5 Hits in a Row: Has Akshay Kumar Beaten the Khans to be the New Megastar?

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Akshay Kumar can, at this point, be considered Bollywood’s biggest superstar. In a year dominated by flops, Akshay’s latest release Toilet: Ek Prem Katha has crossed 100 crores at the box office. Trade experts have reported that the collections of the socially-relevant film grew on the second weekend too and has now reached over INR 106 crore.

The film, that had been promoted extensively in India and abroad garnered a good initial despite mixed reviews and it continued to rake in the moolah. With this film, Akshay has five consecutive hits to his credit – Airlift, Housefull 3, Rustom, Jolly LLB and now, Toilet.

In the last couple of years, Akshay hasn’t put a foot wrong neatly balancing his meaningful films with those that are more massy in appeal (like a Housefull). He has also cleverly positioned himself as an actor who makes ‘patriotic’ films and given the current mood of nationalism dominating every discourse, his films have found a ready audience. It’s also interesting to see how he has managed to reinvent himself, doing roles that suit his age and constantly surprising his fans.

With this hit, Akshay is clearly the biggest star of the year so far. Especially considering both the Khans – Salman and Shah Rukh – have had a rough 2017. Salman’s Tubelight was a huge disappointment despite grossing fairly good numbers and it has been reported that the star is going to reimburse the distributors for their losses. Similarly, Shah Rukh Khan’s Jab Harry Met Sejal was a critical and commercial failure with the collections rumoured to be one of his lowest in recent times.

The next big Khan – Aamir – will be out with Secret Superstar in October  and it remains to be seen if he can break the Khan jinx of 2017. Until then, it’s only Akshay who is truly the no. 1 star of the year.

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