The moneymakers

Sunday, 29 June 2014 - 6:20am IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: dna

They own the silver-screen and get the cash registers ringing. We crunch the numbers to list the top seven moneymakers in Bollywood

Aamir Khan: Perfectionist, marketing genius, brilliant actor, successful director and smart producer, all put in one. He made a successful film debut as an actor in the late eighties and had his share of hits and flops. But with Ghajini (2008), all bets were off—Aamir set the benchmark of Rs100-crore business for a film in the first week with the South remake. His next release, 3 Idiots surpassed the collections of Ghajini and with Dhoom 3, the superstar has started the Rs400 crore club making it the biggest grosser of all-time in Bollywood. While the actor chooses to do only one film in a year, he is shrewd enough to pick the right subjects and spin a success. Expectations are high from his forthcoming film, PK in which he teams with 3 Idiots director, Rajkumar Hirani. That the film will fetch over Rs100 crore is a given, the real question is will it break the record of his earlier film. As Aamir had said in an interview, ''The first step of selecting any film is emotional and truly instinctive. The second step has to be practical.'' Doesn't that say it all?

Salman Khan: Considered the Rajinikant of Hindi cinema, any film that Salman does pretty much turns into gold or in filmi parlance collects Rs 100 crores! This trend started with Wanted and since then all his films including Ready, Bodyguard, Dabangg I and II, and Ek Tha Tiger have touched the magic figure. Even Jai Ho that people felt had fallen short of expectations made Rs 110 crore becoming the first film to reach the elite club in 2014. He is the only Bolly hero to have back-to-back Rs 100 crore films, so much so that Salman and Rs 100 crore are synonymous. His next, an action thriller Kick is a Eid release and it's a known fact that Dabangg Khan and Eid release is a winning combo. And, with the trailers already becoming a talking point, there is little doubt about it becoming a money-spinner!

Shah Rukh Khan: To the Badshah of Bollywood goes the credit of ushering in the legacy of Rs 200 crore club. His Chennai Express made the fastest Rs 100-crore business and eventually Rs 200 crores. Earlier his films Ra.One and Jab Tak Hai Jaan have garnered over Rs 100 crore. Apart from being a part of the biggest all-time hits like Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge, which ran in a theatre for more than 18 years, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai and Om Shanti Om to name a few, SRK ventured into his favourite sport cricket by owning an IPL (Indian Premiere League) team, Kolkata Knight Riders that has won the trophy two times since the league started. The production house Red Chillies Entertainment he set up has been behind hits like Om Shanti Om. Apart from a few setbacks, like the TV division, which has shut down, SRK has made money with his different initiatives. Recently, he was declared the second richest actor in the world by a Wealth-X list, beating even Hollywood celebs Johnny Depp and Tom Cruise!

Ajay Devgn: Known for his macho appeal, brooding intensity and great comic timing, Ajay has four films Son of Sardaar, Singham, Bol Bachchan and Golmaal 3 in the Rs 100 crore bracket. That apart, Ajay has several hits to his credit and has maintained a balance between commercial masala films and the ones off the beaten track like Raincoat. A shrewd businessman, Ajay turned distributor with Devgan Software Private Limited. He is the first Bolly star to acquire a private jet for transport to shooting locations, promotions and personal trips. He is also the first Indian to own a Maserati Quattroporte and is said to have a fleet of high-end four wheelers. For his wife Kajol's birthday he gifted an Audi Q7 recently. His next release is Singham 2 and looking at his track record with Rohit Shetty this should be another blockbuster!

Amitabh Bachchan: The Shahenshah of Hindi cinema, Amitabh Bachchan has been giving hits long before the whole Rs 100 crore club started. Back then the film's success was measured by the number of weeks it ran in theatres and several of Bachchan's films have been golden and platinum jubilees. He has been quoted saying, "If you do a relative comparison with the films that celebrated 'jubilee weeks' in earlier days and compare their business to the rupee equivalent today, you'll find that those films earned around `300-350 crore." With Kaun Banega Crorepati, Bachchan revolutionised TV viewing. KBC was the first-of-its-kind show to offer a prize money of one crore and he also pocketed almost that amount to host the show. Now, he is set to change the game again with his acting foray on the small-screen. At 71, the baap of all superstars is not only going strong but also reinventing, himself. Hats off to the living legend!

Akshay Kumar: Action, comedy, romance - name it and Akshay Kumar has done it, with elan. Primarily known for his action films thanks to the runaway success of Khiladi that spawned a franchise with at least three more films in the series, Akshay presented a softer, romantic side in Yeh Dillagi and Dhadkan consolidated it. After going through a rough patch in the late '90s the Khiladi was back with a bang in the comedy Hera Pheri. A spate of comedy films followed, all with varying degree of success. Akshay can also be called sequel king as most his films have had sequels, Hera Pheri, Khiladi and Housefull! With Special 26, that also saw him turning a singer, Akshay won a lot of critical acclaim. Though the Khiladi's films have been money-spinners, for some strange reason only two films have made it to the 100 crore mark, Housefull 2 and Rowdy Rathore. His recent release Holiday is expected to touch the magic figure. He turned producer with Oh My God!, that made over Rs 70 crore. Not just commercial potboilers, Akshay is producing films off the beaten track too. An actor who has been big on promoting sports and fitness martial arts expert, Akshay hosted three seasons of Khatron Ke Khiladi and has recently bought a kabbadi team in the World Kabbadi League.

Hrithik Roshan: He had a dream launch no doubt, but Hrithik known for his Greek-God looks has proved to be an actor of great substance. From the romantic hero in Kaho Naa Pyaar Hai, the royal king in Jodha Akbar the quadriplegic magician in Guzaarish, the angry young man of Agneepath, to superhero Krrish, Hrithik continues to spin his magic at the BO. Agneepath and Krrish 3 were the highest grossing all-time films of Bollywood. He and his father Rakesh Roshan have been a winning combination. The only time they went wrong was in Kites, which Roshan senior produced. The actor who believes in doing only one movie at a time is now teaming up with his Jodha Akbar director Ashutosh Gowariker for Mohenja-Daro. Given their track record they are likely to recreate or perhaps surpass the success of Jodha Akbar.

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