This article is an analysis of the success ratio of the films in which Top 6 stars (presently) of India have appeared in since 2000. Only the films where these actors had a ‘substantial’ role where accounted for. Cameos and extended guest appearances were cut out to rule the results from being unfairly skewed. A film is deemed to be ‘successful’ only when a film attains the ‘Hit’ status as a minimum prerogative. Average, above-average & semi-hit movies are not classified as successful movies as the only criteria for success of a Big Star’s movie is only when it earns a ‘Hit’ status for itself. Box office verdicts from BoxofficeIndia.com were used in this analysis because they are the only independent box-office tracking organisation in India without any prior allegiances to anyone in the industry. We are not judging the stardom of any of these actors and this article is only meant to give an indication of the profibility of the 6 most popular superstars over a fairly long period of time. The actors have been analyzed alphabetically.
Aamir Khan – Success ratio is 54.5%.
- Failures: Mela (flop), Dil Chahta Hai (only did ‘average’ business at the time), Mangal Pandey (below average), Dhobi Ghat (semi hit) and Talaash (semi hit). Total failures: 5.
- Successes: Lagaan (hit), Fanaa (super hit), Rang De Basanti (hit), Taare Zameen Par (super hit), Ghajini (All time blockbuster) and 3 Idiots (All time blockbuster).Total successes: 6.
Aamir Khan has appeared in only 11 movies in these 13 years. Although he wasn’t the lead in Dhobi Ghat, it has still been considered, as he himself has said that Dhobi Ghat was his last film, when he was promoting Talaash (also, he was in the film from start to finish and had a consequential part to play). I started writing this article with the impression that Aamir Khan would have the highest success ratio but a Hit % of 54.5% is a surprise. An even bigger surprise is that he is not the First but the Second most successful of our 6 Superstars (as I said, I was expecting Aamir Khan to easily occupy the first position).
Ajay Devgn: Success ratio is 14.8%
- Failures: Deewane (flop), Raju Chacha (flop), Yeh Raaste Hain Pyaar Ke (flop), Tera Mera Saath Rahen (flop), Company (below average), Hum Kisise Kum Nahin (flop), The Legend of Bhagat Singh (flop), Deewaangee (below average), Bhoot (average), Qayamat (semi hit), Chori Chori (flop), Gangaajal (above average), Parwana (flop), Zameen (flop), Khakee (average), Yuva (flop), Raincoat (flop), Insan (flop), Blackmail (flop), Zameer (flop), Tango Charlie (flop), Kaal (above average), Main Aisa Hi Hoon (flop), Apaharan (above average), Shikhar (flop), Golmaal (semi hit), Omkara (flop), Cash (flop), Ram Gopal Verma Ki Aag (flop), Halla Bol (flop), Sunday (below average), U Me Aur Hum (below average), Mehbooba (flop), All the Best (above average), London Dreams (flop), Atithi Tum Kab Jaoge (average), Aakrosh (flop), Dil Toh Baccha Hai Ji (below average), Rascals (flop), and Tezz (flop).
- Successes: Golmaal Returns (hit), Raajneeti (blockbuster), Once Upon a Time in Mumbaai (hit), Golmaal 3 (blockbuster), Singham (super hit), Bol Bachchan (hit), and Son of Sardaar (hit).
Total Failures: 40 – Total Successes: 7
The fact that Ajay Devgn is now considered a Superstar even after such a dismal Hit %, speaks volumes of the turnaround that has happened in his career in the last 2-3 years. He was always known as an ‘actor’ more than a ‘Superstar’ because of his reserved personality, but all that has changed now thanks to his career choices. Hopefully, his present mass appeal will change his Hit percentage in the future.
Akshay Kumar: Success Ratio is 23.5%
- Failures: Hera Pheri (average), Dhadkan (average), Khiladi 420 (flop), Ek Rishtaa (below average), Ajnabee (average), Haan Maine Bhi Pyaar Kiya (flop), Aankhen (average), Awara Paagal Deewana (above average), Talaash (flop), Khakee (average), Police Force: An Inside Story (flop), Aan (flop), Meri Biwi Ka Jawaab Nahin (flop), Hatya: The Murder (flop), Aitraaz (average), Ab Tumhare Hawale Waton Saathiyon (flop), Insan (flop), Bewafaa (below average), Waqt (above average), Garam Masala (semi hit), Deewana Huye Paagal (flop), Dosti: Friends Forever (below average), Mere Jeevan Saathi (flop), Humko Deewana Kar Gaye (flop), Jaan-E-Mann (flop), Tashan (below average), Chandni Chowk to China (flop), 8 X 10 Tasveer (flop), Kambakkht Ishq (above average), Blue (below average), De Dana Dan (above average), Khatta Meetha (below average), Action Replayy (flop), Tees Maar Khan (semi hit), Patiala House (below average), Thank You (average), Desi Boyz (below average), Joker (flop), and Khiladi 786 (average).
