From empty theatres to records, Salman sees it all in 3 years

18th September 2009, a day I would never forget. Stepping in to watch a evening show at a premium multiplex, I realised to my horror that the auditorium was barely 30%-40% occupied. The film was ‘Wanted’. A Salman Khan starrer no less. And even though the mass centres (especially single screens) had picked up  with weekend throwing up some good numbers, multiplexes had a different story to tell. Well, to begin with at least.

This was also the time when reassurance from veteran filmmakers like David Dhawan (Partner, amongst others), Satish Kaushik (Tere Naam) and Boney Kapoor (No Entry, Wanted) had started coming in.

‘The film would do wonder on Eid, you would see’ – I remember them telling me in unison!

Teen saal baad…

Wanted Salman Khan

Wanted Salman Khan

15th August 2012 – a day that no Bollywood historian would ever forget. With the first day of ‘Ek Tha Tiger’ accumulating half of what ‘Wanted’ had done in it’s entire lifetime (of over 60 crores), the verdict was clear. Salman had seen a career elevation (and a remarkable turnaround) in three years flat, that no other actor had ever managed in past or present.

‘The film is supposed to strike a balance for all kind of audience. The one Salman has anyways been catering to (read single screens) and another (multiplexes) that has given him a warm welcome too’ – Kabir Khan said as the first day collections started pouring in.

Well, when a film reads close to 32 crores on the opening day, no one challenges that, right?

In the three year journey, of course there was an occasional disappointment like ‘Main Aurr Mrs. Khanna’ and a ‘London Dreams’, both old commitments. However one can be rest assured that if ‘Veer’ would have released today with Salman exercising his ‘creative’ control on the final product, Bollywood would have most certainly enjoyed yet another huge grosser.

After all, the super success of ‘Ek Tha Tiger’ pretty much proves that. Once again it is apparent that when an actor is on the top of the game and the merits are decent, if not exceptional, audience come along.

Imagine if ‘Wanted’ arrived today. It would have been an hurricane of massive proportions, something that wouldn’t be challenged even by the staunchest of Salman’s detractors. After all, not many would deny that despite the super success of films like ‘Bodyguard’, ‘Ready’ and ‘Dabangg’ in the interim period, ‘Wanted’ stays on top of the list for many when it comes to wholesome ‘dhamaal’ entertainment.

No wonder then, that the kind of demi-God status that Salman has built over the years, would ensure that ‘Dabangg 2’ shatters all records.

After all, amongst all characters that Salman has played in recent times, isn’t ‘Chulbul Pandey’ the name one instantly remembers?

– Joginder Tuteja



  • It’s unbelievable for me as well. How did he go from ‘not even in the Top 10’ to the biggest superstar in the industry? How did he achieve the impossible of beating even Aamir Khan?

    The likes of Shahrukh Khan and Hrithik Roshan.. who are two of the biggest international stars.. are even struggling to beat the collections of his non-holiday release like Ready.

  • Hail to the King Khan – The Emperor Khan. He is in a league of his own now. Unbeatable. Wanted was the turning point in his career and also his TV show Dus Ka Dum. After that he hasn’t look back. Going from strength to strength with each release.

    Indicine.. can you do a comparison of the total collections of his last few films. Please

  • i think his presence at small screen that is t.v shows such as dus ka dum n big boss also help him achieving what he has achievd so no dout in india he is more than every one in industary fr sure

  • dis is one of d bst article by indicine…all salman khan fans mst realize wt he ws b4 3yrs…he ws nthng..his star power ws less than ranbir even shahid @ d box office…his mst of d muviz wer disastrous..i rem film called marigold earing less than a cr..the lowest grosser of dt yr..n i still rem id day i went 2 theatre..only 3 ppl wer der all 3 my frnds..dat day i tot salmans career is over…nw luk @him ,he iz ruling d box office…dis is wt u call a sheer luck nd v gud tym….i want 2 say dt dont degrade other heroes…coz hr,srk,aamir are all capable on making nd breaking records..dis is all luck nd time factor running for salman..who knws srk can giv anther ddlj with his nxt….

  • @ afraz there can.t me another DDLJ
    n why u r talking about marigold only dude have u forgot partner the all time best entertainer
    ek kharb mvie se kuch ni hota
    n one more thnk name me any 1 sRk comedy mvie he is nt capable of doing these type of roles same with his action role
    bt ya he is dam gud in romantic n thats his plus point other wise salman does more variety than sRk

  • Since 15th august why ?indicine is giving every article on salman every day he is not the only actor in bollywood.. There r mny others too..

