Akshay Kumar is arguably one of the biggest Indian actors of the current generation. The actor has proven his commercial pull on several occasions, including the pandemic. Regarded as the most bankable star in the Hindi film circuit, the actor has left the audience impressed with his versatility and range for over two decades.
However, all is not well for Khiladi Kumar, as he has added another failure to his string of flop movies since 2022. ‘Selfiee’ starring him alongside Emraan Hashmi, failed to even open at the box office, and the reasons for that are plenty. What’s more concerning for the actor is the fact that the line-up for 2023 doesn’t look very promising either. Kumar is part of a few projects but none of them tick the box of being sure shot hits at the box office.
Akshay Kumar is best known for his movies which serve as a marriage between commerce and art or social issues. From 2015 to 2019, the actor tasted continuous success with his ventures, which addressed issues such as menstruation, sanitation, and some major national events. The actor was giving hits when the other major stars were struggling with maintaining consistency. But when did the graph go down?
After delivering one of his career’s biggest hits in the form of ‘Sooryavanshi’, the actor went back to do the high concept movies with huge budgets. What Kumar perhaps failed to understand was the effect that the pandemic had had on the nature of content consumption. OTT reached several thousand homes during the COVID-19 pandemic, and that changed the meaning of event films altogether.
The collection of movies at the box office post-pandemic suggests that the major event films will have a hegemony at the box office, and anything less than that will be outrightly denied. The genre in which the likes of Akshay Kumar and Ayushmann Khuranna excelled in, had now shifted to the OTT, but the makers were the last to notice this change.
The fact that Akshay Kumar was featured in a movie every 3 months did not help the cause either. His theatrical movies, post the pandemic, had never been out and out big-screen worthy. Thus, the failure of most of them did not come as a surprise to the analysts, or even the audiences.
The bigger question is if he can make a comeback. Akshay Kumar is one of the veteran stars of the industry, in his glorious career the actor has had more lows than highs. It’s just that the highs were so magnanimous, that they completely overshadowed the slump around it. The period of the late 2000s and early 2010s was one of the worst for the actors, but the comeback was nothing short of legendary with OMG.
The actor perhaps needs a step back, not exactly a sabbatical like Shah Rukh Khan but just some time off to observe the changing trends and deliver accordingly. Akshay Kumar needs to consider the fact that he can trance into superstardom mode by giving massive films, made with maverick commercial directors, even if they take a year to get produced. The semi-commercial zone will probably never work for theatres again, and Akshay Kumar needs to be told that soon.
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