The year has been good for the K heartthrobs of Bollywood Shah Rukh Khan and Akshay Kumar who’ve shed inhibitions on 35 mm, stolen hearts and raked in the box-office moolah. Think of two common factors in some of the year’s biggest blockbusters Om Shanti Om, Chak De! India, Namastey London, Heyy Babyy, Bhool Bhulaiyaa (and now Welcome has all the makings of another money-spinner) and you’d know who are Mumbai tinseltown’s two top guns battling for supremacy at ticket windows.
As the curtains comes down on 2007, Ahmedabad Times figures out who makes a better box-office reignman SRK or Akki and comes up with some usual and some unexpected answers! Trade analyst Taran Adarsh prefers to be diplomatic when he says, "I think both Akshay and Shah Rukh have performed very well this year. On one hand, Akshay has given four consecutive hits (counting Welcome) and on the other, Shah Rukh starred in the critically acclaimed Chak De! India and commercial blockbuster Om Shanti Om. So, in that sense, both are winners." While SRK started his successful run with Chak De! India, this year, Akshay Kumar opened his account with a sleeper hit Namastey London, went on to do Heyy Baby and the low-profile Bhool Bhulaiyaa. Film critic Indu Mirani feels both SRK and AK have done well, but AK has improved a lot and is selecting some good films. She says, "Akshay’s performance in Namastey London has proved that nobody else other than him could have done better in the movie. I think the kind of movies Akshay is selecting are very good. And besides selecting right films, he is also performing well."
But what about the overseas market? Is Akshay competent enough to win it? "As far as overseas market is concerned, I think SRK still rules," says Taran. "It will be unfair to rank the performances, but I think Akshay and SRK, have done well this year. But when it comes to overseas market SRK is the God," chips in actress Geeta Basra. Does that mean, AK has a long way to go? "Though, SRK is ruling the overseas market for many years, Akshay is now moving towards being number one even in the overseas market.
May be in one or two year’s time, he will be as big as SRK," says Vipul.
All right, point taken, but when we asked experts about other actors, who were close contenders to the king’s crown, most refused to come with a third name. Indu feels "there is no third person on my list" and Geeta Basra finds Aamir Khan brilliant in Taare Zameen Par. "I think Aamir is getting some great reviews for his film. And I think he has done it very well," she says.