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What happened whenever Akshay Kumar, Hrithik Roshan clashed at the box office?


As the industry worries over Rustom and Mohenjo Daro box office battle, history shows that both Akshay and Hrithik are no strangers to competition at the ticket window.

Mayur Lookhar

Box-office clashes always create tons of excitement for moviegoers and the media, but the trade market frets every time two cash cows ram into each other. After all, a box-office clash favours none, leading to cannibalisation of revenues. Recent history suggests that most actors and producers avoid clashes, but given the packed calender this year, some clashes were inevitable.

2016 will see its first big box-office clash with Akshay Kumar's Rustom crossing swords with Hrithik Roshan's Mohenjo Daro. With just three weeks remaining, trade media has been sweating over the fate of the two while the press has been merrily writing the Rustom v/s Mohenjo Daro clash stories.

The gen next cinegoers may be flummoxed as to why the films are colliding, however, if one looks back at history, both Kumar and Roshan aren't averse to competition. 

We take a look at some of the famous box-office clashes the two stars have been involved in. Kumar being the more experienced star, has more releases and thus has seen more clashes.

Akshay Kumar

1) Taare Zameen Par vs Welcome (21 December, 2007)

This was a period when Salman Khan didn’t rise, nor did Shah Rukh Khan compete with Aamir Khan. So, it was pretty brave of Akshay Kumar to challenge Aamir Khan at the box-office. Welcome, Kumar’s Anees Bazmee-directed multi-starrer comic caper, was pitted against Khan’s maiden directorial Taare Zameen Par. 

While critics, and large section of the audiences, shed tears of joy watching Taare Zameen Par, it was Welcome that was welcomed with open arms by the masses. Taare Zameen Par started with mere 450 prints and that affected its initial business. TZP lagged behind having only Rs15 crore in its opening week. Welcome started slowly too, but picked up through the week, bagging Rs35 crore in its first week. The Akshay Kumar film bagged a domestic collection of Rs71 crore. TZP’s domestic collection was said to be mere Rs37 crore, but it managed Rs88 crore worldwide. TZP's cost of production was lower though. 

2) Ghajini vs Jumbo (December 25, 2008)

Buoyed by Welcome’s (2007) success, Kumar had another Christmas clash with Aamir Khan in the following year. However, fortunes changed drastically here. Kumar, who had a mass comedy film (Welcome) last year, chose to do his maiden animation project, Jumbo. Ironically, Aamir, who had a child as a protagonist in Taare Zameen Par, chose a full -fledged commercial revenge drama in Ghajini, a remake of AR Murugadoss’ 2005 Tamil film of the same name.

Unfortunately, this turned out to be a David vs Goliath battle as Ghajini crushed Kumar’s Jumbo elephant. Aamir’s film became the first Hindi film to make Rs100 crore. Poor Jumbo bagged a mere Rs2 crore at the box-office.

3) Don vs Jaan-E-Mann (20, October, 2006)

Don v/s Jaan-E-Mann, a perfect mismatch. Many still reckon that Salman had erred by competing with Shah Rukh Khan on Diwali. All along it was touted as a Khan vs Khan battle. However, does anyone remember that Akshay, too, played the lead in Shirish Kunder’s Jaan-E-Mann? SRK’s Don bagged Rs51 crore, while Jaan-E-Mann was declared a flop with a domestic collection of Rs27 crore.

4)  Kyon Ki? vs Garam Masala vs Shaadi No.1 (2 November, 2005)

 A triple threat match with Akshay Kumar locking horns with Sanjay Dutt and Salman Khan. Dutt had long lost his marketability and Salman was still languishing at the bottom. The bigger story here wasn’t Akshay vs Salman vs Sanjay clash, but industry was stunned when Priyadarshan became the first director to compete against himself. The filmmaker released both Kyon Ki (starring Salman) and Garam Masala (featuring Akshay Kumar, John Abraham) on the same day. With Rs28.5 crore, Garam Masala was declared a hit, while Kyon Ki could only muster a poor Rs13.5 crore. Dutt’s Shaadi no.1 barely made Rs3 crores. The Garam Masala proved too hot for Salman Khan and Sanjay Dutt.

