There is an adage in Bollywood that a star is only as good as his or her last film. If your movie works at the box office, there will be admirers who won't tire carrying you on their shoulders. And if your movie fails to work, then they are ready to write you off with their dastardly pens. There was a time where it was the three Khans, along with the likes of Akshay Kumar, Hrithik Roshan and Ajay Devgn who commanded the box office. But things have turned the tide and the young guns of Bollywood have shown that they are no less a pro at delivering blockbusters. Yami Gautam on URI The Surgical Strike’s National Award Success: I Am Glad That It Came My Way.
Through superhits like Padmaavat, Uri: The Surgical Strike, Sanju, Badhaai Ho, and Kabir Singh, actors like Deepika Padukone, Ranveer Singh, Shahid Kapoor, Vicky Kaushal have shown that all it takes is a fascinating subject, great performances and the right amount of buzz. And yet, this lesson is not being used by other popular stars in Bollywood. Some of them are now infamous in not delivering a hit on their own credibility for a long time and are in desperate need for box office success. In this special feature, we look at 10 such actors who are waiting to strike gold at the box office, but can't find the right movie to do so.
Shah Rukh Khan
He might be considered as one of the biggest superstars in Bollywood, as well as one of the richest actors in the world. But Shah Rukh Khan is surprisingly finding it difficult to score a decent hit worth his salt since Happy New Year. Just see his box office record after that - Dilwale (2015) has underperformed, FAN (2016) flopped, Raees (2017) was an average hit, Jab Harry Met Sejal (2017) was a disaster and Zero (2018) disappointed. Only Dear Zindagi (2017) was a certified hit, but it only had SRK in an extended cameo and never did the kind of business that we expect from the superstar. With King Khan taking a sabbatical after the flopping of Zero, we wonder what project he will take up next to change his fortune at the box office.
Movie in his Kitty: Sadly, he is really serious about his break and hasn't taken up any movie yet.
When he was launched by Karan Johar (along with Varun Dhawan and Alia Bhatt) in Student of the Year (2012), Sidharth Malhotra was considered as one of the hottest young stars to enter Bollywood. Circa 2019, the story is quite different. Sid still retains his popularity, but he is struggling to get a box office hit, while his co-debutants, Varun and Alia have raced ahead. The last film that worked for him was Kapoor & Sons, and that came out in 2016. Since then, Baar Baar Dekho, A Gentleman, Aiyaary and his most recent release, Jabariya Jodi, all flopped. Only Ittefaq (2018) did average business at the box office.
Movies in the Kitty: Shershaah and Marjaavan
Sidharth Malhotra's co-star in Jabariya Jodi is not faring well herself either. Parineeti may have had a hit in 2019 with Kesari, but it was an out and out Akshay Kumar starrer while Parineeti only had a couple of scenes. The same goes for Golmaal Again's blockbuster success that rode on Ajay Devgn's star-power, Rohit Shetty and the franchise brand. However, when it comes to films that ride on her star-power, Parineeti hasn't had much luck. In that sense, her last hit was Hasee Toh Phasee that too in 2014. From thereon, there was a string of flops like Daawat-e-Ishq, Kill Dil, Meri Pyaari Bindu, Namaste England and now Jabariya Jodi.
Movies in the Kitty: Parineeti will be seen next in Sandeep Aur Pinky Faraar, that has been in the making for quite some time. There is also Bhuj: The Pride of India and the remake of the Hollywood thriller The Girl on the Train, where she is the main lead.
Arjun Kapoor is making headlines these days for his relationship with Malaika Arora. The same cannot be said about his recent movies that are hardly making a flutter these days at the box office. His last movie that made some sort of noise was in 2017 with Mubarakan. After that, both Namaste England and India's Most Wanted were huge disasters, denting the credibility of Arjun for pulling off a solo box office hit.
