Akshay Kumar has redefined the possible definitions of a superstar. Donning multiple hats of an actor, producer, family man, philanthropist, and countless others, Khiladi Kumar has never disappointed his millions of fans. Kumar, who turns 53 on September 9, has 3 films to shoot followed by his digital debut with Amazon Prime Video’s series The End. All this in the middle of a nationwide lockdown.
In the last three decades, Akshay has seen Bollywood change and has finely adapted to the way his audience comprising of avid cinema-goers from the age of 8 to 80. After establishing himself as the best comic and action star, Akshay has been shedding light on important social topics through his projects. Over the last 10 years, the large-hearted actor has emerged as one of the most bankable stars in Bollywood, even more than young newcomers. He is being hailed as one of those Indian actors who managed to establish a strong foothold on the Forbes highest-paid actors’ list in the last five years and is at the top of his game.
After experiencing highs and lows during the initial phase of his career that began with Saugandh in 1991, Akshay has overcome challenges and entertained his admirers with diverse stories of courage, unity, self-belief, and hard work. Today, as he celebrates his 53rd birthday while shooting for Bell Bottom, let’s take a look at the last 10 years when Akshay ruled the box-office as the most bankable stars of our times.
In 2010, Akshay flagged off the popular Housefull franchise with Deepika Padukone, Riteish Deshmukh, Lara Dutta, and Arjun Rampal. The film’s worldwide collections (gross) was Rs.123.69. The actor returned to the franchise with its second edition in 2012 and the film earned Rs. 179.15 (worldwide gross), becoming the fifth highest-grossing Bollywood film of the year. It was also among the highest-grossing Indian films of all time. Making people hum Chinta Ta Ta Chita Chita, Akshay helped people get rid of their chinta with a generous dose of entertainment in Rowdy Rathore. The worldwide gross collection of the actioner was approximately 203.39 crores. Adding to the joy was the splendid performance of Oh My God at the box office. Earning Rs. 123.97 at the box office, the film co-starring Paresh Rawal addressed superstition and how self-styles Godmen and priests exploit innocent people in the name of devotion.
In 2013, Akshay's successful streak at the box office was backed by Special 26 and Once Upon Ay Time in Mumbai Dobaara! The former, which was a thriller directed by Neeraj Pandey, got a thumbs-up from the critics as well as the audience and earned Rs. 108.39 approx. OUTIM, though panned by critics, became a commercial hit with Rs. 95.19 crores.
Akshay transformed into an Army officer in Holiday: A Soldier Is Never Off Duty in 2014. His rough and tough Army man’s character was loved by all and the film earned an approximate amount of Rs. 181.44. It became one of the highest-grossing Indian films of 2014. Serving a dose of laughter, Singh Is Bliing in 2015 became Akshay’s highest opener and garnered around Rs. 149.1 crores at the box office. According to Forbes, Akshay banked an estimated $32.5 million in 2015.
Airlift and Rustom in 2016 marked the beginning of a brand new ‘Akshay Kumar’. The actor left his contemporaries behind by signing films that were far different from the routine. Airlift saw him instill a sense of patriotism in the hearts of the audience and made them go Vande Mataram as the film earned an estimated Rs. 221.67 crores. Slipping into the character of Rustom, a Navy officer who shoots down his wife’s alleged lover, Akshay and the team made the film a blockbuster. At the box office, Rustom earned Rs. 218.12 crores. With Housefull 3, Akshay proved that he is indeed untouchable at the box office as the film earned Rs. 194.48 crore approximately. Forbes recorded his earnings in the year as $31.5 Million for the year!
2017 saw Akshay make an entry into the Rs. 300 crore club with Toilet: Ek Prem Katha. Apart from the Shree Narayan Singh directorial, the superstar’s other successful film was Jolly LLB 2 which earned 197.34. He continued his spree of securing a slot in Forbes list of highest-paid actors with earnings of $35.5.
In 2018, at the 66th National Films Award, Akshay’s revolutionary film Pad Man won Best Film on Other Social Issues. As the box office collection stood at Rs. 191.95, critics couldn’t stop lauding the light-hearted social drama. Striking Gold yet again, Akshay’s sports film grossed est. Rs. 154.48 crores at the box office while 2.0 co-starring Rajinikanth earned est. Rs. 750 crores worldwide!
Come 2019, Akshay had not one but four blockbusters belonging to diverse genres. He opened the year with Kesari. The film about the Battle of Saragarhi won hearts and earned around Rs. 207.09 crores. Taking the audience to Mars in Mission Mangal, the film starring Akshay, Vidya Balan, Sonakshi Sinha, Taapsee Pannu, Nithya Menen and Kirti Kulhari collected Rs. Rs. 290.59 worldwide. With a house full of audience, Akshay entertained all with the incarnation tale laced with humour in Housefull 4. The ensemble cast film broke records and earned Rs. 280.27 crores. Akshay ended 2019 with Good Newwz that collected Rs. 318.57 crores. Becoming the fourth highest-paid actor in the world, Akshay’s estimated net worth was $65 million as per Forbes.
Now, with Laxmmi Bomb getting an OTT release, fans are in for a spookfest. The Bollywood superstar, at 53, is one of the busiest actors in India with multiple releases each year. For fans, he is ready to serve some exciting stories with Sooryavanshi, Atrangi Re, Prithviraj, Bell Bottom, Bachchan Pandey and Rakshabandhan.
(Figures Source: Bollywood Hungama/KoiMoi)