Box Office is a very fickle game. It all depends on how 'hot' your viability is at the moment, and how the conditions are in your favour. When we say 'conditions', it means the audience's taste for movies, the political scenario (very important, especially noticeable with the success of 'saffronised' films), the banners and your plain luck. Not to mention, effective PR marketing. Performances just aren't everything. Among the actors, Akshay Kumar, Hrithik Roshan, Ajay Devgn, Shahid Kapoor, Tiger Shroff, Ayushmann Khurrana, Kiara Advani, Kriti Sanon, are having a jolly good time at the box office. From Ranveer Singh's 83 to Aamir Khan's Laal Singh Chaddha, 10 Most Anticipated Bollywood Movies of 2020.
But there are some big stars who are going through a very lean phase when it comes to their box office performance. It has been some time since these stars have given a decent hit, which is worrisome considering they once ruled the theatres, and are still having a huge fanbase, unlike say, a Govinda, who, sadly, has left his heydays behind.
Take, Kangana Ranaut for example. The very okayish performance of her recent release Panga, despite some very glowing reviews, raises questions about whether her offscreen antics aren't enough to pull audiences in theatres to watch her onscreen endeavours. And she isn't the only one there. In this feature, let's look at ten such stars who are in desperate need for a big hit to end their disappointing streak. Starting with...
Kangana Ranaut in Judgementall Hai Kya
You may love or hate her for what she does or speaks when a mike is thrust in her face. But you can't deny that Kangana is a very wonderful performer. If you don't think so, just go to the nearest theatre where Panga is screening and watch the movie. But Kangana's incredible performances aren't matched with her movies' box office returns. She hasn't given a proper hit since 2015's Tanu Weds Manu Returns, even though she had seven releases after that. Manikarnika, a movie that she controversially co-directed, was the highest earner among all her releases since then, but the box office revenue wasn't really enough to cross over the sprawling budget. Panga is doing decent business at the time of writing this article, but it needs to pick up pace in the days ahead to be tagged a hit.
Upcoming Movies: Dhaakad
Shah Rukh Khan
Shah Rukh Khan in Zero
Fans have been asking for long about when King Khan will be announcing his next movie. SRK is taking his own sweet time to do so, having given 2019 a complete miss. We can understand his extreme caution in choosing his next film, for since 2014's Happy New Year, Shah Rukh Khan's hasn't been able to give a hit worthy of his superstar stature. What's more, FAN, Jab Harry Met Sejal and Zero - three big-ticket releases of his - didn't even manage to gross more than Rs 100 crore. Definitely not something we expect from one of the biggest stars in the world. Shah Rukh Khan Celebrates Three Years of Raees by Taking a Dig at Himself (Watch Video).
Upcoming Movies: Not Announced Yet
Sidharth Malhotra in Aiyaary
Now you may roll your eyes and ask 'What about Marjaavaan?' True, according to the producers, the movie is deemed a success, but it is far away from being a HIT that it should have been, earning only Rs 47.78 crore. Especially, looking at Sidharth Malhotra's big fan-base. The actor has not been able to score a decent hit on his backing since 2016's Kapoor & Sons, with films like A Gentleman, Baar Baar Dekho, Aiyaary turning flops and Ittefaq, like Marjaavaan, being an average turner. With Sidharth jumping the soldier bandwagon with his upcoming SherShaah, let's hope the nationalism fervour works in his favour.
Upcoming Movies: SherShaah
Parineeti Chopra in Jabariya Jodi
Parineeti Chopra won her a lot of hearts with her confident performance in her breakout movie, Ladies vs Ricky Bahl. Although that movie tanked, she was seen as the next big star in Bollywood. That was 2011. In 2019, Parineeti has seen some major upheavals in her box office traction. After the decent success of 2013's Shuddh Desi Romance, she had eight major releases (not counting her cameo in Dishoom), and only two were big hits - Golmaal Again and Kesari. But there were other six films - Kill Dil, Hasee Toh Phasee, Daawat-e-Ishq, Meri Pyaari Bindu, Namaste England and Jabariya Jodi - all heavily banking on her star-power and all tanked at the box office. To rub salt in the wounds, her Sandeep Aur Pinky Faraar is still in the cans for some time, and there are reports that it might have a direct OTT release.
