Saturday, October 18, 2008

Aamir and Akshay at the Box Office: A hair raising trend

Could there be two stars more different in Bollywood than Aamir Khan and Akshay Kumar? I think not.

Aamir potrays urban sophistication, he's highly regarded as an actor of gravity. Everyone wants to work with him. He works with a variety of material, is critically lauded and delivers hits by the bushel.

Just as much box office gold is Akshay Kumar. His machismo is tinged with earthiness. Lately he's found a niche in PJamadies (what most people call comedies) - overcoming eye rolling reviews to earn singular praise from viewers. He continues to make his distributors rich.

Amidst all their box office fireworks, both have delivered clunkers and average performers. While we could launch into a sophisticated analysis of how and why, I decided to take the FS (Frivolous and Silly) route instead. Interestingly I found that all you have to do to understand and even predict their box office performance is to look at the length of their haircut.

Yes, Aamir and Akshay's hair dictates their box office of late. Not convinced? Here's the evidence.

Aamir took his time and grew his locks to play Mangal Pandey in the Indian rebellion of 1857. The audience mutinied right out of the theaters, leaving Aamir with a box office bomb.

Sensibly, Aamir restored his matinee star hairstyle to play a terrorist masquarading as a tour guide in Fanaa.Trimming his locks allowed Aamir to overcome tepid reviews and deliver a hit.

 Aamir returned as a star in his directorial debut TZP, a mash up of treating special need kids with care and a cautionary tale of parent pressure. Shorter haircut, bigger bucks at the box office.

In the upcoming Ghajini, Aamir dons a millimeter buzz. Based on his hair (not) raising trend so far, Ghajini will likely be his biggest hit. Until he takes a razor to his head, that is.

Since Akshay is a mirror image of sorts to Aamir as a superstar, the hair trend works in reverse for him. Sporting a smart, regular-joe haircut in Bhool Bhulaiyaa got Akshay his biggest hit of the year.

But putting his head under a Number 1 clipper for a tough guy cut landed Akshay in hot water as Tashan flopped. Heck it was lucky to even get released widely in India.

Akshay went with longer hair in Singh is Kinng. You could argue that he kept his hair under a pagdi for the entire duration of the flick. But none of you went in thinking he might be bald underneath now, did you? So my FS argument totally holds. Result: Ringing cash registers at the box office.

But hey what's this? We don't get to see much of Akshay in the posters for his upcoming Chandni Chowk to China, but I don't see any hair peaking underneath his Chinese straw hat. This doesn't bode well for Khiladi Kumar. My prognosis is that his box office will take a nosedive.

Ghajini opens November 28th, 2008
Chandni Chowk will release in January 2009



Anonymous said...

aspi ji!
please review KARZZZZ!

Anonymous said...

Interrrrrrrrrrresting Analysis Blogger Dada !
Wow admire your trend reading skills.
Please forward this review to Amir and Mr. Bhatia !!!

Anonymous said...

aspi very intrsting

achcha the reincarnation bug has bitten u.

i can c ur new avtaar whr u r no longer a himanshu fan.LOL.......i m shocked :) its two days n not a word frn u on the movie;)

n ur trend analysis suggests that himas shud go back to his topi days if he wants hits!

Anonymous said...

gosh not a fan of either of them..

aamir is pretentious pseudo intelligent thespian in his own mind

and Akshay makes inane movies and I'll blame him for that annoying "Singh is king" phrase that is getting sooo overused by everyone everywhere.. its almost as annoying as "gandhigiri" ARGH

musical said...

Is this halloween special, Aspi ;).

Unknown said...

Arre, I would have gone to see Karzzz on opening weekend. Such is my love for Himanshu. But I couldn't find a single person who would go with me. And I didn't want to watch the movie alone. So either the search for a crazy movie partner continues - or the wait for DVD begins.

Pitu said...

AHHAHHAHAHA!!! You're mad!

Pitu said...

Aspi, you disappoint me. If you are truly the great Himesh bhakt you say you are, you should be renting the ENTIRE THEATER and watching Karzzzzz. If M F Husain can do it, why not you?

- disappointed Pitu :-(

Anonymous said...

I can mail you a DVD Dear - In my town har mal milega ek Dollar and right away.
Tell me if you want it
I am just north of you

Kanan said...

Akshay Kumar rocks! How can you say Tashan is a flop?? GRRR!

It IS a HIT... because AKKI is in it. waah waah I should write poetry, that totally rhymed. ;)

GO Akki!

Anonymous said...

aspi, just one hindi muhavara for this post
'baal ki khaal nikalna'

Anonymous said...

Hey Aspi, where exactly is "Chandi" Chowk? Next to Kali Bari, no doubt.

Unknown said...

Pitu, that is an inspiring idea! I should force my family to watch all Himesh flicks at the least. And what a great test of true friendship it would be if I could invite my friends to watch that movie. Hmmm...

PS, you are most kind. I should be able to get it nearby as well although I generally dislike watching pirated DVDs, not because of any attack of conscience or anything but with my luck, I always end up with a terrible print.