- Successes: Andaaz (hit), Mujhse Shaadi Karoge (hit), Phir Hera Pheri (super hit), Bhagam Bhag (hit), Namastey London (hit), Heyy Babyy (hit), Bhool Bhulaiyaa (hit), Welcome (blockbuster), Singh Is Kinng (super hit), Housefull (hit), Housefull 2 (super hit), and Rowdy Rathore (super hit).
Total Failures: 39 – Total Successes: 12.
Akshay Kumar has appeared in 51 movies in the last 13 years (the most for any of the 6 Superstars). That’s an average of almost 4 movies a year. He is the only Superstar right now (other than Ajay Devgn) who puts his Superstardom on the line multiple times in a year. The initial part of the 2000s was not a fruitful time for Akshay, and now as we all know, 2007 was the year which changed it around for him. He gave 4 hits in one single year and earned legions of fans across the country. He has gone through ups and downs throughout his career, but thankfully for his fans, he hit the ups more than the downs in 2012.
Hrithik Roshan: Success Ratio is 38.8%
- Failures: Fiza (flop), Mission Kashmir (semi hit), Yaadein (flop), Aap Mujhe Achche Lagne Lage (flop), Na Tum Jaano Na Hum (flop), Mujhse Dosti Katroge (flop), Main Prem Ki Diwani Hoon (flop), Lakshya (below average), Jodhaa Akbar (semi hit), Kites (flop), and Guzaarish (flop).
- Successes: Kaho Naa.. Pyaar Hai (blockbuster), Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham (blockbuster), Koi.. Mil Gaya (blockbuster), Krrish (blockbuster), Dhoom 2 (blockbuster), Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara (hit), and Agneepath (hit).
Total Failures: 11 – Total Successes: 7.
Hrithik Roshan burst on to the scene in 2000 with his debut film. He had a career slump after that, but occassional blockbusters in the form of Koi Mil Gaya, Dhoom 2 and Krrish kept his Superstar status alive. He is going through a career resurgence with two back-to-back Hits, and it remains to be seen what Krrish 3 brings for him and his fans. Regardless of the fate of Krrish 3, a success ratio of close to 40% is very decent for the youngest of our Superstars.
Salman Khan: Success ratio is 30%
- Failures: Dulhan Hum Le Jayenge (above average), Chal Mere Bhai (average), Har Dil Jo Pyaar Karega (flop), Kahin Pyaar Na Ho Jaaye (flop), Chori Chori Chupke Chupke (flop), Tumko Na Bhool Payenge (flop), Hum Tumhare Hain Sanam (above average), Yeh Hai Jalwa (flop), Tere Naam (above average), Garv: Pride And Honour (below average), Dil Ne Jise Apna Kahaa (flop), Lucky: No Time for Love (below average), Main Pyaar Kyun Kiya? (semi hit), Kyon Ki (flop), Shaadi Karke Phas Gaya Yaar (flop), Jaan-E-Mann (flop), Marigold (flop), God Tussi Great Ho (flop), Yuvraaj (flop), London Dreams (flop), and Veer (below average).
- Successes: Mujhse Shaadi Karogi (hit), No Entry (super hit), Partner (blockbuster), Wanted (super hit), Dabangg (all time blockbuster), Ready (blockbuster), Bodyguard (blockbuster), Ek Tha Tiger (blockbuster), and Dabangg 2 (guaranteed to be at least a Hit).
Total Failures: 21 – Total Successes 9
What can one possibly say about Salman Khan that hasn’t been said already? The fact that he is a phenomena right now is well known, but what’s neglected is that his career has hit the roof only after seeing very pathetic lows. Wanted changed Salman’s career around and he hasn’t delivered a flop since Veer, which released in early 2010. He has stuck to his favourite genre (masala) and coupled with his television appearances, his popularity has sky-rocketed. Still, nothing is certain and it is upto Salman to continue his recent success. A success percentage of 30% is a very poor reflection of his superstardom, but fortunately his movie choices have become a lot better than they were before – which provides a lot of hope for the next few years.
