Salman vs. SRK vs. Aamir vs. Akshay: Who’s the real box-office king?

box office

Since the 1990s, they’ve been four major Bollywood moviestars who’ve ruled the roost when it comes to both the box-office and audience’s hearts. No prizes for guessing that we’re talking about the three Khans – Salman, Shah Rukh, and Aamir – and Akshay Kumar – the only superstar that has challenged the Khans consistently over all these years.

Sure, there have been the likes of Sunny Deol and Govinda in the 1990s, who were even ahead of Aamir at one point, and Hrithik in the early 2000s, who was second only to Shah Rukh for some time. But for sheer consistency over such a massive period – the kind the industry didn’t witness even during the days of Dilip Kumar, Raj Kapoor, Dev Anand, Dharmendra, Amitabh Bachchan, or Rajesh Khanna – no one comes close to the stardom of these four guys. Maintaining the level of stardom that these four leading men have over quarter of a century is a sterling achievement by any standard, and must be acknowledged regardless if you’re a fan of them or not.

However, things become a tad more complex when comparisons start being drawn between these four superstars. Diehard followers of each of them flat-out refused to accept that anyone comes even close to challenging their favorite star, and their hit ratios are so high that it becomes difficult to pinpoint who’s been the real champ over all these years. SRK’s worshipers swear he’s the king, Sallu’s hardcore admirers vehemently declare him to be the greatest ever, Akki’s faithful followers passionately advocate that his sheer volume of work puts his number of hits ahead of all others, and Aamir’s fans feels that his perfection is unmatched.

So, who’s the real king among them? Well, there’s only one way to find out – box-office numbers. While all others analogies can be debated, statistics never lie, and hence, we’ve decided to compare their film’s collection right from the start of their careers. So, let’s see who emerges trumps in this box-office battle.

Parameter Akshay Kumar Salman Khan Shah Rukh Khan Aamir Khan
Year of Debut 1991 1988 1992 1988
Total Films till Date 111 75 59 40
Disasters 13 3 1 3
Flops 37 32 20 10
Below Average 10 3 3 5
Average 9 3 0 3
Above Average 3 1 4 0
Semi-Hits 3 0 2 0
Hits 27 15 16 9
Superhits 8 5 5 5
Blockbusters 2 7 5 0
All-Time Blockbusters 0 5 3 6

Success Ratio:

(Above Average or Better)

38.74% 44.0% 59.32% 47.50%
Clean Hits 35 33 29 19

Total Collection in Nett


3396.22 cr 3068.26 cr 2303.32 cr 1886.08 cr

Average Per Film in Nett


30.60 cr 40.91 cr 39.04 cr 47.15 cr


Based purely on total collections, Akshay comes out on top.

However, when it comes to the average collections brought in by their all their films, Aamir’s tag of Mr. Perfectionist is justified.

But blockbusters rake in millions at a time and manages to negate the law of averages in the long run. Salman is ahead on this statistic – his thirteen blockbusters are as many as SRK’s and Aamir’s put together, and also the largest in the history of Indian cinema.

Finally, when it boils down to an actor’s sheer consistency over long durations; no one, and we mean absolutely no one in all of Indian cinema (other than Rajinikanth from the south) can beat Shah Rukh. A success ratio of 59.32% over 25 years is mind-boggling by any standard.

Ultimately, all four are still bossing the show even after two-and-a-half decades, and it now remains to be seen if the likes of Ranbir Kapoor, Ranveer Singh, and Varun Dhawan can challenge them in the coming years.

Images Sources: YRF, Excel, NGE, and Hari Om