In Bollywood, Rs100 crore has become the new definition of box office success. But actor Aamir Khan feels that numbers can be deceptive and the elite figure may not be the true measure to determine how well a film is made or received by the audience.
Three of Aamir's films -- 3 Idiots, Ghajini and Fanaa -- have reportedly earned over Rs350 crore, Rs150 crore, and Rs100 crore respectively, scaling the touchstone of success. Yet he does not believe in the number game.
"A large number of people might see the film because a star is there. Numbers can be deceptive. To me success means when we as a creative team sit together to watch a film before it releases... (do we) feel that we have succeeded in making what we set out to do. If the team feels we have come close, it's the first sign of success," Aamir said.
"I have never looked at figures. I am the last person to look at figures at the outset. I look at them in retrospect as it helps me gauge how well a film of mine has been received. It is one of the yard sticks. I use them to understand how my film has fared, how people have reacted to it," he said.
Aamir feels even though a film may earn a lot of money at the BO but there are chances that not many people may like it.
"Let's say a film had done big business but when you ask people how did you like the film, only six or seven people out of ten say it was ok... then is it a successful film? If another film has done half the business and you ask people how they like it.. if eight to nine out of ten like it.. then," he said.
The 47-year-old actor-producer feels filmmaking is a team effort and the credit for the success of a film should not entirely be given to actors but the whole team.
"Film making is a team effort... its tough. The director and writer play important parts but along with that there is the cameraman, the sound engineer, the song composer, lyric writer, actors... so when a film does well, it is the result of this team doing good work. The balance is not in the hands of actors alone," Aamir said.
"I am fortunate that for the past so many years my films have been doing well and people have liked them. I am happy that the right kinds of projects have come my way. I have got to work with talented writers and directors," he said.
Aamir is known for being a marketing and promotion genius for releasing his films as an actor-producer.
"I think promoting a film is an important part of filmmaking. It is an intrinsic part of that. Filmmaking is story telling. The more excited you are about the story you have, the more intense will be your attempt will be to get people's attention," he said.
"For me that is why it is a part of filmmaking. Marketing also depends on what the material is," he added.
Aamir is looking forward to the release of his suspense drama Talaash that hits the screens on November 30.
"Talaash is an intense suspense drama... so I don't want to be talking about the film everywhere. I want the suspense to be there, that's part of the promotions. Sometimes being quiet also might promote it," he said.
"Mere information is not promotion. I can create a desire by not being there too. The bottom line is to create a desire," he added.
Directed by Reema Kagti, Talaash revolves around three characters - Aamir who plays a cop, Rani Mukherjee playing Aamir's wife and Kareena Kapoor.
"Talaash is essentially a suspense drama.. there is no social message but there is an important aspect to the story. The reason why it attracted me was that it is not only a great suspense story but it was like journey where I didn't know what would happen next. So in that way, it held its suspense for me," Aamir said.
"I found it fulfilling... the suspense part of it. But at its heart, its a story about someone coming to terms with loss... it is a very emotional story at its core," he added.
Aamir, who has teamed up with Kareena and Rani for the film is all praises for both the leading ladies.
"It's been great working with Rani and Kareena. Both are great actors... I get along well with them. It was great fun to work with them. When you work with good artists there is a certain chemistry which works... the scene comes alive,"he said.
"Both are fantastic actresses and I think people will love watching them together on screen," he added.