He’s the only superstar who has the maximum releases each year. His prolificity as an actor matches his profitability at the ticket windows. Akshay Kumar shares a great rapport with the box office. Both never let each other down. If Kesari collected over 150 crores, Mission Mangal skyrocketed to over 193 crores. But his last release, Housefull 4, brought in a bitter-sweet vibe. While it reportedly went on to earn around 180-plus crores in India, it was alleged that the figures were inflated. Critical bashing has never unnerved Akshay. But this time the allegations of fudging data and the two contradictory hashtags trending on Twitter – ‘#Fake Housefull Figures’ and ‘#Paid Negativity on HF4’ – compelled him to react. And react he did it like a true Khiladi. Without losing composure. With grace. Because Akshay always has the last laugh. The upcoming Good Newz will complete his assured quartet of films and presumably end the year on a winning note…
While a section of the audience enjoyed Housefull 4, the hashtag #FakeHousefull4numbers was trending on social media. Did that bother you?
It doesn’t bother me. I haven’t given out these figures na. Fox Star Studios has huge credibility. It’s a corporate based in Los Angeles. They make international films worth millions of dollars. Increasing the figures by a few crores won’t make any difference to them. So, let’s talk sense. When they mention the figures on their own handle, they don’t need to lie about anything. Also, Inox (multiplex chain) has explained the calculations. They won’t lie. They aren’t related to me. The heads of all the theatre chains have spoken. Why would they lie?
Did the allegations upset you?
Do I look upset? These things don’t upset me. I’m the kind jisne saari umar kai logon ki baatein suni hai lekin kabhi kuchh bola nahi (all life I’ve heard people talk but I’ve never said anything in retaliation). I don’t want to say anything as I was taught early in school, “Mind your own business!”
Why was there so much negativity around the film?
Those who’ve written the negative stuff would be able to tell why. Main toh unke ghar gaya nahi kabhi. People can say what they want. People can keep talking. It doesn’t matter. What matters are the box-office figures. They alone talk.
Housefull 4 is your 11th consecutive hit since Airlift. Yet certain sections question you…
I don’t know about that. I just know that I’ve signed my next four films. Having a job matters. Your company is running. That matters. I have another three films lined-up, which I have to give a go ahead to. (Smiles) So according to me, I’m doing pretty well.
Your films are critic proof. No matter what, they rake in the numbers…
I respect critics. It’s important to have critics for an honest feedback. Also, comedy is subjective. What you like the other person may not. My kind of humour is different from that of my wife’s (Twinkle Khanna). Opinions vary. Similarly, one critic’s take may vary from that of the other. Especially, when it comes to comedy.
What was Twinkle’s reaction to Housefull 4?
(Laughs) She didn’t watch it.
A character in Housefull 4 faking pregnancy says, “Main abla hoon tabla nahin!” This was dissed by some sections…
Yes, you’re right. It may not have gone down well. The writer has to take care of such things. I may not be around when some scenes are shot. So I may not know about them.