Notwithstanding their period of failure, these stars needed just one big hit to be back in the game
They were reigning supreme till they hit a roadblock and then followed a lean dark phase of unsuccessful films. But it took them one movie to bounce back and reclaim their position.
Shah Rukh Khan
Last release: 'Chennai Express' (2013)
Next release: 'Happy New Year' (2014)
Back on track with: 'My Name is Khan' (2010)
Lowdown: Like Sallu bhai, King Khan too has suffered from bouts of inconsistent performance at the BO. His filmography, that has seen both troughs and crests, got a major boost with the Karan Johar film, My Name is Khan. It had its share of controversies but it somehow sailed through, providing his film career a much-needed impetus.
Last release: 'Gunday' (2014)
Next release: 'Mary Kom film'
Back on track with: '7 Khoon Maaf' (2011)
Lowdown: Until 7 Khoon Maaf happened, she starred in a spate of forgettable films such as Anjaana Anjaani (2010), Pyaar Impossible! (2010) and What’s Your Raashee? (2009). As of now, Zanjeer remains one of 2013’s biggest duds and she hasn’t really made a splash with her latest venture (Gunday) either. Krrish 3 was a saving grace though.
Last release: 'Jai Ho' (2014)
Next release: 'Kick' (2014)
Back on track with: 'Wanted' (2009)
Lowdown: The Bollywood star had a string of flops — including Marigold, God Tussi Great Ho, Hello and Heroes — to his credit in the mid-noughties. He then tasted success with Prabhu Deva’s film that broke box office records at that time. Following this film, he starred in a slew of critically panned yet uber successful Hindi films.
Last release: 'Gori Tere Pyaar Mein' (2013)
Next release: 'Dev Benegal film'
Back on track with: '3 Idiots' (2009)
Lowdown: Before Rajkumar Hirani directed her in 3 Idiots, there was Tashan (2008), followed by Kambakkht Ishq (2009) and Kurbaan (2009) — none of which earned her appreciation. She bounced back with 3 Idiots and followed it up with a slew of successful films. She also made an impression with Prakash Jha’s film, Satyagraha (2013) only to herald a debacle like Gori Tere Pyaar Mein.
Last release: 'Shootout at Wadala' (2013)
Next release: 'Welcome Back' (2014)
Back on track with: 'Shootout at Wadala' (2013)
Lowdown: In the last four years, Anil has appeared in just four Bollywood films. Also, he is now opting multi-cast films over solo performances. Shootout At Wadala won him accolades, while No Problem (2010) and Tezz (2012) did nothing for his career.
Last release: 'Boss' (2013)
Next release: 'Holiday' (2014)
Back on track with: 'Housefull' (2010)
Lowdown: After films like Kambakkht Ishq and Blue proved diastrous, Akki decided to play it safe with comedies and signed on Sajid Khan’s film, Housefull. The idea worked and he went on to deliver several hits later. Last year, however, he experienced one average and two big time flops.
Last release: 'Dhoom 3' (2013)
Next release: 'Happy New Year' (2014)
Back on track with: 'Bol Bachchan' (2011)
Lowdown: Even though Dhoom 3 broke all BO records, AB Jr. didn’t get to hog the limelight. For him, it was the commercially successful film, Bol Bachchan (2011), that did wonders. Duds like Players (2012) and Dum Maaro Dum (2011) happened earlier.
Saif Ali Khan
Last release: 'Bullett Raja' (2013)
Next release: 'Happy Ending' (2014)
Back on track with: 'Dil Chahta Hai' (2001)
Lowdown: One of the late bloomers in the industry, the Nawab of Pataudi’s career in the ’90s can be best described as forgettable. Farhan Akhtar’s Dil Chahta Hai single-handedly catapulted him into the big league and since then, he has made the most of good scripts. There were mediocre films too.
Last release: 'Guzaarish' (2010)
Next release: 'Mani Ratnam film'
Back on track with: 'Dhoom 2' (2006)
Lowdown: Although it’s been quite sometime since she has starred in a film, Aishwarya remains a top billed actress. It may be recalled that her film Dhoom 2 offered audiences a welcome respite from the mediocre films she had been appearing in till then, namely Shabd, Bride & Prejudice and Umrao Jaan.
Last release: 'R…Rajkumar' (2013)
Next release: 'Haider' (2014)
Back on track with: 'R...Rajkumar' (2013)
Lowdown: Post his climb with a memorable performance in Vishal Bhardwaj’s Kaminey, this actor has starred in films that have turned out to be box-office duds. Even though R...Rajkumar did sell a lot of tickets, the film received little appreciation from the critics’ end.
Last release: 'Satyagraha' (2013)
Next release: 'Action Jackson' (2014)
Back on track with: 'Singham' (2011)
Lowdown: Ajay Devgn may have stopped taking up intense roles that really suit him, but he struck gold with the action film Singham. Interestingly, his performance in Satyagraha also won him praises while Himmatwala (2013) turned out to be a disaster.
Last release: 'Krrish 3' (2013)
Next release: 'Bang Bang' (2014)
Back on track with: 'Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara'
Lowdown: After back-to-back duds like Kites and Guzaarish in 2010, trade pundits wrote him off, all the while suggesting that he’ll get his mojo back by starring in his father, producer Rakesh Roshan’s home production. But he went on to impress audiences in the multi-starrer, Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara instead.