Movies in the Kitty: Arjun Kapoor's next is Panipat, a historical drama that is directed by Ashutosh Gowariker. There is also the much delayed Sandeep Aur Pinky Faraar, that is yet to find a release date.
Saif Ali Khan
When not around Taimur, Saif Ali Khan is making news with his Netflix series Sacred Games. Bollywood-wise, though, the actor has been struggling to score a solo hit since 2012's Race 2. Most of his recent releases like Rangoon, Chef and Kaalakaandi have copped at the box office. Baazaar was an average grosser.
Movies in the Kitty: Lal Kaptaan and Jawani Janeman. He also has supporting roles in Dil Bechara and Taanaji.
There was a phase after 2004's Yuva when Abhishek Bachchan was at the top of his game. Not only did Jr AB get acclaim for his performances, but he also scored good hits in movies like Sarkar, Bunty Aur Babli, Dus, among others. And then the downfall began with 2010, from where Abhishek has been really working hard to eke out a hit. Some of his more ensemble starrers like Bol Bachchan, Housefull 3 and Happy New Year have worked at the box office, but solo movies have not really fared well. Case in point, movies like Raavan, Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Sey, Game, All Is Well and Manmarziyaan.
Movies in the Kitty: Abhishek Bachchan will be seen next in Anurag Basu's multi-starrer that hasn't been titled yet.
Sonakshi Sinha can rely on Salman Khan's Dabangg franchise to score a blockbuster. But outside this series, it is mostly disappointment for the actress, especially when she becomes the focal point. Some of her biggest disasters in recent times are Noor, Welcome to New York, Kalank and Khandani Shafakhana. It is high time that the actress looks for ways to reinvent herself.
Movies in the Kitty: Mission Mangal, Dabangg 3 and Bhuj.
Aditya Roy Kapur
Aditya Roy Kapur started off in supporting roles in films like London Dreams and Action Replayy, before becoming the main lead in Aashiqui 2. Later in his career, Aditya couldn't really replicate the success of his maiden solo lead film, and end up giving disasters like Daawat-e-Ishq, Fitoor, Ok Jaanu, and Kalank.
Movies in the Kitty: Anurag Basu's next, Malang, Sadak 2
Emraan Hashmi may not turn blockbusters like the Khans, but most of his earlier films like Gangster, Jannat, Murder were all profitable films. But the actor, who was once termed Serial Kisser, hasn't scored a solo hit since 2012's Raaz 3D. Movies like Ghanchakkar, Raaz Reboot, Azhar, Mr Natwarlal, and more recently, Why Cheat India flopped big time, while only Baadshaho managed to be an average grosser. Could you blame the lack of quality songs in these movies for the failures, as it was a staple in every Emraan Hashmi hit?
Movies in the Kitty: Sanjay Gupta's Mumbai Saga, Netflix's Bard of Blood, Chehre and the remake of Malayalam hit horror, Ezra.
Diljit Dosanjh, the Punjabi superstar, won our hearts with his terrific portrayal of an honest cop in Udta Punjab. Despite the consistency in his performances, Diljit couldn't manage to turn acclaim into hits, with films like Welcome to New York, Soorma, and more recently, Arjun Patiala, turning out to be duds. Maybe it is time for Diljit to spend little time crushing over Kylie Jenner and focus on bringing his Bollywood career back on the track.
Movies in the Kitty: Good News
Sanjay Dutt's biopic, Sanju, may have been one of the biggest blockbusters of all time. The actor, himself, is not seeing such good fates at the box office ever since he became a free man from Yerwada jail. His comeback film, Bhoomi, was a disaster, and so were Saheb, Biwi Aur Gangster 3 and Kalank.
Movies in the Kitty: Prasthanam, Torbaaz, KGF Chapter 2, Panipat, Bhuj, Sadak 2
Some other actors who nearly made it to the list are Sushant Singh Rajput, Jacqueline Fernandez, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Taapsee Pannu, Anushka Sharma, Arjun Rampal, et al.