Saif Ali Khan Hits and Flops: Career Analysis

Saif Ali Khan has been in the film industry for over two decades now. Even though the actor won his Filmfare Best Debutant Award for Aashiq Awara (1993), he made his debut with a supporting role in Yash Chopraís directorial Parampara (1992), which had Aamir Khan, Sunil Dutt and Vinod Khanna in the lead. Itís quite ironical that in spite of being in the business for such a long time, most of the initial success that he achieved in his career came from films where he played second lead.

Saif Ali Khan Hits and Flops

Saif Ali Khan Hits and Flops

The table below captures the most prominent successes in Saif Ali Khanís career as a parallel lead.

Film Net BO Collection | Verdict Main Lead Comments
Main Khiladi Tu Anari (1994) 6.5cr | SEMI HIT Akshay Kumar First Commercial Success of Saifís career
Nominated Filmfare for Best Supporting Actor
Hum Saath-Saath Hain (1999) 28cr | HIT Salman Khan Biggest Hit of the year
Kachche Dhaage (1999) 11cr | ABOVE AVERAGE Ajay Devgn Nominated Filmfare for Best Supporting Actor
Dil Chahta Hai (2001) 16cr | AVERAGE Aamir Khan Filmfare Award for Best Comic Role
Kal Ho Na Ho (2003) 35cr | HIT Shahrukh Khan Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actor


Superlative Success as Solo/Main Lead

Dil Chahta Hai and Kal Ho Naa Ho are considered as turning points in Saifís career because post the success and accolades received by these films, he started giving hits on his own. His first major victory came with Hum Tum in 2004 which also laid the foundation of a strong partnership between Saif and Aditya Chopra (YRF). Together they gave two more successes in Salaam Namaste (2005) and Ta Ra Rum Pum (2007).

But, it was Race (2008) which did wonders for Saif as he managed to enter Top 5 for the first time as a main lead. 2008 was a year when all superstars had major releases, still Saif starrer Race managed to grab the 4th spot (BEHIND — Aamir [Ghajini]; Shahrukh [RNBDJ]; Akshay [Singh Is Kingg] / AHEAD OF — Hrithik [Jodhaa Akbar]; Ajay [Golmaal Returns]; Ranbir [Bachna Ae Hasino]; Emraan [Jannat]; Salman [Yuvraaj] ). Saifís winning streak didnít stop here as he gave the biggest hit of his career in Love Aaj Kal (2009) and seized the 3rd position for the year. Love Aaj Kal also happens to be his first production venture under the Illuminati Films banner.

During this fantastic phase in his career, Saif also delivered some dominant performances which won critical acclaim: Ek Hasina Thi (2004), Parineeta (2005) : Nominated Filmfare Award for Best Actor, Being Cyrus (2006) and Omkara (2006) : Filmfare Award for Best Performance in a Negative Role. Special mention for his Langda Tyagi act in Omkara – one of the best negative performance of the decade and by far the actor’s best.

Table below showcases Major Hits of Saif Ali Khan as Lead Actor:

Film Net BO Collection | Verdict Comments
Hum Tum (2004) 21cr | HIT National Film Award for Best Actor
Filmfare Award for Best Comic Role
Salaam Namaste†(2005) 26cr | SEMI HIT
Ta Ra Rum Pum (2007) 35cr | SEMI HIT
Race (2008) 62cr | HIT Fourth Biggest Grosser of the year
Love Aaj Kal†(2009) 67cr | SUPER HIT Biggest Success of Saif till date
Third Biggest Grosser of the year
Nominated Filmfare Award for Best Actor
Nominated Filmfare Award for Best Movie
Cocktail (2012) 75cr | HIT


Unfortunately Saif could not hold on to this exceptional splash as he has never come close to the TOP 5 since Love Aaj Kal. Major Reasons: (1) Neither has he been able to maintain his good Success Rate, like the Khan Trio/Hrithik, nor has he been able to increase the number of releases per year by capitalizing on mass following like Akshay. (2) Most of his major successes cater to urban/young viewers only. Now, to increase his fan-following, Saif must opt for scripts which have larger target audience.

Why Race 2 is crucial for Saif?

The Top 6 positions in Bollywood are already occupied by Big Guns (Salman, SRK, Aamir, Akshay, Hrithik and Ajay juggle themselves for Rank 1 to 6) and there is cut throat competition for the next few spots. Over the last couple of years, next generation stars like Ranbir Kapoor and Emraan Hashmi have given Saif a run for his money to consolidate their position at the 7th spot.

As things stand today, it is Ranbir Kapoor (Highest Grosser: Barfi! – 106cr), Saif Ali Khan (Highest Grosser: Cocktail – 75cr) and Emraan Hashmi (Highest Grosser: Raaz 3 – 67cr) in that order on 7th, 8th and 9th positions respectively.

With action and sequels being the flavor of the season, Race 2 has everything in its favor. Moreover, Pritamís Hit music has only strengthened the box office perspectives of this Abbas-Mastanís thriller.

Challenges/Targets for Race 2:- (1) Saif Ali Khanís Entry into the 100 crore club (2) Beat the 106 crore mark of Barfi!

Something to comment on..

  • Do you think Saif Ali Khan is under-rated as an actor, because he couldn’t achieve the kind of success the other Khan’s could?
  • It took Saif more than 12 years to deliver a solo-hit. What do you think is the reason, since he is widely considered to be a good actor..?
  • What kind of films would you want to see Saif Ali Khan in? Should he opt for commercial multiplex films like Cocktail, try the action/masala genre like Ajay and Salman or work with directors like Vishal Bhardwaj who gave him Omkara?

Tell us in the comments section below!

Article by Archit Mishra (tweets @architmishra_06)



  • my Like Move. AasikAwara.
    Suraksha.Dil Tera Deewana.Him Tum. LovAaj Kal. Saif Is My Fevret Actor. Ilov Saif

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