Kanan, lakh ne tu poetry. We'll call it An Ode to Akki.

no-idea, heh.

anon, holy typo! Thanks for pointing that out. I'll correct it as soon as I get a chance.

maxdavinci said...

sirjeee namaskaar!

masha allah! subhan allah!
aapke graphics, jabse dekha,
dil ghum shuda hua wallah...

and ofcourse jab baalon ki baat cha rahi hain then wat abt apna himeshwarji maharaj?

Under the hat = super hit!
long artificial tresses(so-called-chinese) = bumper hit!

PS: if you havent guessed, I saw Karzz and believe me the whole theatre was empty! how i wish i saw 1920 in that setting! not that this was any less harrowing...

review coming today..

Anonymous said...

Aspi, love the hairicons!! and the new theory :)

Anonymous said...

Since OSO was such a hit, I should have grown my hair longer for Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi. Now I'm screwed.

Why didn't you tell me sooner?! Great fans you people are!!

Anonymous said...

I'm so unique. No matter how long my hair is - my films always perform the same consistent way at the box office.

Anonymous said...

Anyone know where I can get a free meal or ten?

Anonymous said...

Am I closer to Akshay or Aamir? Help! I need to know how to style my hair for my next movie.

Anonymous said...

John Abraham can't dance for beans.

Bollywood said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Verrry arty! Unique post. You have a "hat ke" take on these folks.

Anonymous said...

Must Read - Economic Slowdown Solution
Subject: How Indians would have saved Lehman Brothers

I happened to run in to Nanubhai on Dalal Street. He was eating Khaman Dhokla in a farsan shop.
'Kame chho, Nanubhai?'
'Saru chhe.'
He was looking glum but gestured me to join him.

As I bit into the tasty dhokla with tangy chutney on the Friday afternoon,
which was fast turning into a 'Manic Friday' as per Dalal Street lingo,
he was staring at the bull near the entrance, which overnight had become a
Russian bear hugging everybody that passed the Street.

Nanubhai is a well-respected Dalal Street dada with an answer to every
shareholder's query.

'What went wrong with Lehman Brothers?' I asked.

'Lots of things. If the founder brothers, Henry, Emanuel and Mayer were
alive this wouldn't have happened. Lehman Brothers were more than a
150-year-old company. But yet, it had no Lehman in the company. Such a
situation can never happen in India.'

'Are you trying to tell me an Indian would have handled this differently?'

'Bilkul. If it was an Indian firm, Lehman Brothers would have fought as soon
as their father died and divided in to three companies. They would have
diversified into clothing, polystyrene, petrochemicals, vegetables, movie
making, telecom, drilling oil, mobile phones, retailing, books, spectacles,
gyms, wellness. In short, anything and everything under the sun. They would
have made money for themselves and their shareholders.'

'But when there is massive failure there would be no option but to file for

'Fail-wail chance hi nahin! Even if they encounter tough times, they
would have friends like Mulayam Singh and Amar Singh to bail them out. They
could finish off competition by befriending the finance minister and getting
duties levied on the imports of competition. They would fund and
befriend ruling parties. Unfortunately for Lehman Brothers in 2008, without a
Lehman on the board or some Indian business brothers at the top, they couldn't
open the survival kit to stay afloat.'

As we were sipping double kadak chai, I asked: 'Did anybody anticipate
this global meltdown?'

'Anticipate? Mazak chodo! I will tell you something. America has some 45
Nobel laureates in economics from 1970. From 2000 alone there are 15 Nobel
laureates in econometrics sitting on company boards, treasury benches
and 20 in places like Harvard, Stanford etc.
Kisiko kuch patha nahin tha!
How come none of these had any inkling to the disaster awaiting the banking
circlesall over the world?
Even the finance ministers of G-7 talked of strong
'fundamentals' of world economy around this time last year!
Two months back the only topic they were discussing was the rise in oil prices.'

'What will happen if it goes all on like this?'
'Some American economist will study this, write a new a theory and get
Nobel Prize next year, dekhna. Seriously, they forgot things like control,
double check, systems-in-place etc and brought in vague words like Subprimes to
give loans left, right and centre.'

'What will happen to the Indian market?'

'It's already having the Lehman Brothers' effect. Our finance minister
seems to like the figure 60,000. While presenting the budget earlier in the
year he pledged Rs 60,000 crore to write off loans given to farmers. Now he
is pumping Rs 60,000 crore to help out the banks! I don't know what he
will do next. He is again from Harvard!'

'What is the lesson to be learnt from the Lehman Brothers' episode?' I
asked as we were leaving.

Nanubhai took a spoonful of saunf and said: 'You know, we have an old
elementary rule for keeping hisab-kithab. Divide a page into 'Left' and 'Right' with a line in the middle to denote Debit and Credit.
In case of LB, as somebody said, nothing was right in the 'Left' and nothing was left in
the 'Right',' concluded Nanubhai.

Kanan said...

Aspi, chokkas! I'd love to write it. Need to find some good amount of inspiration. May be I should watch Singh Is Kinng again.