STAR POWER: What is Super Stardom? (Part 1)



(Article by Archit Mishra)

“Change is inevitable, growth is intentional.”

And Indian cinema has witnessed this intentional growth quite significantly over the last decade.

A balcony ticket that used to cost Rs 50, has now been replaced by a ‘Platinum’ ticket costing no less than Rs 500. A 10-rupee Samosa, now comes in a combo offer of Rs 250. The star who dominated the 90s, when a movie could be watched at a price of less than Rs 15, continue to rule the roost, but watching their films in theatre today is significantly more expensive today. In fact, quality entertainment with family and friends at a cinema hall is getting more expensive with each passing day. Booming multiplexes, war-like promotional / advertising strategies, internet, social media and cable TV, all of these factors have their bit of contribution in this growth.

This, in turn, has led to creating lot of awareness and curiosity amongst the movie going public. Today, the audience is cognizant enough to judge as to what they are going to spend 1000 bucks for over the weekend. ‘So and so film has collected 100 crore in 3 days’, ‘My superstar has broken your superstar’s record’, ‘I predict that this Diwali release shall collect 50 crores on one day’, you will find a movie critic and trade analyst in every household of India. Be it Tea-break conversation in offices, argument at Pan-Shops or News Channel debates, the Box office collections, Movie Reviews and Bollywood Fans are everywhere. Just like Cricketers, Bollywood superstars are no less than role models for the gen-next and some of them are even god-worshipped by their fanatic fans.


‘A’ is the mightiest star of Bollywood as he has been the most consistent over past few decades, ‘B’ is the true synonym to Superstardom as he commands the craziest fan following of all time, and ‘C’ risks his stardom with most releases every year so he is the best, this list shall go on and so can the unending debate without understanding the crux of box office model. Unfortunately, time and again, virtuous fan-following has got converted into ugly fan wars.

With this write up, our aim is to solve this enigma of Superstardom. Most of us don’t understand that there are numerous reasons other than just the lead actor which contribute to the opening day collections of a film. Genre, banner, song promos and so on. Well, according to me, if you remove all these factors, what’s left is star power.

So, the theory behind our blog is pretty simple. In layman terms, if the same story, release date, banner, co-stars, music, etc. is given to all the actors, what probably would be their respective ‘Opening Day collections’ or how much footfalls can a particular star guarantee on his might alone in the theatres? This is what I call as Superstar Power.


After researching the recent Bollywood trends, we’ve identified 8 most vital X-Factors that influence the first day collections of films other than the lead actor. These X- factors are listed in the below diagram.

Factors other than Star Power

Factors other than Star Power that can influence opening day collections of films


There are three straight-forward rules to calculate star power.

CONCEPT: Our idea for calculating the Star Power is actually to neutralize the effect of all the X-Factors. So, if an actor has an advantage in terms of any of the X-Factors, then we would subtract an amount from his opening collection based upon pre-defined criteria and vice versa. For example, if Aamir Khan has Rajkumar Hirani calling the shots behind the camera (for PK) and Salman has Sohail Khan (for Jai Ho), then Aamir has an advantage and we would subtract the Director X-Factor from PK’s opening. On the other hand Salman has a disadvantage, so he deserves addition in Director X-Factor.

FORMULA: We’ll take the sum of all the X-Factors and then simply subtract that from the First Day collections. Thus, the formula for Star Power can be depicted as below:


AVERAGE: Moreover, if an actor has multiple releases in a year, then we will calculate the Star Power figure corresponding to each film and then simply take an average.


This model is unique and one of its kind. Its study and analysis is not stagnant but a continuous process and thus we’ll be upgrading it time and again with enhanced options as per the latest trade trends.

We’re considering only the First Day collections for judging Star Power (and not First Weekend or Lifetime collections) because it is quite evident that movie reviews and word-of-mouth publicity starts affecting the film from the second day itself.
So, who is the biggest Super Star of India?

How can we calculate the above mentioned X-Factors?

What is the actual impact of X-Factors on Star Power?

Well, to get the answer to all these questions, you will have to wait for our next article in this series. The hysteria of crazy Star Power is arriving soon. Until then keep surfing.

We would love to know what you feel about our article. Also tell us what are your criterias to judge Star Power? Please do share your feedback and suggestions in the comments section below.



  • Very much agreed to following points.

    Music, Banner, Heroine, Female Lead, sequel Factor , promotion, trailer, Buzz , Screen Count play a huge role in determining collections.

    If say a Varun Dhawan does film with Vikram Bhatt(say) as terrible as Mr.X and releases it on 1300 screens like it released , it won’t do more than 20cr.

    A star is benefitted and genre-zoned with its target audience.

  • Similarly , if a Ranbir Kapoor does a films like Brothers alongside a newer actress like evlyn avram(say) , it won’t even take a face saving opening.

    Because Ranbir ‘s target audience is weak and delicate female audience who like to see him casted alongside a popular female lead (say) Deepika,Kat etc. , they won’t just come out to watch him play a boxer in a dark film like Brothers.

