By Joginder Tuteja
The jinx has been broken, and the man who has made it possible is none other than Akshay Kumar. Often being looked at as the industry's saviour, especially in desperate times like now when Bollywood has been reeling with not just big flops but mega disasters, the superstar has brought his Toilet - Ek Prem Katha on screens and reversed the tide. The film has managed to not just find largely positive reviews coming its way from the critics, it has also found favour amongst the audience and that is something most important for it to have a long run.
Source: very filmi
This is something that Akshay Kumar has now been managing for quite some time, especially if one looks at the kind of subjects he is picking film after film. The change had started taking place a few years back itself, starting with OMG: Oh My God! which released exactly five years back. This was when further credibility was added to the name Akshay Kumar and audience started looking at him in a different light altogether. Films like Special 26, Holiday and Baby came after this and though the level of their success differed, the message from Akshay Kumar was loud and clear - he wanted to do something different.
In the middle of this, all he continued to churn out Gabbar Is Back [action], Brothers [drama] and Singh Is Bliing [comedy] and while the first in the list was a bigger grosser, the third took the best opening of the lot. This was the time period in which Akshay Kumar was going through his transition phase and winning over an altogether new segment of the audience. While money continued to be churned during this time period as well, hence keeping producers, distributors and exhibitors busy, the 'mantra' chosen by the actor was to now pick and choose subjects that were not just varied but also 'offbeat' in industry parlance.
This is where the most exciting phase kick-started for Akshay Kumar as well as his audience since he picked on films like Airlift and Rustom which not many existing superstars would have green-lighted. In the middle of this, all he also did his 'Holiday' film Housefull 3 and each of these three films did well enough to enter the 100 Crore Club. A new record was created as 2016 turned out to be the first ever year in the history of 100 Crore phenomenon when a superstar had single-handedly delivered a hat-trick of centuries.
While the industry rejoiced, he continued to churn out one film after another, what with Jolly LLB 2 kick-starting 2017 with yet another 100 crore winner. With as many as four back to back centuries to his name, Akshay Kumar stepped right into the shooting of multiple films, ranging from Toilet - Ek Prem Katha and PadMan to 2.0 and Gold.
Currently, Toilet - Ek Prem Katha is running in theatres and taken a good enough start that ensures yet another 100 crore winner in the making. This would make it five centuries in a row for the actor, a feat that has been accomplished in the past only by Salman Khan and Shah Rukh Khan. His next release is 2.0 which arrives on Republic Day 2017 and a 200 crore+ haul is a given, hence setting the date for a double hat-trick of 100 Crore Club films for Akshay Kumar in a matter of a couple of years.
No wonder, the superstar stays on to be a mini-industry in Bollywood, and rightly so!