Shah Rukh Khan: Success ratio 62.5%
- Failures: Phir Bhi Dil Hai Hindustani (flop), Josh (above average), One 2 Ka 4 (flop), Asoka (flop), Hum Tumhare Hain Sanam (above average), Chalte Chalte (semi hit), Swades (flop), Yeh Lamhe Judaai Ke, and Paheli (flop).
- Successes: Mohabbatein (super hit), Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham (Blockbuster), Devdas (hit), Kal Ho Naa Ho (hit), Main Hoon Na (hit), Veer Zaara (super hit), Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna (hit), Don (hit), Chak De India (Blockbuster), Om Shanti Om (Blockbuster), Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi (Blockbuster), My Name Is Khan (hit), Ra.One (hit), Don 2 (hit), and Jab Tak Hai Jaan (hit).
Total Successes: 15 – Total Failures: 9
Even though SRK has appeared in as many as 24 films in the given time period, his success rate is the highest among all the Top 6 Superstars of the country. Some people can argue that some of his ‘hit’ were’t really hits, but that cannot be taken seriously as the trade considers the ‘hit’ movies to be successful. SRK’s consistency is even more amazing since his last failure was almost 8 years back in 2005. If he can deliver proper Hits even during the ‘bad’ phases of his career, then it remains to be seen what type of hits he will deliver when is enjoying a ‘good’ phase. And, as far as profitability is concerned, SRK takes the top spot quite convincingly.
5 of the Top 6 Superstars of the country have crossed 40 years of age and time is not on their side. 3 of the 6 Superstars – Salman Khan, Akshay Kumar and Ajay Devgn are enjoying immense popularity recently, thanks to the remergence of the Masala genre. Their comebacks have made it a wide open game and now, any of the Top 6 actors can deliver massive hits on their day. The main reason producers invest money in movies is to make profits. If an actor has appeared in financially viable projects more than they have appeared in financially doomed projects, then the actor is considered to be successful. In this regard, Shahrukh Khan is the most successful of all the Superstars.
There’s been a change recently in the economics of Hindi films – thanks to the rise in money earned from satellite and other ancillary rights, the dependency on theatrical business has decreased and the risks (for producers) have come down rapidly. But at the end of the day, if your film is not theatrically successful, it is not a true success. Films have always been considered ‘hits’ only when they have done rip-roaring business theatrically. It doesn’t really matter how much money films earn from selling their satellite rights, as the trade always has, and always will consider a film successful if it has sold a bucketload of tickets.
The ranking of actors in terms of profibility (the higher the success %, the higher is the profibility):
- 1. Shah Rukh Khan
- 2. Aamir Khan
- 3. Hrithik Roshan
- 4. Salman Khan
- 5. Akshay Kumar
- 6. Ajay Devgn
The actors with the most number (not percentage) of hits (or better):
- 1. Shah Rukh Khan (15)
- 2. Akshay Kumar (12)
- 3. Salman Khan (9)
- 4. Hrithik Roshan (7)
- = 4. Ajay Devgn (7)
- 6. Aamir Khan (6)
The actors with the most number (not percentage) of failures:
- 1. Ajay Devgn (40)
- 2. Akshay Kumar (39)
- 3. Salman Khan (21)
- 4. Hrithik Roshan (11)
- 5. Shah Rukh Khan (9)
- 6. Aamir Khan (5)
Special Mention: Films in which these actors had small or inconsequential parts were not considered: Salaam-E-Ishq, Phir Milenge, Billu, Gaja Gamini, Luck By Chance, Jaani Dushman, Lajja, LOC Kargil, Taarzan: The Wonder Car are a few of the films not considered. Animated films where these actors were voiceover artists have not been considered as well (Toonpur Ka Superhero and Jumbo). Incidentally, even if these films were considered, the rankings of the actors would NOT change from their current positions.
P.S. A case can be made for the inclusion of Ranbir Kapoor in this list as he is considered to be the 7th Superstar or a mini-Superstar. His success percentage is 33% as he has appeared in 9 films till now and has given 3 Hits (Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahaani, Raajneeti and Barfi).
Article by Zayden, tweets @ManvsHandle