As the cinema business slowly came on track after the pandemic, it led to some interesting and unexpected trends, especially with regard to the track record of the male actors of Bollywood. In this PosterGuy special feature, we look at the Top 10 Bollywood actors at the box office post-pandemic. We have taken into account the average lifetime collections to understand which actor occupies which spot when ranked from 1 to 10. In our commentary, we have also remarked on the possibility of a change of the figures for certain actors in the future in case their next film does (or doesn’t do) well. While doing so, we have only considered films that will be released this year. Also, this list only considers those films where the actors were seen in leading roles. Hence, for instance, Pathaan (2023) or Antim won’t be counted as a Salman Khan film and similarly, Ajay Devgn’s list of films doesn’t include Gangubai Kathiawadi (2022).
1. Shah Rukh Khan – Rs. 543.05 cr.
No of films: 1 (Pathaan)
The superstar had a poor run before the pandemic. But with Pathaan, he took a huge leap as it collected a huge Rs. 543.05 crores. Pathaan became the biggest Hindi grosser ever and SRK occupied the numero uno position. Interestingly, his next film Jawan also looks quite exciting. Even if this film fails to do well, in a worst-case scenario, the possibility of Shah Rukh being dethroned from the number 1 position seems remote due to the extremely high lifetime of Pathaan.
2. Ranbir Kapoor – Rs. 149.66 cr.
No of films: 3 (Shamshera, Brahmastra – Part One: Shiva, Tu Jhoothi Main Makkaar)
Ranbir Kapoor’s comeback film after four years was Shamshera (2022). It failed to entice audiences but the much-awaited Brahmastra – Part One: Shiva (2022) thankfully met expectations. It collected Rs. 257.44 crores while Tu Jhoothi Main Makkar (2023), his last release, too did well, collecting Rs. 149.05 crores. He’ll next be seen in Animal, an exciting venture and it is expected to further cement his position.
3. Ajay Devgn – Rs. 118.51 cr.
No of films: 3 (Runway 34, Drishyam 2, Bholaa)
Ajay Devgn’s directorial ventures, Runway 34 (2022) and Bholaa (2023), which also starred him in the lead, underperformed at the box office. But Drishyam 2 (2023) was a surprise blockbuster, earning Rs. 240.54 crores and it strongly helped the talented actor to achieve the third position. However, he might move to the fourth position once Maidaan releases.
4. Salman Khan – Rs. 112 cr.
No of films: 1 (Kisi Ka Bhai Kisi Ki Jaan)
Post-pandemic, Salman Khan was seen in Radhe – Your Most Wanted Bhai (2021), but it mostly had a digital release. Meanwhile, he was seen in a supporting role in Antim – The Final Truth (2021). Kisi Ka Bhai Kisi Ki Jaan (2023) was his proper full-fledged theatrical release after Dabangg 3 (2019). It opened well but then fell rapidly. However, his next film, Tiger 3, is quite hot in trade circles and among audiences. After the release of this action entertainer, he’s expected to take the second position.
5. Kartik Aaryan – Rs. 109.06 cr.
No of films: 2 (Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2, Shehzada)
Kartik Aaryan emerged as the saviour of the industry as he delivered the blockbuster Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2 (2022) at a time when the industry was starved of a hit. As a result, a lot was expected from his next film, Shehzada (2023). Sadly, it flopped. He can, however, bounce back with Satyaprem Ki Katha, which reunites him with his Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2 co-star, Kiara Advani.
6. Hrithik Roshan – Rs. 78.66 cr.
No of films: 1 (Vikram Vedha)
The superstar was seen in Vikram Vedha (2022) and though a lot was expected from this action thriller, it performed below expectations. His average figure is unlikely to change this year as his next film Fighter releases only in 2024.
7. Varun Dhawan – Rs. 75.84 cr.
No of films: 2 (JugJugg Jeeyo, Bhediya)
Both films of Varun Dhawan were average grossers. However, at a time when films of the biggest of actors struggled to even cross the Rs. 30 crore mark, the performance of both JugJugg Jeeyo (2022) and Bhediya (2022) are praiseworthy. Also, the reasonable costs proved to be a saviour. His next film, Bawaal, can improve things for him if the Janhvi Kapoor co-starrer clicks at the box office.
8. Akshay Kumar – Rs. 68.25 cr.
No of films: 7 (Bellbottom, Sooryavanshi, Bachchhan Paanday, Samrat Prithviraj, Raksha Bandhan, Ram Setu, Selfiee)
The talented performer delivered the maximum number of films by any actor post-pandemic. While Sooryavanshi (2021) was a super-hit collecting Rs. 196 crores, Ram Setu (2022) was an average grosser. Bellbottom (2021), Bachchhan Paanday (2022), Samrat Prithviraj (2022) and Raksha Bandhan (2022) were flops while Selfiee (2023), which accumulated just Rs. 16.85 crores, was a disaster. His next films in 2023 should really do well; or else, the average collection will come further down.
9. Aamir Khan – Rs. 58.73 cr.
No of films: 1 (Laal Singh Chaddha)
Aamir Khan’s films were known to break records. Laal Singh Chaddha (2022), however, had a disappointing run in cinemas, due to unexciting content and poor word of mouth.
10. Ranveer Singh – Rs. 53.42 cr.
No of films: 3 (’83, Jayeshbhai Jordaar, Cirkus)
After a great 2018 and 2019, Ranveer Singh went through a tough phase post-pandemic. ’83 collected Rs. 109.02 crores but was still a flop due to the high costs. Jayeshbhai Jordaar (2022) and Cirkus (2022), meanwhile, were disasters at the box office and didn’t even open well. Fortunately for him, he has Rocky Aur Rani Ki Prem Kahani in his kitty, which seems promising and it can improve his box office performance to some extent.
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