Do you agree that Akshay Kumar is an industry by itself?
A. Yes, he is. More often than not, he does more films than the Top 3 stars combined. Exhibitors love him, producers are beginning to love him too because his films from 2016 onwards are not just profitable but he’s become a lot more consistent too. He’s also very professional, punctual and completes his films on time. The only concern is the level of opening and the dependence on word-of-mouth for his films. If that improves, then he has the potential to become a much bigger star than he is at the moment. Those 12-13 crore openings, have to get into the 15 crore plus zone on a working day, and those 120-130 crore lifetime totals, should get into 140 crore plus and closer to 150 crore. If he does this consistently – even with one odd film falling a little under 100 – he immediately begins to become a serious contender for the 3rd spot.
Q. Is this true that Akshay is Canadian now and if it is then why the news didn’t come in limelight ? What’s your view ?
A. How does it really matter? He is such a huge part of our industry and country. Exhibitors are surviving because of his films. His films give jobs to thousands of people every year. He’s one of the highest tax payers in the country. He’s usually the first to donate money to people in need, even though he doesn’t overtly use his PR machinery to publicise it. He does more for India, than 99% of Indian citizens. Watch and enjoy his films, his personal decisions are his and not anyone elses.
Q. Is Akshay Kumar losing out on the single screens audience by his movies choices? Toilet- Ek Prem Katha and Padman look like thoroughly multiplex movies. So does Gold. For an actor who is so versatile and who does so many films, wouldn’t it be wiser for him to do something in the lines of Rowdy Rathore or Gabbar or Holiday once in a while? It is a pity because he is very good in these kind of deals. I also don’t feel that Toilet and Padman are going to be huge grossers. They look risky. And he needs a huge grosser to challenge the Khans. Your thoughts, please.
A. It’s a debatable topic. We discussed this in the last QnA. Most of the money is coming from multiplex business, so it’s a smart decision as long as he can maintain the quality of his films. His way of functioning probably doesn’t allow him to made those big-budget universal films, which require more than those 60 days (including promotion) that he’s willing to give.