In this special three part feature, Joginder Tuteja would be taking readers through the 20 years journey of Ajay Devgn which actually has been a pretty stable affair instead of being a roller coaster ride.
Part I of this feature touches upon how Ajay Devgn has not only managed to survive in the industry for full 20 years but also made a definite place for himself alongside other
contemporaries like Shah Rukh, Aamir, Salman and Akshay – all of whom started
around the same time.
If one looks at Bollywood today, there are how many actors who have survived as a lead actor despite spending 20 years in the industry? Four or at maximum five? Well, the answer is – Other than the three mighty Khans – Shah Rukh, Aamir and Salman – only Akshay Kumar and Ajay Devgn have managed this feat. This was of course an easy question and an obvious answer.
Now is the time for a second question:
How many actors have survived as a lead actor for 20 long years despite ‘not giving’ a single 50 crores collections worth solo starrer? Well, the answer is – Ajay Devgn.
Each of the top guns from the past and present (mainly Hrithik Roshan) have at least one solo blockbuster to their credit. The kind of film which has done phenomenal business across the country and hence brought in ton loads of moolah. Shah Rukh, Aamir, Akshay, Salman and Hrithik have number of such films to their name. In fact another actor from the same generation, Saif Ali Khan, too has enjoyed a Love Aaj Kal lately. Relative newcomers like Ranbir Kapoor (Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani) too has smashed records as far as a 50 crores runner is concerned. However, the only actor who still hasn’t given a
single solo blockbuster is Ajay Devgn. In fact his lone 50 crore runner is Golmaal Returns and that was a multi starrer.
Still, the man has survived, and how.
Now let’s analyse what is it that makes the man tick? What makes him popular amongst masses and of course the filmmakers, distributors and exhibitioners? It’s simple. He isn’t someone who works in films that are designed as 40 crore, 50 crore or 60 crore mega spinners. He plays it safe, sound and intelligently. He works in films that require decent investments and ensure definite gains. The margin of profit is always higher, the margin of risk always much lower and guarantee of success certainly higher.
That’s Ajay Devgn for you who has been enjoying consistent success over the years and more often than not enjoyed returns that have been beneficial for everyone in the supply chain. No wonder, his track record says it all. Let’s explore.
20 years. A hit every year. And still counting.
Pick up any of the top aforementioned actors. Whether it is Shah Rukh, Salman, Akshay or Hrithik – Each of them has gone through a phase when none of their films has worked at the box office in one particular year. In fact Aamir Khan has even gone absent for full four years between the release of Dil Chahta Hai (2001) and Mangal Pandey (2005).
Now let’s look at the track record of Ajay Devgn which is nothing short of enviable as there have been just three years in two decades when he hasn’t delivered a hit.
1991 (Phool Aur Kaante), 1992 (Jigar), 1993 – (Divyashakti), 1994 (Dilwale), 1995 (Haqeeqat), 1996 (Jaan), 1997 (Ishq), 1998 (Pyaar To Hona Hi Tha), 1999 (Kachche Dhaage), 2002 (Company), 2003 (Qayamat), 2004 (Khakee), 2005 (Apaharan), 2006 (Golmaal), 2008 (Golmaal Returns), 2009 (All The Best) and 2010 (Atithi Tum Kab Jaoge) – In each of these years, there has always been something really worthwhile to show for Ajay Devgn; at least when it comes to commercial gains.
The only years which have been really bad for Ajay have been 2000, 2001 and 2007 but still a 85% success rate (if one looks at 17 good years out of 20) isn’t a bad deal at all!
(Visit this space again for Part II of this feature where readers would be taken through two important facts – 1. He has never been out of business and b. He is someone who has always believed in volumes)
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