He is the man who started the trend of 100 Crore Club in Bollywood with his film like Ghajni making 100 crore and more in the year 2008. It took mere 18 days to cross the magic figure 100 crore mark. This is not all, his next year he had his film 3 Idiots, which went on to make 202 crore in India. The film’s earning remained intact even after the release of the films like Krrish 3 and Chennai Express hit the screens in 2013. Once again, we saw Aamir Khan making another record with Dhoom 3, in 2013. Foreign markets had opened up by now and Dhoom 3 went on to become the highest grossing Bollywood film ever with earnings of approximately 550 crore worldwide.
A year later Dhoom 3, Aamir again has a big surprise in the form of PK. The film began its journey like any other big Bollywood starrer, gathering 26.63 crore when it opened on December 19. This was several crores less than the openings of Ek Tha Tiger and Chennai Express with collections on the first day as ( 32.92 crore and 33.12 crore respectively, but thanks to largely positive reviews, soon the PK’s business picked up and it is now the most commercially successful Bollywood film ever. It is the first film to enter the 300-crore club and it has made Aamir the first Hindi film actor to cross the 100 crore (with Ghajini), 200 crore (3 Idiots) and 300 crore (PK) marks.
Aamir and PK’s success was the result of a long process. After the success of Ghajini, big time producers indulged in mindless competition to be in the 100-crore club. Mindless because the focus was on marketing rather than the content. Audiences winced at each nonsensical 100 crore film, but Aamir stood apart in their view. He was in the race to make hit movies, but he ‘also’ did meaningful cinema. He came up with Dhobi Ghat and 3 Idiots when Golmaals and Dabanggs were ruling the ticket window. He produced and acted in Taare Zameen Par, the 2007 movie about a boy’s struggles in a boarding school that is now regarded as one of the finest children’s movies made in Bollywood.
Slowly and steadily Aamir found a point of balance for his movies. His support for the Anna Hazare anti-corruption movement and his TV show Satyamev Jayate contributed to the image he created as a thinking and socially-conscious actor. In fact, it was attached to Aamir when he supported the NBA in 2006. His politics was never clear, but he became the superstar who offered you a bit more than other superstars. The 2012 thriller film Talaash starring Aamir though was not a hit but it made headlines and earned more than 90 crore despite mixed reviews. Dhoom 3 was no different than a Kick or a Singham in terms of presentation and content strategy, but it surpassed them because of the image Aamir has created for himself, his brand value.
And then came the last year’s mega hit Dangal stamped his authority over Bollywood. In a year, when Salman Khan was supposed to top the business charts with Sultan, Dangal was not less than hurricane and washed out the remains of every other Bollywood superstar. The film is directed by Nitesh Tiwari, Dangal was a story about a former wrestler who wanted to see his daughters winning gold at international circuits. The film was based on a true story, the film broke all the existing box office records and collected over 385 crore in the domestic market, an unprecedented figure despite the demonetization woes. Going by the current trends, Aamir seems all set to scale new heights in 2017.