  • quite evidently….if this is the process for star power……then definitely no doubt shahrukh and salman both are the stars having super stardom……

  • Amongst the best articles I’ve ever read on Indicine..hats off..I always believed that star power should be calculated only on the basis of openings..lifetime business depends completely on content and everyone knows that but even poor content films have seen record openings because of the superstars in them..hence only and only opening numbers should be considered for judging a star would be better if first full three day weekend figures are taken because I believe that star power does hold on over the weekend rather than only first day and the recent examples of such situation are Brothers,Happy new year,Jai ho

  • I think in todays time…the only actor who doesnt need any of the 8 vital x factors is salman khan.he is stardom personifined.

  • We’re considering only the First Day collections for
    judging Star Power (and not First Weekend or
    Lifetime collections) because it is quite evident that
    movie reviews and word-of-mouth publicity starts
    affecting the film from the second day itself.
    So, who is the biggest Super Star of India?
    then that is only one SRK

  • My criteria for judging star power is the performance of a star’s mixed to negative wom receiving film at the bo
    Bcz well received film can go to any distance based on genre pre release hype and extent of positive wom but negatively received films perform watever at the bo only on the basis of star power

    so here’s the ranking based on the most correct criteria
    1 Salman
    2 Aamir
    3 srk
    4 Hrithik
    5 Akshay
    6 Ranbir
    7 Ajay
    8 Varun
    9 Ranveer
    10 Siddharth

  • Or similarly if a Ranveer singh film releases without Deepika/pc/anushka, OR without Yrf or a big banner ,it won’t simply work like Kill Dil , Lootera.

    Because audience come to see him paired opposite Deepika or some other popular actress. If he does film with newer actress, it simply won’t create enough buzz and the film will die eventually.

  • That’s really innovative @ indicine.
    Hats off to your team..
    Very unique and simple explanation described I think..

  • Interesting article.. I’ll be waiting to see how you rank the actors.

    Salman, I assume, would top the list. He has done two movies without top stars or directors, Jai Ho and Kick, both have opened very well.

    Aamir, I believe, will be the most affected. He has done two under Rajkumar Hirani’s direction. Other was Dhoom 3 which is huge franchise. The only movie which was debutant director, non-holiday and off-beat genre was Talaash and that movie did not do well.

    Hrithik will also be interesting because Bang Bang was commercial, but clashed with another film.

    Finally, SRK has been getting festive releases, but he pulled a movie directed by Farah Khan, which I feel is a huge negative even when compared to debut director. If Sajid Nadiadwala directs a film, it won’t be a plus, but also won’t be negatively affected. Working under Farah or her brother, makes the audience think twice.

    Also.. I wonder how you missed out on one other big factor like Ticket Price?? Its more for Diwali, Christmas and Eid releases..

    IMO factors that helps opening. In order, higher is more powerful

    1. Franchise (like we have seen with Dhoom, Singham and Welcome Back)
    2. Release Date (getting a good date makes a big difference, otherwise good film might fail like Drishyam)
    3. Director (Raju Hirani, Imtiaz Ali, Karan Johar.. big directors will get big opening)
    4. Genre
    5. Music (helps smaller films more than big films)
    6. Co star (only top heroines make a difference, but that gets negated to an extent by big male stars)
    7. Banner (honestly.. I don’t think this makes a very big difference, SRK film even under Vishesh films will open well)
    8. Gap between releases.. (I think this is way overrated.. I don’t think it makes any difference if gap is 2 months or more)

  • Khan monopoly needs to end for good cinema and they should stop releasing its film on only holidays

    Thanks God at least SRK doing different

  • OMG…
    Superb Archit Mishra…
    This article is cent percenT true…
    If u are listening then I thank u Archit for your great effort in giving such articles..

    And u too thank u indicine for presenting it in such highlighting way…!!

  • Excellent article..Kudos to indicine for posting such articles.U r getting better day by day.Kudos!!.We will be waiting.Plz update soon

  • Is Archit Mishra the same guy who wrote Indian Box Office Model article? I like the graphs and analysis of his articles.

  • I completely agree with Mr Archit Mishra…
    A star alone can’t deliver a bumper opening…
    Various factors are involved which you have stated brilliantly…

    After a long time liked an article of @Indicine…
    There should be few articles like this or other than Bollywood news…waiting for the next one in this series

  • Lol lol lol nobody will BACK this except the Indian audience. Okay if it’s dharma production is it a must a ranveer or Sid in dharma means you subtract cos it’s dharma? Leave that one for the audience genre of movie. Xmas we saw Aamir talaash quite low. Same with Ajay in drishyam and akki in brothers because of genre

  • Actors like emraan hashmi will be benefitted by this model.. I feel.. He does film with new actress and low PR banners.. Also screen count, promotion factor is less.. Along with genre is not appealing to universal audience like Hak.. Still it did 40cr..

  • Actors like emraan hashmi will be benefitted by this model.. I feel.. He does film with new actress and low PR banners.. Also screen count, promotion factor is less.. Along with genre is not appealing to universal audience like Hak.. Still it did 40cr..

