Khiladi Akshay Kumar wants to play big in 2020; books all three festival dates
With Akshay Kumar booking Eid, Diwali and Christmas 2020 for his films, trade pundits assess his rise as a most bankable superstar
On his 52nd birthday yesterday, Akshay Kumar announced that he has joined forces with Yash Raj Films for Prithviraj. The historical drama, which has him play the Rajput king from the Chahamana dynasty, is scheduled to release on Diwali 2020. Considering his horror comedy Laxmmi Bomb and Bachchan Pandey were already announced as Eid and Christmas offerings respectively, the actor has, in effect, booked the three biggest festivals — earlier counted as the domain of the Khan trio — for his films.
For an actor who has rarely relied on the advantage of festival releases in his 28-year career, Kumar seems to be adopting a new strategy. Trade expert Amod Mehra attributes the change to the recent success of Mission Mangal, which was an Independence Day release. "While most of his films would earn anywhere between Rs 125-150 crore, Mission Mangal touched the Rs 200-crore mark," says Mehra.
It is interesting to see that the superstar will be headlining six big projects in the next 15 months — his Housefull 4 is slated to hit screens this Diwali, followed by Good News in December. "With four big projects in 2020, almost Rs 500-700 crore is riding on Akshay." Mehra adds that the industry can safely bet big on the superstar, considering his last five releases have raked in over Rs 700 crore.
So, does that mean Kumar is ready to fight the Khans on their home turf? While Salman Khan has promised he will maintain his date with the audience on Eid 2020, Aamir Khan too has hinted that Laal Singh Chaddha will be a Christmas fare. "Akshay has had a splendid run over the last few years. If the buzz is anything to go by, his upcoming films will be sureshot successes. Right now, he has the first-mover advantage as Salman's movie has not even been announced."
Trade-smith Girish Wankhede observes that his upcoming outings are designed to revive his Khiladi image. "While Akshay's social dramas have been applauded, a section of the audience has criticised him for lending support to the ruling government through his offerings. With his next six releases, it is easy to see that he wants to change that image."
It's Kumar vs Khans
With Laxmmi Bomb, Kumar will take on Salman Khan on Eid. Khan has yet to announce his Eidi
Come Diwali 2020, Kumar will give his fans a war drama in Prithviraj
Christmas is considered Aamir Khan's domain. But Kumar's Bachchan Pandey is set to lock horns with Laal Singh Chadha
Estimated budget of Kumar's films in 2020
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