The star system is collapsing. Rather, it is mutating. What was considered infallible earlier is today dubbed vulnerable. Right, Salman? The rocksteady revenue earners in 2019 were those actors who believed in the first rule of filmmaking. Content, not Shah Rukh Khan, is King. Here is looking at the actors who mattered moneywise.
Akshay Kumar: How does he do it, year after year? Akshay Kumar had four 100-crore plus hits in 2018. He has another four blockbusters to his credit in 2019. He started the year with the historical Kesari and ended the year with the hysterical Good Newzz. In-between the hits that came were Mission Mangal and the execrable Housefull 4 which every critic hated but the audiences loved. Going by his evolved performances and rocksteady box office status, Akshay Kumar is at the moment, the No.1 star of Bollywood.
Ayushmann Khurrana: The working-class version of Akshay Kumar, solid, dependable man whom you can invite in your house to look after the womenfolk when you are travelling. Ayushmann shattered the myth of working-class heroes being suited only for subsidiary success with the content-wise politically strong subject-matter in Article 15, Dream Girl and Bala heading to the 100-crore club. It is rare that an actor so firmly rooted in the ground reality can make this kind of money.
Hrithik Roshan: After a lean phase that lasted for a good two years (his Mohenjo Daro flopped and Kaabil underperformed in 2018) Hrithik is back in the reckoning. And how! Two back-to-back blockbusters Super 30 and War prove he is the king of the box-office. With revenues of 200 crores (Super 30) and 300 crores (War) Roshan is today considered Bollywood’s topmost moneyspinner.
Taapsee Pannu: Say hello to the male Akshay Kumar. Like Akshay, Taapsee had four hits in 2019. Badlaa, Game, Sandh Ki Aankh and Mission Mangal. In three of these, she played the hero. In all 4 she was in peak form investing naturalism to her characters far removed from the exaggerated emotions that female heroes are expected to indulge in when playing dramatic roles. Considered the box office’s new Ms Dependable, she is the first among equals in a male-dominated box office.