MUMBAI: Three Indian actors sharing the same surname have ruled Bollywood box offices across three decades since the mid-1990s, but with Salman suffering a rare flop with Tubelight and Shah Rukh going without a major hit in four years, the crown for the ‘King of the Khans’ is firmly placed on Aamir’s head with the success of wrestling blockbuster Dangal smashing records.
“The Khans used to be on par but Aamir has moved ahead and Shah Rukh is kind of lagging behind recently,” said film trade analyst Ramesh Bala of the trio who all turn 52 this year and who are not related.
Dangal has ever since its first release in India in December last year set new and unimaginable parameters for the box office potential of a Bollywood movie.
Quickly becoming the highest-grossing Bollywood film ever, knocking another one of Aamir’s movies off the top spot, he has managed to make close to 20 billion rupees ($310 million) worldwide.
Critics claim that Dangal resonated with the hearts of the people because it was a patriotic story about a triumphant underdog who swiftly managed to deal with India’s skewed attitude towards girls and carried a very strong message.
“Aamir is one person who really puts a lot of thought and effort into selecting films that are relevant to an Indian audience. There are very few actors who really do enough of that,” a film distributor Akshaye Rathi told AFP
Aamir is lauded for taking on challenging roles. For Dangal he gained and then lost 25 kilograms (55 pounds) in weight while movie-goers adored his portrayal of a humanoid alien stranded on Earth in the movie PK.
“As a star he doesn’t enjoy so much of a fan following as he enjoys the trust of the audience for his craft. People believe at the back of their minds that if Aamir appears in a film there will be something, different, something novel in it,” Rathi continued.
Dangal has made around $180 million more than PK in global sales thanks to a record-breaking run in the hugely profitable Chinese market, where Aamir has worked hard at building his brand, making name as the biggest Indian star there.
“Aamir has time and again proven his marketing genius and his genius when it comes to choosing the right script, delivering a terrific performance and enthralling the audience,” said Rathi.