    An emraan hashmi film like Ghanchakkar with flop songs and niche appeal or film with Humaima malik like Raja natwarlal releases on 1600 screens n does 7.4cr opening … And an arjun kapoor or Ranveer singh releases films with Sonakshi parineeti on double screen count does also 6cr n 7cr like Tevar and kill dill…

    I was waaitin for such article..

  • 4 me there r 3 things that describes stardom :-

    1.) Fan following

    2.) What amount of money he gets from movies ,brand endorsements nd reality shows hosting

    3.) Openig of their movies …!

    4 me SRK / salman / AkshY r biggest superstars of our country …!
    Dats it
    Call Akshay flop or anything else BT u can’t ignore his popularity & craze among fans
    His comedy movies r a rage in India ..people hve watched them 30-30 times …! There r many more things too …! BT leave for now .

  • I guess production value of the movie too comes under x factor. Coz jai ho never looked like big opening movie while kick looked it big. The production value the appears in trailer defines the grandeur of the movie and affects the movie.
    Two movies with same above.mentioned factors and same actor would open difderently if their production value is different.

  • U know what happened when ranbir did a Fox star film .. It bombed badly n become all time disaster..

    So banner play huge role.. Emraan hashmi films with Fox did better bizness than Ranbir’s film with Fox applying same negative Wom.. Inspite of havin anushka, Kjo at helm..

  • So, this mean Salman Khan wins the spot…
    1)Dabang- New Director+New Actress+ Salman After Bad Phase with continuos flops and still it gets the biggest openings at that period
    2)Ready- Remake of South Indian(which means the story is out there) + Actress South Indian(Asin was still a new comer)+ Aneez Bazmee after Thank You and No Problem
    3)Bodyguard-Remake + New Director(In Hindi)+Kareena + Best Opening recorded(more than 20cr)
    4)Ek Tha Tiger- Kabir Khan (Not big at the moment)+ Movies on Raw agent+Katrina(30 cr opening)
    5)Dabang 2- can you believe who the director is? I think you can be director here and get that opening….+same old story+ more than 20 cr opening
    6)Jai Ho- Remake of South Legend+who is the director? I think you would copy it better…+New Actress+Thousands of unwanted characters with flop faces+Everything+No festive period(best opening for non festive)
    7)Kick-New Director+Again Remake+Ok Actress(Did not fall in Top 5 actress at the moment)+ released in Ramadan+ Best opening in films that opened in Ramadan
    8)Bajrangi Bhaijaan- Political Drama+Kareena(Kind of bad phase)+Kabir Khan +No good music + best opening is Ramadan

  • It has to be presented like this @indicine. As flows

    1. Srk
    2. Salman
    3. Aamir
    4. Hritik
    5. Ajay
    6. Ranbeer
    7. Akshay
    8. Ranveer
    9. Shahid
    10. Varun

    Dare not give any favourism to Akshay Kumar

  • @mohit
    Before HNY,Farah did two movies with SRK and both were big hits. The first one was superhit and the next was blockbuster. Though TMK didn’t do too well but you also can’t neglect the fact that it got bumper opening…
    So there wasn’t any negativity as it was a movie from an actor-director combo who had previosly given big hits.
    Actor director combo also matters..

  • You may reduce Aamir’s points because he has THE Rajkumar Hirani with him, but let us look at things from different perspective.

    Rajkumar hirani is first a writer then the director. He works with team of committed people like music director Shantanu Moitra, lyricist Swanand Kirkire and above all the master writer Abhijat Joshi. Abhijat Joshi had been working 5 years with Hirani for PK.

    Now comes the main question. Why did they choose Aamir? Because he was perfect as PK! His protruding ears, big eyes, all seem correct for the character of PK.

    When a writer-director works for 5 years on a film, he wont take an actor just because he is a superstar. Srk, salman, hrithik all have brute star-power but you have look at PK’s character from Hirani’s perspective.

    For Hirani, Aamir is the perfect guy. He has delivered a blockbuster with him in past and the cult status of 3 idiots just adds so much hype for PK. ‘The team of 3 idiots is back’ is enough to draw ppl to the theatre.

    Basically it’s not Aamir needs hirani thing. Hirani was tackling with religion and the 3 idiots hype and Aamir (the multiplex messiah) was spot-on for him. Aamir’s reputation helped him drive a not-so-popular theme.

    Imagine Munna Bhai preaching religion. People would go all guns blazing against controversial Sanjay Dutt. With Aamir’s TZP, lagaan, rang de reputation, ppl lend a patient ear to what Aamir’s films say.

    Agreed PK was a complete mainstream entertainer. But it is just not fair to say, “look, Aamir had Hirani” for success. Also the kind of films Aamir has choosen over years(DCH, TZP) he has gained committed target audience who love his films but arent crazy for him. You cant sideline his contribution to Indian Cinema!

  • It’s a very good article
    Very appropriate
    Akki haters might not like it as akki don’t work in big banners, male friendly genre, less gap in releases. .
    It’s favoring Akshay nd its very sensible ….!

    Fantastic ..!

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