From Wanted (September 2009) until now, the dynamics of a Salman Khan this Friday compare only to that of another Salman Friday.
Such has been the meteoric rise of this rebel star in the last three years that he has left his contemporaries’ way behind in the box office race. Naturally, even as Dabangg 2 carpet-bombs theatres globally today, the industry is busy hedging bets on whether Chulbul Panday ( Dabangg 2) will break the records of Tiger ( Ek Tha Tiger), the highest grosser of the year till now.
According to a report in TOI, producer-distributor NR Pachisia says, "Ek Tha Tiger is so far 2012's biggest earner. So, frankly, Dabangg 2 is only competing with Tiger.''
Filmmaker Arbaaz Khan says, "Only Salman can break the record of another Salman film. He has an image and a following that is so huge, it's hard for another hero, in this current scenario, to take him on.''
Arbaaz also believes that like Munna Bhai, people haven't had enough of Chulbul Panday and hence want to see more of him.
"Have you ever heard of a flop film having a sequel?'' he asks, reiterating the need for making Dabangg 2.
And while Arbaaz is adamant that only his brother can play Chulbul, Salman is more gracious. "Chulbul is a larger-than-life character, a hero. Any of the other Khans could have been in my shoes,'' he says.
The superstar adds, "When Aamir Khan did Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak, Shah Rukh Khan did Deewana and when I did Maine Pyar Kiya, we were nobodies. Yet we pulled off these films. And 20 years later, we are still here, working harder than ever before. If a lead character is well-written and a film is good, then that is half the battle won anyway. Yaar, I certainly don't think I'm head and shoulders above anyone.''
Refusing to fall prey to box office pressure, Salman says, "The audience decides how big a hit each film is going to be. I just ensure that I continue to do 'hero' characters, because I know everyone goes into the theatre to see a winner. No one roots for a loser.''
Top 4 grossers of 2012
Movie Actors Revenues earned from India theatrical after deducting tax
Ek ThaTiger: Salman Khan 186.26 cr
Rowdy Rathor: Akshay Kumar 132.25 cr
Agneepath: Hrithik Roshan 121.14 cr
Housefull 2: Askhay Kumar 111.63 cr (All figures are approximate)