themselves with his power-packed performances. The actor has five films that have made it to the 100 crores. Golmaal 3 was Ajay’s first film to enter the 100 crore club. Post that Ajay has had a decent inning with films such as Singham, Son Of Sardar also making a 100 crore business. While his recent release Singham Returns proved to be a historic one of sorts for him as it opened with a mammoth 32 crores and made a lifetime business of 144 crores it could not push itself to even 150 crores mark. Surprisingly, even though Singham Returns was qualitatively much average compared to its original, it performed better. As Ajay gears up for Action Jackson, it will be interesting to see if he goes beyond 150 crores with it.

Akshay Kumar:

Akshay kumar in a still from movie 'The Shaukeens'
Akshay kumar in a still from movie ‘The Shaukeens’

Akshay Kumar stunned us this year as his film Holiday made a business of 112 crores at the box office. The film which was termed as ‘ordinary’ by the reviewers managed to make a good business plainly on the basis of Akshay’s fan following and also since it was a A R Murugadoss film. Yet, compared to Akki’s film Rowdy Rathore which was a typical commercial potboiler, Holiday fell flat. Rowdy Rathore had made a good 130 crore plus business. But a content rich film like Special 26 could not match even an inch closer to these films.

Thus, it is quite clear that superstardom and business are two things which may not necessarily be mixed considering there are a lot of other ingredients that make a film work at the box office and not always do star values come in question to it.

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  1. Star Value + content will drive the film to elite clubs. Otherwise very bleak chance. However, if content alone was king, then Special 26 would have been in 100cr club & not grand Masti. Positive WOM also play an important role. If not, Ra.One would have been a blockbuster. From all counts, Ra.One remains one of the best Sci-Fi thrillers in Bollywood so far.


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