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18 April 2024

Bollywood face-off: Akshay Kumar ready to take on Salman Khan this summer

Akshay Kumar poses at a press conference to promote his upcoming movie "OMG Oh My God" in Ahmadabad, India. (AP)

By Manash Karnad

Diwali belongs to Shah Rukh Khan and Ajay Devgn. Eid belongs to Salman Khan and Christmas belongs to Aamir Khan. The three Khans of Bollywood have actually distributed the festivals among themselves.

Where does that leave poor Akshay Kumar? This Khiladi is quite upset that he cannot cash in on the festive season and pitch his films during those times.

The box office is full of the other biggies that even a daredevil like him fears being trampled under the weight of the other movies releasing in those times.

“There is no time to release my films during those days [sic]. There are at least two or three big films which have its presence there. So there is no space for my movies then,” says Kumar rather frightened at the prospect of the nightmare when the box office counters are empty.

But then his fears are not unfounded when you look at his history and the kind of backlash he has received after pitching his films opposite the biggies in the recent past.

In 2009 Akshay Kumar made ‘Blue’ which also had Kylie Minogue doing a Chiggy Wiggy and others like Sanjay Dutt, Lara Dutta and even Katrina Kaif was seen in a special appearance.

The film was pitched opposite a relatively weaker Ajay Devgn starrer ‘All the Best’ which also had Sanjay Dutt in it. But, ‘Blue’ was a huge flop, and ‘All the Best’ was a super hit.

The next year saw Akshay took a big risk again and his comedy film ‘Action Replay’ released yet again opposite Ajay Devgn’s ‘Golmaal 3’ and the result was that ‘Action Replay’ flopped and ‘Golmaal 3’ was a super hit.

The failure to perform even before an Ajay Devgn film broke the Khiladi’s producer’s back and dented Akshay’s confidence as well.

The last two years had a lot of Akshay releases, but none of them dared to clash with the other biggies and as a result Akshay has a better record now. And hence his producer Ekta Kapoor has chosen to release her film ‘Once Upon A Time in Mumbai Again’ on Eid when Salman Khan re-enters with a bang.

This time Akshay will clash with Salman Khan’s ‘Mental’, a remake of the south super hit Stalin.

Ekta Kapoor has finally taken the plunge. Now we wait and watch how she fares opposite Salman.


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