When Younger Actors Beat Senior Superstars At The Box-Office


Indian cinema is by and large a star-driven industry; bigger the star, higher the opening, and this holds true more for Bollywood than regional industries, even Kollywood and Tollywood, where the conducive market, cap on ticket rates, and clean marketing enable younger stars to hold their own before the glitzier, starrier, costlier projects. In the Hindi film industry, the old adage is that a big star usually guarantees a large opening at the box-office, and, sometimes, that face value has been enough to help mediocre films also ride a wave of good fortune.

Now, while the latter aspect is slowly being replaced by good content, the former mostly still holds true, and why shouldn’t it? After all, a star has toiled for years in building goodwill with the audience, and there’s certainly no problem in him/her reaping the rewards later. But, there have been few times when younger actors have managed to beat their senior counterparts at the ticket window; maybe not in the initial phase (though that has happened, too), but in the long run. At times, the young gun beating the more-established name have themselves been stars in the making, while, at other times, they’ve been complete newbies.

So, let’s take a look at the instances when younger actors in Bollywood beat senior superstars at the box-office, when their films released simultaneously:

(Note: In some of the cases below, both films have emerged successful, but the younger actor’s film collected than that of the senior’s.)


1.) Dil vs. Ghayal (1990)

Film Lifetime Nett Collection (INR) Verdict
Dil 10 crore Superhit
Ghayal 9.5 crore Superhit

Aamir and Madhuri, both greenhorns at the time, just managed to sneak ahead of Sunny paaji by 50 lakh.


2.) Kuch Kuch Hota Hai vs. Bade Miyan Chote Miyan (1998)

Film Lifetime Nett Collection (INR) Verdict
Kuch Kuch Hota Hai 47 crore All-Time Blockbuster
Bade Miyan Chote Miyan 19 crore Hit

SRK may have been the bigger star at the time, but Govinda and Amitabh were also big in their own right, and definitely way senior.


3.) Ishaqzaade vs. Dangerous Ishhq (2012)

Film Lifetime Nett Collection (INR) Verdict
Ishaqzaade 49 crore Hit
Dangerous Ishhq 6 crore Flop

Karisma Kapoor was making a comeback and no longer the star she was. But, in all fairness, both Arjun and Parineeti, were debutants, too.


4.) Kai Po Che vs. Zilla Ghaziabad (2013)

Film Lifetime Nett Collection (INR) Verdict
Kai Po Che 50 crore Semi-Hit
Zilla Ghaziabad 16 crore Flop

A film with one debutant and two others just finding their feet in movies completely trashed the other with all big names.


5.) Yaariyan vs. Dedh Ishqiya (2014)

Film Lifetime Nett Collection (INR) Verdict
Yaariyan 40 crore Hit
Dedh Ishqiya 28 crore Flop

The latter may have had two big names well past their pinnacle, but, just like the third entry on the list, the former, too, comprised mostly of debutants.


6.) Queen vs. Gulaab Gang (2014)

Film Lifetime Nett Collection (INR) Verdict
Queen 61 crore Superhit
Gulaab Gang 15 crore Flop

In an all-woman race, Kangana beat veterans Juhi and Madhuri hook, line, and sinker.


7.) Dilwale vs. Bajirao Mastani (2015)

Film Lifetime Nett Collection (INR) Verdict
Bajirao Mastani 187 crore Superhit
Dilwale 149 crore Semi-Hit

The first time that King Khan was beaten in a box-office clash, and it took two much-younger stars to do it.


8.) Ae Dil Hai Mushkil vs. Shivaay (2016)

Film Lifetime Nett Collection (INR) Verdict
Ae Dil Hai Mushkil 112 crore Hit
Shivaay 100 crore Below Average

While Ranbir didn’t beat Ajay by the biggest of margins, the former’s film was a hit while the latter’s wasn’t.


When will be the next time that a younger actor or star in the making will beat a senior superstar ir seasoned veteran at the box-office? Let’s wait and watch.

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