How 2.0 has helped bolster Akshay Kumar's box office stature in overseas and domestic markets

Surendhar MK

Dec 11, 2018 08:29:33 IST

While 2.0 is inching towards supplanting the lifetime totals of massive blockbusters of 2018, such as Sanju and Padmaavat over the next few days, we take a comprehensive look at how the film, which features Akshay Kumar in the antagonist's role as Pakshi Rajan, has shored up the Padman actor's moderate business in overseas markets and bolstered his already-consistent foothold in Hindi territories.

Akshay Kumar in a still from 2.0

Akshay Kumar in a still from 2.0

Although it is evident that 2.0 has earned its lion's share of domestic theatrical revenue from the north belt with a fantastic Rs 139.75 crore (net, Hindi version) in eight days, it is also beyond question that the movie has raked in the moolah in a string of  offshore markets, where Akshay's box office muscle pales when compared to other high profile Bollywood stars such as the Khan triumvirate. Before 2.0, Akshay's highest grossing film in overseas markets, without taking China into account, was the 2008 action comedy Singh is Kingg, with $7.1 million.

Speaking to Firstpost, Vinu Chandran, independent box office tracker of Forum Keralam, said, "With 2.0, Akshay would be able to leave his mark among those non-conventional Bollywood markets like Malaysia, Singapore, Sri Lanka etc. He has also received extensive reach in traditional Bollywood regions such as the USA, the UK, since 2.0 has earned more than Akshay's highest grossing films there. 2.0's expected lifetime business in overseas of close to $20 million is almost three times of his previous best Singh Is Kingg ($7.1 million), which goes back to 2008, and that itself speaks volumes of the reach he has obtained through the Shankar-Rajinikanth's magnum opus."

Before 2.0, Akshay's Kuwait-set story Airlift held the record of being his top grossing film in the UAE-GCC territory, followed by Rustom and Housefull, which pulled in approximately $2 million each. In comparison, 2.0 has garnered a running total of $4.5 million, with 375,000 admissions in just eight days.

Asked about Akshay's bold decision to don the villain's role in 2.0, India's leading trade analyst Taran Adarsh observes, "Of late, Akshay is doing socially relevant films, and there's no harm for an actor in doing that. He has done action films, comedy films and as an artist, he also needs change. He has grown as an actor. But it's been quite long since he has done an out and out commercial film. His character in 2.0 is not completely dark. He has a story to tell, he has a back story as well. Here, he's starring alongside superstar Rajinikanth. That gave him the courage to experiment in looks and take an unconventional character from his career. He accepted the challenge and portrayed it very well."

Adarsh further added, "If you ask me to pick the top five performances from Akshay's filmography,  I would definitely say 2.0 will be in the top five. He has a strong market in the north and to single out one particular territory, where the response is phenomenal, it is Bihar. In terms of net collection, he has crossed both Toilet: Ek Prem Katha and Rowdy Rathore. 2.0 is Akshay Kumar's highest grossing domestic film now."

The Anees Bazmee-directed Singh Is Kinng was the highest grossing film of Akshay Kumar in the US with $1.5 million. However, 2.0 has earned $4.2 million stateside, making it the top earning film of Akshay by a mile. 2.0 has also become Akshay's second film to enter the Saudi Arabia market after Gold, which was the first Bollywood movie to pass the stringent censorship laws of the kingdom.

"With 2.0, Akshay has reached out to an audience which perhaps is the number limited to the event films a complete actor can boast off. Which Khans or Ranbir or Ranveer can boast off. Akshay Kumar has got back those numbers. 2.0 is going to take him notches above his current position. His next releases will create the curiosity in the audience but it's the content he chooses that will determine the overall result and numbers. Content does the talking after the star power," Adarsh said on a concluding note.

Updated Date: Dec 11, 2018 08:29:33 IST