It may sound astonishing but it’s not untrue that the Khans alone were responsible, like a giant corporation, for a combined turnover of over Rs 800 crore last year. In that you could say Salman, of all the Khans, was a significant contributor; 'Bodyguard' and 'Ready' recorded not only the top openings but also made Rs 220 crore and Rs 180 crore each. Usually the most bankable, Aamir didn’t have any big release in 2011, except 'Dhobi Ghat' and naturally, the figure would have been much higher if that wasn’t the case. Despite the 'Ra.One' backlash, the superhero sci-fi managed to do a business of Rs 200 crore for its actor-producer Shah Rukh Khan while his other outing, 'Don 2' fared better at Rs 210 crore. This year, the Khan clout will be called into play as each of them will release at least one film. So, what to expect from your favourite Khan? Here’s a quick look:
Up next: 'Ek Tha Tiger'
Budget: Rs 35-40 crore
Expectation: Salman has been having, what many call, a ‘dream run’. Among his many career firsts, Salman’s Ek Tha Tiger with Aditya Chopra is nothing short of a coup. He has apparently been paid Rs 30 crore as a fee and though nobody is confirming, Atul Mohan from the trade magazine Complete Cinema points out an interesting theory: “Yash Raj is the most reputed production house today. All the Khans are currently working with them—Salman in 'Ek Tha Tiger', Aamir in 'Dhoom 3' and Shah Rukh is in any case their regular actor. Salman joining hands with them at this point makes it more dramatic and chances are, 'Ek Tha Tiger' could well be a huge hit,” says Atul. Agrees Trade analyst Taran Adarsh, “Yash Raj and Salman combination can produce great results.”
Box office prediction: Amid reports of its satellite rights being sold for a record Rs 50 crore, there’s enough excitement about this film. “Salman has always been a safe bet at the box-office. His films usually open very well. Now, he is proving that he can go beyond openings.”
Up next: 'Talaash '
Budget: Rs 40 crore
Expectation: Anything Aamir touches turns gold. Taran Adarsh says he can never go wrong. “I saw the promos of 'Talaash' and it’s looking mind-blowing. Aamir has an amazing fan following and in addition to that, he’s an extremely respected actor. The audience knows it can always trust him with good films which are high on entertainment quotient,” says Taran.
It can also be pointed out that the last full-fledged Aamir film was '3 Idiots' in 2009. His absence from the scene adds to his persona and films. Adds Atul: “The last time Aamir played a cop (in 'Sarfarosh') it became a career-defining role. Again in 'Talaash', he is a cop and there is evidence to believe that Aamir will ensure it’s a much better film than 'Sarfarosh'.”
Box-office prediction: “If you look at Dhobi Ghat, it was a small film but made enough money. The point is, 'Talaash' has all the makings of a big blockbuster,” notes Taran.
Shah Rukh Khan
Up next: Yash Chopra’s next
Budget: Upwards of Rs 30 crore
Expectation: Lovers, the mustard fields and Swiss Alps. Yash Chopra, the man who popularised romance and inspired perhaps all of us to be a hero of our lives, is directing his next film with Shah Rukh. Taran says that Shah Rukh and Yash Chopra are such strong brands that their coming together creates a flutter. “In the past, they have delivered huge blockbusters,” assures Taran, referring to their last film Veer-Zaara in 2004.
Box office prediction: Shah Rukh always performs in a Yash Raj flick and having to play a romantic role is what contributes to the success of these films. “Yash Chopra has a great track record and with Shah Rukh, it’s like another sure-fire hit,” says Atul.