  • same as akshay kumar’s career…

    when akshay delivered back-to-back hits around 2007..his fans went gaga over him…
    but soon..his career showed decline..
    he went to his all-time low…
    REASON?….same genre,same kind of movies(comedy)

    same gonna happen with salman..
    audience will be fed up of his cheap action masaa movies…

  • indicine.. ETT made 32crs on opening day and agneepath made 25crs that is only the difference of 7 crs which is not too much difrence.. That means hrithik is giving tough competition to salman..

  • Indicine put 1 more article with title. IF KRRISH OR DHOOM 2 WOULD RELEASED 2DAY.. On the basis of hrithik’s success and agnepath success..

  • nilesh, Akshay at his peak time gave only hits, not all time blockbusters. Welcome is not a solo blockbuster. And neither has he given the highest grossing movie of the year 2007 or 2008. Then how can you compare Akshay and Salman?

  • @nilesh akshaay kumar bounce back this year without help of a raju hirani or yash chopra or karan shows wat akki is capable….unlik srk depends yashji or adi or karan to withstand….

  • 2003 to 2008 was bad phase of salman. But in the bad phase he has given some superhit and blockbusters. Now he is on top without any doubt. Dont understand why it is so hard to digest for some people.

    before wanted salman never used to promote his movies and now he started and result is for all to see.

  • one of the best article from @indicine
    salute to the biggest crowd puller in the world and
    salute to the biggest superstar of the planet…

  • Im srk fan but i think salman deserve this position where he is today. he has seen ups and down in his career from aishwariya-mr n mrs khanna to ETT, from beginning 2000-2003(4years) 2006-pre wanted.. 2009(4years only partner) no single hits.

    this is an emotional article for Salman fans

  • The difference between Salman before Wanted & after Wanted is….

    Before Wanted Salman didnt focus on his career & he was busy helping his friends.

    How can you forget Salman promoting SRK’s OSO when his own film was releasing on same date. But he did it because he gave importance to friendship that time.

    But after his fight with srk…Salman started taking his own career seriously. Wanted is Salman’s first film which was promoted by Salman. And look now after 3 years he is at number 1.

    Now he has best friends like Aamir, Ajay, Sanju & Akshay…. true friendship.

    Every one says Salman & Srk’s fight day is black day in Bollywood…but I think its a golden day in Salman’s career.

  • Salman always looked up to single screen audience for success and in recent times Directors were only concentrating on Multiplex numbers. This was cashed in by Salman and his recent movies. 3 out of his 5 are blockbuster remakes in south with proven record. Dabangg was good but ETT is just working on the popularity and holidays in my opinion. Looks like Bodyguard trending for me.
    Masala is the current flavor of the season don’t be surprised if SRK does one now…
    If ETT does at least 20% of its first week then consider it to be a good one.

  • “If ETT does at least 20% of its first week then consider it to be a good one.”
    “If ETT does at least 20% of its first week in second week then consider it to be a good one.”

  • Yes i am a salman khan fan and i challenge anyone to tell me any actor that can make a come back like salman if he take the kind of criticsm and backlash both in personal and career life that salman went thr in last decade.. Lets not forget salman was the biggest star in bollywood in the 90’s with the highest no of hits and atbb to his name

  • 7day total collection 135cr of EK Tha Tiger. So this film will cross 202 record of 3idiot. All the best SALMAN KHAN

  • @nilesh don’t compare salman with akshay. i believe akshay had command at that time but he releases movie after every 3 months.and thats the reason for his downfall along with average moviesand this was same the case with salman from 2000 till 2009. he can’t able to build the hype around his movie. nor he got a save side for any of his movie to release on diwali as, srk owned diwali. but now salman doing few movies with perfect release timings and thats the secret of his success. when he got his fan following back with wanted and his biggest grosser is inevitable that his every other movie can’t be dabang or wanted . so he put a decent gap between his movies so even sub standards movie will do well. and salman deserves it all i was so frustated when i knew that tere naam was just a average. collections are not the parameter for deciding which movie is better it should be abaut sustaining. if munna bha2 collect more than first one and d2 more than dhoom. it souldn’t become better than first one. now its sallu time all the way. and by the way salman is not ahead of ammir by any means to beat ammir ,sallu movie needs to sustain like 3 idiots. with 12% drop from 1st weekend to second weekend. and that i will never happen in future by any actor even aamir won’t able to repeat that.

  • ETT does not have multiple viewing story line or entertainment, its a one time watch so beating 3 Idiots is going to be a magic. I predict 160-170Cr.

  • @rowdy 786 : SRK is promoting Akki’s next movie dude.
    And I must agree that Akshey is capable of breaking any record.
    But you got to admit that SRK is also a good star. My dear friend luck and big names can not make stars.
    You are saying that SRK depends upon yash chopra or Karan johar.
    Then tell me why uday chopra is not a superstar. Shahrukh has worked hard for over 20 years and after amitabh srk was the only person who sustained for 20 years.
    Tell me over last 20 years how many ups and downs SRK have seen?
    People like SRK and AKKI started from zero and they are self made stars.
    I was reading a website you should read this article

    This question has crossed my mind many a times and I have really give this question a deep thought that why is it that the SELF-MADE guys have this great ability of bouncing back from nowhere? Why is it that when people start to write them off, they suddenly come out with some mind blowing success and are again at the top? What is that which keeps these SELF-MADE guys never give up?

