India star Aamir now Bollywood’s ‘King of the Khans’
:: Three Indian actors sharing a surname have ruled Bollywood box offices across three decades, but the success of wrestling blockbuster “Dangal” means it is Aamir who is currently king of the Khans.
Known as the “Khans of Bollywood,” Aamir, Shah Rukh and Salman have been the undoubted superstars of the Hindi film industry since the mid-1990s, taking it in turns to reign supreme.
But with “Dangal” smashing records, Salman suffering a rare flop and Shah Rukh without a major hit in four years, the crown for now is firmly placed on Aamir’s head.
“The Khans used to be on a par but Aamir has moved ahead and Shah Rukh is kind of lagging behind recently,” film trade analyst Ramesh Bala said of the trio who all turn 52 this year and who are not related.
“Dangal” has set new and previously unimaginable parameters for the box office potential of a Bollywood movie since it was first released in India in December last year.
It quickly became the highest-grossing Bollywood film ever, knocking another of Aamir’s movies off the top spot, and has made close to 20 billion rupees ($310 million) worldwide.
Critics say the movie resonated because it was a patriotic story about a triumphant underdog that dealt with India’s skewed attitude toward girls, and credit a large part of Aamir’s success to his careful choosing of movies with a message.
Salman’s annual Eid holiday release is usually a blockbuster shoo-in, but the latest, “Tubelight” bombed.
Critics panned the script and said the star’s portrayal of a “village idiot” failed to resonate with his largely young Indian male fan base.
Bala blames Shah Rukh’s failure to register a hit since “Chennai Express” in 2013 on “experimenting with different genres,” including romance, action and drama.