Salman Khan’s damage-control exercise begins

Salman Khan has decided to take charge of his career. Photo: Publicity Photo

Honestly speaking, Salman Khan has not had a hit since Tiger Zinda Hai in December 2017.

Here is his subsequent track-record: in 2018, he had Race 3, a terrible film and a home production. Despite an Eid release, the film not only finished the juicy Race franchise for good for co-producers Tips Films, but also was said to have just broken even. His cameo in Zero was as insignificant as the film.

2019 saw Bharat, a family production and Dabangg 3, another home production and the third part of a successful franchise. While Bharat again is said to have emerged a ‘plus’ (just-about profitable) project, the latter’s dated script again led to failure.

During the lockdown, Salman first released Radhe: Your Most Wanted Bhai in a OTT-meets-theatrical release, which did not do well at all, and Antim—The Final Truth, a rehash of a good Marathi film, which was changed beyond recognition and also went into anonymity.

Salman entered 2023 with a special cameo in the blockbuster Pathaan, but this was largely a Yash Raj Films-Shah Rukh Khan film. And then came Kisi Ka Bhai Kisi Ki Jaan. It was a disaster that ranked second only to Adipurush in 2023’s first half!

And now, especially after other superstars having flops galore and Pathaan’s unqualified success, Salman has had it!

It’s time now for a reinvention, the kind that was not intended but had organically happened after Wanted and Dabangg in the 2009-2010 phase. Since the latter, Salman has had an unbroken chain of 100-crore grosser (his maiden official production, Bajrangi Bhaijaan and later Yash Raj Films’ 2016 Sultan and Tiger Zinda Hai have both crossed 300 crore) right up to Kisi Ka Bhai Kisi Ki Jaan. The exceptions were the two lockdown releases showing that he does have loyal fans to make that amount happen. The exceptions were his two lockdown releases for obvious reasons.

But within that 100 crore list, he has had super-hits, hits, average runners as well as flops and disasters, because we all know that 100 crore, like Salman Khan’s age, is just a number!

So now, Salman is, according to reports on Bollywood Hungama, has stepped up damage control. This especially as his next (and sole) release is pegged as a certain blockbuster—Yash Raj Films’ Tiger 3.

For starters, as per reports, Salman Khan has reached out to old friend and associate Sanjay Leela Bhansali, with whom he was to do Inshallah until he interfered with the eccentric-but-man-of-conviction director, had a massive showdown, and exited the film that was then shelved.

Taking to heed the general opinion that he should now do films like Bajrangi Bhaijaan, Sultan and Tiger Zinda Hai rather than dated potboilers, he has reportedly sworn off home productions—that is his productions ghost-produced by mother Salma Khan, brothers Arbaaz and Sohail and brother-in-law Atul Agnihotri. Since it is obviously Salman ghost-funding these movies, that is a brilliant step indeed to stop losing hard-earned money!

As per the report, Salman will now stop doing films as “a goodwill gesture” (to friends and colleagues) or overloading the cast by carpeting the film with favor-seeking strugglers” (Jai Ho!, Race 3, Kisi Ka Bhai…). He also wants “right scripts”, and that means not routine action-packed or drama-driven stories. It has to be something Salman has not done before, preferably something that is relevant and yet personal.

And, even if a shade late, this is the perfect decision before Salman Khan himself reaches to a low level of a non-star. After all, here is a hero who has outclassed even Amitabh Bachchan, besides the remaining two super-Khans (Aamir and Shah Rukh) in mass popularity and in the Numero Uno hits of any year.

Here’s wishing him all the best in his sagacious decision.

Top Hits of a Year

1974  Roti Kapada Aur Makaan (Amitabh Bachchan with Manoj Kumar and Shashi Kapoor)

1975— Sholay (Amitabh Bachchan with Dharmendra and Sanjeev Kumar)

1977— Amar Akbar Anthony (Amitabh Bachchan with Vinod Khanna and Rishi Kapoor)

1978—Muqaddar Ka Sikander (Amitabh Bachchan with Vinod Khanna)

1989—Maine Pyar Kiya (Salman Khan solo)

1991— Saajan  (Salman Khan with Sanjay Dutt)

1994—Hum Aapke Hain Koun!… (Salman Khan solo)

1995—Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (Shah Rukh Khan solo)

1996—Raja Hindustani (Aamir Khan solo)

1998—Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (Shah Rukh Khan with Salman Khan)

1999—Biwi No. 1 (Salman Khan with Anil Kapoor and Saif Ali Khan)

2005—No Entry (Salman Khan with Anil Kapoor and Fardeen Khan)

2007—Om Shanti Om (Shah Rukh Khan with Arjun Rampal and Shreyas Talpade)

2008—Ghajini (Aamir Khan)

2009—3 Idiots (Aamir Khan with R. Madhavan and Sharman Joshi)

2010—Dabangg (Salman Khan with Vinod Khanna and Arbaaz Khan)

2011—Bodyguard (Salman Khan solo)

2012—Ek Tha Tiger (Salman Khan solo)

2013—Dhoom: 3 (Aamir Khan with Abhishek Bachchan and Uday Chopra)

2014  PK (Aamir Khan with Sushant Singh Rajput and Sanjay Dutt)

2015—Bajrangi Bhaijaan (Salman Khan solo)

2016—Dangal (Aamir Khan solo)

2017—Tiger Zinda Hai (Salman Khan solo)

Scores: Shah Rukh Khan: 3 (1 solo), Amitabh Bachchan: 4 (No solo), Aamir Khan: 5 (3 solo), Salman Khan: 11 (6 solo)









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