In Bollywood, it is mostly the male superstar who is the crowd-puller of a film—the primary draw whose name ensures blockbuster business. Films with female actors in the lead often witness poor box-office performance or have to be produced in a medium-to-low budget set-up so that they can make profits quickly and at least record a hit status.
However, Vidya Balan hopes the situation changes. "There is no denying that the biggest star in Mission Mangal and one of the biggest stars in the country is Akshay Kumar. When you talk about the business of a film, you talk in terms of the male actor. But things are changing, we have been headlining films, our films are doing well.
“Hopefully, in a few years, this change will also happen. But as of today, when you talk about the business of a film, you do say that an Akshay Kumar film has earned this much," said Vidya, who stars with Akshay, Sonakshi Sinha, Taapsee Pannu, Kirti Kulhari and Nithya Menen in the Jagan Shakti directorial.
On Mission Mangal being billed on Akshay’s name, Vidya said it was only logical. "You can't take it away from him. Look at the business his films have done over the years. I'll be foolish to say, 'oh they didn't take my name', but hopefully someday (the change will take place). I am hopeful because I have seen things change drastically in the past 10 years," she said.
The film managed to collect Rs 29.16 crore on its opening day on Thursday, but the figures fell to Rs 17.28 crore on Friday. Vidya, however, says she didn't think in terms of numbers while judging a film's success. "I am happy because the film is being loved so much. From the time it was narrated to me, I knew it was going to be a good film.
“I just wanted it to do well. I don't think in terms of numbers—as in (its collection on) the first day or second day. All through, even during the making (of the film) and promotions, I felt there is good energy around this film. I am so happy and excited to see that the film is doing well," she said.
Notably, Mission Mangal is Vidya’s third film with Akshay after Heyy Babyy and Bhool Bhulaiyaa.
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