Upcoming Movies: Sandeep Aur Pinky Faraar, The Girl on the Train remake, Saina Nehwal biopic
Arjun Kapoor in Panipat
Now let's talk Parineeti's Ishaqzaade, Namaste England and Sandeep Aur Pinky Faraar co-star. Arjun also started on a very promising note, and delivered decent successes till about 2017. But the last couple of years have been really bad for Arjun, with Namaste England, India's Most Wanted and Panipat tanking miserably. Panipat's failure could, especially, be hurting since historical war drama as a genre had become the viewer's favourite, along with nationalist fervour, and the movie had both.
Upcoming Movies: Sandeep Aur Pinky Faraar, a John Abraham production co-starring Rakul Preet
Sushant Singh Rajput
Sushant Singh Rajput in Drive
This could be the weirdest entry in this list, but 2019 had been such a year for Sushant. He started off the year with a disaster in Sonchiriya, an otherwise brilliant film, that not many people flocked to see in theatres, and dented his box office credibility. That gained some resurgence, when Sushant's next, Chhichhore, turned out to be a Rs 100 crore grosser. And then it turned into a sour note, when his first film with Dharma, the delayed Drive, a supposed franchise-starter, went straight to Netflix and got scathing reviews. Sushant really needs a big hit to wash off the unsavouriness of Drive, but now we hear even his upcoming film, Dil Bechara, could land upon an OTT platform. Though the makers claim otherwise... Dil Bechara: Makers Re-Confirm Sushant Singh Rajput-Sanjana Sanghi's Theatrical Release, Say It Won't Release On Amazon Prime.
Upcoming Movies: Dil Bechara
Abhishek Bachchan in Manmarziyan
Okay, why is Abhishek Bachchan so lax with his career? The actor who is struggling to deliver hits on his own, has gone very choosy with his projects, a move which really hasn't worked for him. In the last decade, the films of his that worked at the box office were all multi-starrers and had a superstar leading it, like Akshay Kumar's Housefull 3, Aamir Khan's Dhoom 3, Shah Rukh Khan's Happy New Year and Ajay Devgn's Bol Bachchan. Other films that relied on him like Raavan, Game, Players to his last release, Manmarziyan were all flops. Abhishek is an extremely likeable actor, so we do hope that he regains his spark and zest that he once possessed in his Yuva and Guru days.
Upcoming Movies: Ludo, The Big Bull, Bob Biswas
Sonam Kapoor in Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga
Sonam Kapoor continues to make waves and win hearts with her fashion pics. Her movie career is a different story, though. It isn't that Sonam's acting career is bereft of hits - she has been a part of blockbusters like Prem Ratan Dhan Payo and Sanju. Veere Di Wedding was a hit. But her last two movies Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga and The Zoya Factor crashed real hard at the box office, again putting to question her viability as a saleable lead.
Upcoming Movies: Nothing Announced Yet
Farhan Akhtar in Lucknow Central
Farhan Akhtar the director is in no mood to return to that chair and give us Don 3, or even something fresh like Dil Chahta Hai. But Farhan the actor is trying very hard to make himself a credible leading man. And it is a tough game, when you haven't been able to give a hit on your own, since 2013's Bhaag Milkha Bhaag. Farhan was truly awesome in last year's The Sky is Pink, but save for rave reviews, the movie didn't work in theatres. Can the upcoming Toofan create a Bhaag Milkha Bhaag kinda turnaround for his acting career?
Upcoming Movies: Toofan
Rajkummar Rao in Made in China
Rajkummar has been proving himself for some time to be one of the finest actors of his generation. Box Office only came calling with the 2017 film Bareilly Ki Barfi. And 2018's Stree gave him his first Rs 100 crore success as a leading man. Rao, however, could not capitalise on that success, as any of the films that came after that managed to turn into hits. Though he was good in all of them. Why, Rao managed to start the new decade with a very forgettable flop in long-delayed Shimla Mirchi, that came and went without making much fuss.
Upcoming Movies: Chhalaang, Roohi Afzana, Ludo