For an actor who started out being identified as the master of offbeat roles and a poster boy of unconventional films, Ayushmann Khurrana has emerged Bollywood's most unconventional hit machine.
'Vicky Donor' made Ayushmann a household name, the multiplex hero with guy-next-door charm. His debut film came out in 2012 and was directed by Shoojit Sircar. Khurrana won hearts with his charm and witty screen presence. The film, presenting a light-hearted take on the taboo attached with sperm donation and artificial insemination, was said to be made on a budget of Rs 5 crore. It went on to earn Rs 65 crore.
Slump in career in the early years
He may have made a remarkable debut, but the subsequent films did not create similar magic at the box office. Films such as 'Nautanki Saala!', 'Bewakoofiyaan', 'Hawaizaada' sank without any trace.
Ayushmann, with his blend of good looks, abundant acting skills, and singing talent made his way back to the super hit world of movies with Sharat Kataria's 'Dum Laga Ke Haisha'(2015), which marked the debut of Bhumi Pednekar. Set in a small town in north India, the film was a love story of an uncanny pair who find love in each other post marriage.
Various movie avatars
in 2018- 19, Ayushmann's golden run continued, from essaying the blind hero in Sriram Raghavan's quirky thriller 'AndhaDhun' and showing the plight of a frustrated older son over his aged mother`s pregnancy in 'Badhaai Ho'. He went for a police officer avatar to fight against discrimination in 'Article 15' and took on the image of an entertainer in 'Dream Girl', while putting the spotlight on the subject of loneliness. All these stories were tied together with Ayushmann's enduring charisma and effervescence.
Ayushman's super hit formula
Ayushman's super hit formula can be simply broken down to choosing scripts which were based on a taboo topic or issues that have so far been brushed under the carpet. Khurrana told these stories in a neat and clean manner, laced with humour. So families could watch his films, get entertained even as the films drove home an important message.
Khurrana's hit numbers
Talking numbers, 'Bareilly Ki Barfi', which was made on an approximate budget of Rs 20 crore, earned over Rs 18 crore in the first week, while 'Shubh Mangal Saavdhan', made on a meager budget, collected Rs 41.9 crore.
With 'AndhaDhun', Ayushmann went global as the film did wonders not only at the domestic box-office but the international as well. 'Badhaai Ho' gave Ayushmann his first Rs 100 crore superhit in India, opening in October last year. 'Dream Girl', a September 2019 release, is his highest-grossing movie as of now, having raked in over Rs 139 crore.
The actor is busy winning over the box-office game all over again with 'Bala', a film about a young man struggling with premature balding. As in future Ayushmann's love for offbeat cinema will continue as he will next be seen with megastar Amitabh Bachchan in Shoojit Sircar's 'Gulabo Sitabo', and feature in a same-sex love story in 'Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan'.