    In the recent 1 month we have seen two turn around stories.

    SELF-MADE superstar Shahrukh khan who was almost written off by the critics who thought that SRK is down and out, suddenly pulls out an IPL victory and SRK again emerges as the biggest brand of filmdom. Shahrukh khan, who was very low in confidence and at his lowest in his professional career till 20 days ago, announces to buy 50% state in India’s oldest football club – Dempo 4 days ago.

    Another SELF-MADE superstar- Akshay Kumar whose past few films were struggling to get even good openings comes up with something called Rowdy Rathore. The film releases on a normal week without any holiday or extended weekend but still goes on to make 50.60 crores weekend and create records of biggest 1st Monday and biggest 1st Tuesday. He is again the biggest action hero of bollywood and the hottest property in town.

    Two SELF-MADE superstars who were down and out few weeks ago are again no1 and no2 of bollywood.

    So the question remains—what makes SELF-MADE guys like SRK and Akki to bounce back from extreme lows??

    The answer is very simple – No low can be lower than the low, these SELF-MADE guys have actually come from.

    These SELF-MADE guys have come from ZERO. They started from zero. From zero, they reached to 1 and then 2 and then 3 and then went on to become the two biggest superstars of contemporary era. They are aware of the journey from zero to top.

    When u take a new and tough route for the 1st time, u will face many difficulties. But once u r familiar with that route, it becomes just another route for u. Because these SELF-MADE guys are familiar with the route from zero to top, it’s no big deal for them to bounce back from zero again…..and they know that the worst case scenario for them is zero only.

    So even when these SELF-MADE guys r on zero, they won’t be depressed because they know that it’s the very place they started from. It is nothing new. Within no time, they will again complete the journey from zero to top

    Akki and SRK r the classic examples that SELF-MADE guys not only reach to the top but they sustain that top position for a long long time.

    And they not only achieve great successes, they earn the respect of people too.

    If we look at various eras of bollywood, we will notice that there have been some stars and there have been some superstars who have got tremendous respect of the people.

    Raj kapoor was a star but he doesn’t command the respect of a Rajesh Khanna or Dilip Kumar or Amitabh Bachchan.

    Rishi kapoor was a star but never got much respect.

    Salman khan is a star but……….well, lesser said the better. Murder case pending.

    Hrithik roshan is a star but doesn’t command much respect either.

    So whats common in Raj, Rishi, Salman and Hrithik?? And whats common in Rajesh, Amitabh, SRK, Akki, Dilip and Vinod??

    We know the answer — Rajesh, Amitabh, SRK, Akki, Dilip and Vinod are SELF-MADE guys while others r not.

    For common men, SELF-MADE guys r real heroes who have actually done some heroics and so they respect SELF-MADE guys while they don’t care much about bhai-bhatija guys.

    This ‘respect’ thing is the very reason why some fans of non-SELF-MADE guys have gone into depression. They know that their favorite star will never get the respect and status which the SELF-MADE guys enjoy and this drags them into severe chronic depression.

    The two SELF-MADE superstars AKKI and SRK, ruling the bollywood from more than 10 years, testify that to be successful, u need hardwork and determination and not necessarily need to be a bhai-bhatija.

    The fact remains a fact, and the fact is that SELF-MADE logo ki baat he kuch aur hoti hai.

    After reading it I am not saying you will respect SRK but you will hate him less.

  • YES , Wanted film was the answer to dictators or haters who were saying that his carrier is over ….BUT i think DABANGG was the film which cemented his status to NUMBER ONE….bhai’s entry in television industry was major plus point during dus ka dum people saw bhai’s nature or behaviour of REAL LIFE not REEL LIFE..which people loved it..after that period there was no looking back….NOW …… SALMAN BHAI is NUMBER ONE…Real Box Office KING .

  • @Rohan, be sensible here, How ETT can stop at 160- 170? The film have already grossed 135 crore in 7 days, then it will very easily touch 150 crore in 9 days(least minimum). Then films like Dabanng& RR got more than 30 crore in second week.

  • Sorry not Rohan@ Raghav. Before the release of ETT some fans of Salman Khan were only talking about 275 crore & 300 crore. Now after the film breaking all the records & the film would get 6 open weeks as there is no buzz for ‘Joker’ & Barfi do not having half of the hype Rockstar had. But still Salman fans are not brave enough to quote a 225 crore fig for ETT,rather making digs at SRK & other actors. Why?

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