The year 2018 will be remembered as a year that did not work out well for the three Khans – Salman, Aamir and Shah Rukh. However, this is also one of the finest phases for the film industry that put faith in writers, good story telling and actors, not just stars. 2018 was also special because we saw the #MeToo movement unfold in India and heroines as the main leads not just dominating posters, but also drawing crowds to the theatres. However, one cannot forget that a year cannot really determine the fate of stars or the movie business. And one can always hope for the smaller steps that'll lead a revolution, one that Bollywood desperately needed.
This year, amongst new talents and promising actors, we also found different spaces to explore. The digital world and OTT platforms have not only given a new outlet to some stars but also created a new avenue for different kind of storytelling and more work opportunities. Not to forget, it is a medium for smaller films to just be told and for the industry to survive and sustain.
Amongst the many movies and trends that were decoded as the year came to an end was a debate and discussion on the Khan phenomenon. With all three Khans failing to perform at the box office, many felt that this year was a sign that their stardom has hit rock bottom. There were also others, who compared their failures to the success of actors like Ayushmann Khurrana and Rajkummar Rao, but trade expert Akshaye Rathi reasons as to why this is not fair.
When in.com discussed the non-performance of Khan films and success of movies like Stree, Andhadhun, Badhai Ho, he said, “A Salman Khan film with a terrible script or a no script like Race 3 did a Rs 150 crore business purely on his star power and same holds for Aamir and Shah Rukh. A bad film doing a respectable amount of business purely goes to the personality of these stars. I will give you another example, Stree did Rs 125-130 crore with Rajkummar Rao. Everyone is talking about that film and everyone is talking about how a Rajkummar Rao film has done Rs 125 crores.”
Rathi then continued, “A couple of weeks after Stree came another film of Rajkummar Rao called Five Weddings, which had a business of under a crore. So a Rajkumar Rao as big as a star in Stree should have done if not Rs 125 crores then at least Rs 100 crores, 90, 80, 60, 50 or a 20 within Five Weddings. It was not even a crore. Good actors, who are not yet stars are as good as of the merit of a film's content. They and the industry have to recognise, realise and price the movies that these guys feature in accordingly. Because a Rajkumar movie did a 125 core you start making 20-25 crore movie with him that's recipe for disaster.”
He also added, “Salman Khan was in a bad film, for example, Jai Ho, which made Rs 100 crore. When the same Salman Khan does a Bajrangi Bhaijan, which has Salman plus a great story it does Rs 320 crore business.”
The trade expert also noted, “The hero and stars of 2018 are the amazing scriptwriters that we have in this country. Whether it's Badhai Ho or Andhadhun, Stree or then Raazi. These are films worked purely on the merit of their scripts. Directors and writers of these films are the real stars of 2018.”
We hope that is enough explanation on star power and importance of good scripts in Bollywood. As for those who are comparing Salman, SRK and Aamir’s failures to younger stars’ success, it does not mean that we are not celebrating the success of stars like Ayushmann, Rajkummar. Do comment and share your thoughts with us.