Being Salman Khan

There have been handful of Bollywood actors who have earned the superstar title! Audience miss them if they don’t have a release in the given year and appreciate their movies even when they fail to impress the critics. Sometimes, the actor himself has gone on record to admit that the movie felt like a disaster while they were making it but still audience gave it equal love just because they were able to see their beloved actor on the big screen.

One of the names that comes to mind instantaneously is Salman Khan! With 14 consecutive 100 crore movies he has proved himself super”rock”star of recent times. Even though “Tubelight” and “Race3” failed to impress critics and audience together and were declared flops at the box-office, it entered the prestigious 100 crore club. When a flop is in this elite club (only 79 movies are part of this currently), you know that Bhai is audience’s favorite. In fact, ever since his first flick as a lead in Maine Pyaar Kiya the actor has been blessed with immense love across nation.

Today, Salman Khan is considered the king of box-office. That’s coming from a fact that if a Salman Khan movie is not doing a business of above 150 crore, people term it is below par. Some even call him the 500 crore actor. The journey of one of the most beloved actors in the industry has not been smooth. He, too, has seen fair amount of ups and down and it was only in 2010 when Salman Khan got the mantra to leap forward in his heydays. We, here at Aukat Mein Rahiyo, looked into the recent filmography of Bhai to find the secret sauce in the recipe of going from Rs.50 to Rs.500 crores.

Let’s first look at all the movies of Salman Khan post Dabangg in each year,

  1. 2010 – Dabangg (Chulbul Pandey)
  2. 2011 – Ready (Prem), Bodyguard (Lovely Singh)
  3. 2012 – Ek Tha Tiger (Tiger), Dabangg 2 (Chulbul Pandey)
  4. 2013
  5. 2014 – Jai Ho (Jai), Kick (Devil)
  6. 2015 – Bajrangi Bhaijaan (Bajranigi Bhaijaan), Prem Ratan Dhan Payo (Prem)
  7. 2016 – Sultan (Sultan)
  8. 2017 – Tubelight (Laxman), Tiger Zinda Hai (Tiger)
  9. 2018 – Race 3 (Sikander)
  10. 2019 – Bharat (Bharat), Dabangg 3 (Chulbul Pandey)

Being Actor

Salman Khan would have done 15 movies in last ten years by the end of 2019. Which comes to 1.5 movies in a year (3 movies in 2 years). Although, he would have done 15 movies, but, an interesting fact here is that he has only portrayed 10 characters in the same period, i.e., 1 character/year. Thus, he is able to focus on getting into the skin of the character. This is really important, even for Salman Khan, because, even if people come to see Salman Khan in theatres, but they will watch “Chulbul Pandey” or “Tiger” or “Bajrangi Bhaijaan” or any other character portrayed by him once they enter the theatre. Few of his highest grossers in recent past are the testimony to his hard work put in to master the roles:

  • Bajrangi Bhaijaan- Rs. 300+ crores
  • Sultan- Rs. 300+ crores
  • Kick- Rs. 200+ crores
  • Ek Tha Tiger- ~Rs. 200+ crores
  • Dabangg- ~Rs. 140+ crores

(Numbers above are the box office collections of these movies)

These are 5 movies out of 15 completed ones which have gone to become the highest grosser of those times. Unlike his early days, where he used to do movies for the sake of friendship, he is properly selecting single script every year where he can leave his legacy as an actor. Box-office numbers of his movies seconds that. Being Actor combined with Love of Audience has given him the 100% accuracy over the last decade.

Being Franchise

This is no secret to encash at big screens! But, Salman Khan has pioneered the art of being a franchise himself. In last 5 years specifically (including the upcoming movies in 2019), Salman would have done a sequel to his character every alternate year, i.e., 1.5 movies/year. In total he has done 5 movies in last 10 years where getting into the skin of character should have been a little easy as he has done it in past:

  • Tiger Zinda Hai- Rs. 300+ crores
  • PRDP- Rs. 200+ crores
  • Dabangg 2- Rs. 150+ crores
  • Ready- Rs. 100+ crores

(Numbers above are the box office collections of these movies)

I have kept Ready and PRDP in this list as portraying a family’s “Prem” is like a cake walk to Salman. Specially, if it is with Sooraj Barjatya (PRDP)! It’s like Shahrukh Khan playing “Raj” or “Rahul” or Amitabh Bachchan playing “Vijay”.

The Formulae

In a nutshell, Salman Khan is doing one new movie every year where he has to get into the skin of the character and every alternate year he reprises his roles from past in a sequel. Salman Khan is part of 4 franchise as of today:

  1. Dabangg
  2. Tiger
  3. Kick
  4. Race

Although, franchises have been successful in general, but, no one has mastered it like Salman. One of the biggest factor his sequels go leaps and bounds is people go to see him in the same avatar again. The entry scene of Salman as Tiger in “Tiger Zinda Hai” where he fight with wolves had Rs. 300 crores written all over it.

The brains behind Bhai’s heydays are pretty simple on paper:

  1. Concentrate on one movie per year, get into the skin of the character, act and make it the box office hit of those times. Baring “Jai Ho” and “Tubelight”, all other films of Salman Khan has done really well in the times those were released.
  2. Reprise the character on the big screen every alternate year. Even if it does decent at box-office, the movie gets a good ROI. And, when it gets a good script that connects with audience it becomes a blockbuster- Tiger Zinda Hai!
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