New Delhi: 'Rowdy Rathore' is Akshay Kumar's next release in which he is working with Prabhu Deva for the first time. The promos of the film promise an action packed story where Sonakshi Sinha will play the heroine. 'Rowdy Rathore' marks Akshay's return to action after many years. However, the trailers suggest Rowdy Rathore's similarities with Salman Khan's 'Wanted', 'Dabangg' and 'Bodyguard'.
Salman Khan's career graph is on all time high after the mega success of 'Bodyguard'. He has emerged as the most bankable actor in Bollywood, but it seems Akshay is all set to replace Salman Khan as the most dependable star.
A closer look at Akshay Kumar's target audiences in 'Rowdy Rathore' will reveal that he is actually eying the same audience base as Salman Khan.
Both are mainstream mass entertainer and lately they have focussed more on producing 'masala' films rather than trying their hands at something new and offbeat. Akshay's last film 'Housefull 2' met with immense success at the box office. Prior to this, 'Desi Boyz' had also done well at the ticket window, so, he would be hoping for another good show with 'Rowdy Rathore'.
In last 3-4 years, Salman has carefully developed an image which suits his non-elite fans. His films have done quite well at small centres. This is against the general trend in Bollywood where big production houses have started to concentrate more on the multiplex going crowd. These people don't fall into the trap of thinking man's cinema. They are very clear in their demand of pure entertainment. Single screens that are known for cheering and jeering, crave for Salman's films.
Now, with the arrival of Akshay Kumar's new avatar, it would be difficult for Salman to retain his undisputed kingdom.
This audience base is not new for Akshay as he has been catering to the same kind of spectators from before the beginning of the multiplex age. Almost all his films during the 90s were made with such audiences in mind, and these films developed his 'khiladi' image, so his return would also be the return of his die hard fans.
Sonakshi Sinha is playing the female lead in 'Rowdy Rathore', and she is expected to repeat her 'Dabangg' act in the film. The makers would have her chemistry with Salman in mind while shooting 'Rowdy Rathore', thus Akshay would be under pressure to do something similar to Salman Khan's character in 'Dabangg'.
If these things happen, then Salman will have a stiff competitor in Akshay Kumar. Moreover, they both endorse the same brand of slapstick humour, so it wouldn't be much difficult for Akshay Kumar to sneak into Salman's fan base.
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Shah Rukh Khan
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