5) Blue vs All the Best vs Main Aur Mrs Khanna (16 October, 2009)

Shah Rukh Khan didn’t have a Diwali release so the field was clear for others to shine in 2009. However, Diwali turned out to be a triple threat match as Akshay competed with Ajay Devgn and Salman. Kumar had a big budget film in Blue with reports suggesting that its budget had crossed Rs100 crore. Blue only managed to recover Rs75 crore of it.  

We saw Salman on the movie posters, but those who watched Main Aur Mrs Khanna would know how little brother Sohail Khan was the main character in the film. Salman’s presence wasn’t enough to save the film as it bagged a paltry Rs6.6 crore in its first week.

Ajay Devgn produced ‘All the Best’ turned out to be the surprise package of the season, beating both Akshay and Salman at the box-office. All The Best bagged a domestic collection of Rs42 crore, the oversees collection helped the film gross Rs60 crore worldwide.

6) Golmaal 3 vs Action Replayy (5 October, 2010)

After facing the Blue-s in 2009, Akshay returned in 2010 looking to seek revenge against Devgn. Unfortunately, Action Replayy turned out to be a replay of the previous battle. Devgn’s third instalment of the Golmaal franchise bagged over Rs100 crore, while Action Replayy could only muster a poor Rs29 crore. Leave the poor numbers aside, Kumar himself mocked Action Replayy at few awards do.

7) Aitraaz vs Veer-Zahra (12 November, 2004)

Before the Jaan-E-Mann debacle, Akshay had locked horns with Shah Rukh Khan in 2004. Veer-Zahra, Yash Chopra’s cross border love story had too much emotion than Kumar’s Aitraaz, that was inspired by the Hollywood flick Disclosure.  

Khan walked away with the honours as Veer-Zaara bagged Rs60 crore in India collections. Aitraaz, which was made on a much leaner budget, didn't do badly either, having bagged Rs24 crore worldwide. 

Hrithik Roshan

1) Mission Kashmir vs Mohabbatein (27 October, 2000)

Hrithik turned into an overnight superstar with  Kaho Naa...Pyaar Hai. Though he would never admit it, Shah Rukh would have been wary of facing Hrithik. King Khan had Yash Raj Films’ Mohabbattein while Roshan had Vidhu Vinod Chopra’s anti-terror film Mission Kashmir. Khan’s Mohabbatein scored over Mission Kashmir, but both films had their flaws and competition clearly hurt their business. Though, Khan’s film was declared a hit, it garnered Rs33.25 crore (India). Mission Kashmir had better content, better performances but the film was an average success at the domestic box office, fetching Rs23.14 crore. 

2 Bang Bang vs Haider (2 October, 2014)

A no contest indeed as Hrithik, who had given his biggest hit in Krrish 3 previous year, found himself competing with long struggling Shahid Kapoor. In Bang Bang, Roshan had the official remake of Tom Cruise’s Knight and Day, while Kapoor went back to his mentor Vishal Bhardwaj. Haider was an adaption of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, but Bhardwaj doled out more a film on terrorism and the struggle in Kashmir. 

With Rs58 crore, Haider was declared a hit primarily because the production cost was low. Grapevine had it that Kapoor didn’t charge a penny. The film evoked mixed reviews, but it was a commercial success. 

On the contrary, Bang Bang drew negative reviews, and though the film bagged Rs181 crore, it just didn’t earn any respect. What didn’t help Bang Bang’s cause was the alleged fudging of figures. In the end, the final collection had to be taken with a pinch of salt. 

Shahid walked away with his maiden Filmfare Best actor award while Bang Bang was quickly lost into oblivion.