Amitabh Bachchan's film, TV success shows age is just a number
Despite his age, the mega star is giving a tough fight to Khans and Kapoors of Bollywood.
Legendary actor Amitabh Bachchan has turned 75 today, but is still not too old to look back. The actor is not shy of experimenting with new roles and even today he is a threat to stars half his age. It’s not just with the Bollywood films that the star gives his peers a run for their money. He has proved his mettle in television shows and advertisements.
Amitabh Bachchan’s popular reality game show Kaun Banega Crorepati (KBC) is not just making the common man rich but has also helped the actor increase his net worth. The quiz show stands at rank four in the top programming ranking based on average ratings across all original airings in the week starting from September 25 to October 1, according to Broadcast Audience Research Council India (BARC). KBC was also on the top position from September 23 to 29.
It was this show that turned Bachchan’s fortunes when he was in deep financial crisis. Presently, he is hosting the ninth season of KBC and as per industry estimates, the actor charges around Rs 2.75-3 crore per episode.
Sony TV was facing headwinds after its two shows went off air but the 'Shahenshah' of Bollywood saved the day for the channel as viewership for KBC is strong. Industry players say that advertisers on Sony Entertainment Television (SET) are keeping their eye on the urban market, especially Mumbai and Delhi, where the show has done exceedingly well.
Sony Pictures saw healthy advertising revenues in September and Kaun Banega Crorepati saw a complete sell-out of its ad inventory. This indicates that Bachchan is still preferred by brands for endorsements. As of now, he endorses as many as 10 brands including Kalyan Jewellers, Lloyd and Just Dial.
The list doesn’t end here as he is also the go-to person for the promotion of government messages. He is the face of Goods and Services Tax, Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan and Gujarat Tourism.
His style of working reflects that 'Variety is the spice of life' and a common trend in his films is good content.
Quality of content has been the topic of debate this year due to the dismal performance of Hindi films in 2017. This stands true even for the success story of Bachchan as his films Piku and Pink were appreciated by the audience but Sarkar 3 faltered at the box office.
His 2016 film Pink ranked fourth on the chart of leading Bollywood movies produced in India in 2016, by return on investments, according to Bollywood portal Koimoi. The courtroom drama generated 224 percent of the original cost of the movie. The film was made at a cost of Rs 29 crores.
The actor had tickled the cine-goers' funny bones with his Piku and the film became Big B’s highest grossing film in India with collections worth Rs 78.38 crore. Among his films that did well overseas are 2006 release Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna and the movie raked in USD 10,560,00 (Rs 49.10 crore).
It looks like he has mastered all trades and this has made him secure the ninth position on the 2017 list of highest paid actors in India with yearly earnings of USD 9 million, according to Forbes. In 2015, Bachchan took the second spot, behind Shah Rukh Khan, on the list of richest Bollywood actors with net worth of USD 400 million.
Bachchan may “don” the salt and pepper look but age surely is not catching up to him. There are a slew of upcoming films including Thugs of Hindostan in which he will star alongside Aamir Khan, Padman and 102 Not Out where he plays the father of another veteran actor Rishi Kapoor.
A decade back, only print and television medium were ways for fans to know about their favourite stars but now there is social media. And, Bachchan is not hesitant to give a piece of his mind to his followers on Twitter. In fact, he stands at the top position on the list of most followed personalities from India on Twitter as of September 2016, with 18.1 million followers on Twitter. So, there is little doubt that his Twitter account will be flooded with birthday messages as he turned 75 today.