Ranbir Kapoor's Sanju heralds the entry of gen-next actors into Khan-dominated box office clubs
With Ranbir Kapoor’s Sanju crossing Rs 300 crore at the box office, the final bastion of the Khan kingdom has been conquered by the younger generation of actors
The last citadel of the Khans has been invaded. Ranbir Kapoor’s Sanju on Sunday (14 July) crossed Rs 300 crore entering the final bastion of the Khan kingdom conquering all the three 'fortresses' that only the Khans inhabited — the Rs 100 crore, Rs 200 crore and Rs 300 crore clubs of Bollywood box office. It has been a huge task for the younger lot of actors to land where no Khan has already crossed.
It all started with Aamir Khan’s Ghajini inaugurating the Rs 100 crore club in 2008 followed by Salman Khan making an entry into the club with five films and Shah Rukh Khan with two. Since then it became some sort of a challenge for the younger actors to enter the club if they were to take over the reins from them. Everyone started expecting them to touch the century mark sooner or later. Eventually, Ranbir Kapoor was the first gen-next star to reach the Rs 100 crore club with Barfi following up with Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani (YJHD) a year later in 2013, but by that time the Rs 200 crore club had already been inaugurated by Aamir with 3 Idiots. Soon Aamir, Shah Rukh and Salman, all three had one more film each in the Rs 200 crore bracket making Ranbir's Rs 180 crore YJHD a distant seven in the top 10 list.
At this stage even younger lot of actors started entering the prestigious club and were more frequent and frisk. Within a matter of 12 months, Ranveer Singh, Arjun Kapoor, and Sidharth Malhotra had entered the coveted club. Next year it was the turn of Varun Dhawan followed by Sushant Singh Rajput and said club became overcrowded, it was no more the fiefdom of Khans. Shortly, Aamir and Salman crossed the Rs 300 crore mark with multiple films (PK, Bajrangi Bhaijaan, Sultan, Dangal and Tiger Zinda Hai).
By the end of 2017, after Tiger Zinda Hai became the fifth Khan film to cross the Rs 300 crore benchmark even as all the youngsters stayed in the Rs 100 crore bracket, it looked like matching up to the Khans was not going to be easy. Hopes were pinned, predictions made but numbers seemed to belie expectations. The fact that Baahubali 2: The Conclusion had already done Rs 500 crore business at the box office with its Hindi version alone, made the youngsters look all the more shaky in comparison.
But things started changing. In January this year, Ranveer Singh along with Shahid Kapoor, who did not have a single Rs 100 crore film to his credit then, gave the Rs 285 crore blockbuster, a few crores short of the 300 crore club. The achievement of Ranveer and Shahid is even more commendable considering their Padmaavat did not release in 30 percent of the market.
Then came Sanju, a film riding on the humongous reputation of Rajkumar Hirani and it entered the Rs 300 crore club in just around a fortnight’s time of its release. This is the first time that one of the stars from the younger lot has entered a club that the Khans haven't quite learnt the ropes of yet. Now if Thugs of Hindostan or Zero, that release end of this year, manage to breach the Rs 400 crore mark it would again become the status quo. Maybe then it would be up to Ranveer, the next young 'warrior' coming up with the last release of the year, Simmba, to match or beat that. Let's wait and watch.
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