Sanju - The Ranbir Kapoor Factor
Thursday 05 July 2018 10.45 IST
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Sanju has emerged the biggest blockbuster of the year and generally the film is looked at as a Rajkumar Hirani film which is fair as its basically four blockbusters in a row now and his first film also did well. But it also has to be said that a Rajkumar Hirani film has never got off to a flyer like this in the North and there Ranbir Kapoor is a factor.



Raj Kumar Hirani has made five films till date and generally they are very Mumbai films barring PK which was more universal. Films like Munnabhai MBBS, Lage Raho Munnabhai and 3 Idiots all took time in the North to catch up with Mumbai. The first film Munnabhai MBBS did not even do that well outside Mumbai and South. Now Sanju is a similar Mumbai film be it setting, underworld, drugs or in language so North to be less than Mumbai initially is par for the course as films with a bigger canvas, scale and larger than life setting is preferred.



But the popularity that Ranbir Kapoor has in Delhi NCR and East Punjab ensured that North was as strong as Mumbai. This popularity showed even in the collections of Besharam years back as that film had opening figures like the Shahrukh Khan starrer Chennai Express (which released a few months earlier) in the North but much lower elsewhere. Even an extended guest appearance in Roy was driven by Delhi / UP and East Punjab.



The problem after was the films with those Euro directors like Anurag Basu, Imtiaz Ali and Anurag Kashyap whose films are made in India but the story telling style is like some art circuit European director but sadly for them the Indian audience needs to be fed the story the Indian way. 



So here there was no chance of telling whether the popularity that Ranbir Kapoor had gained in the North which was close to superstar status was intact as no one was really going to come and watch those films. But then comes a film like Sanju which actually did not have the look for the North audience but was interesting and had a super hit song for North in Kar Har Maidan Fateh and that popularity is there again to see in the numbers of Delhi / UP and East Punjab. 



The six day numbers are on par with a North based wrestling film like Dangal which should not really be happening but that is the popularity of Ranbir Kapoor in those markets. The huge numbers in the North are due to Ranbir Kapoor as would not have come with any other actor in this film. No doubt a good Salman Khan action film can go higher but in a Mumbai based film even a Salman Khan could struggle to give these sort of numbers.



If we look at the scenario today if one guy can have the popularity of Ranbir Kapoor in North and Tiger Shroff in Maharashtra, Nizam / Andhra and Bihar then that actor would be the top star in the country. The age factor is going to hit the Khans soon where it will be a struggle to play characters with huge appeal for the youth and at that time the younger stars must have the correct films to capitalize on this and take the holiday spots. The mega stardom will never come from a biopic though as the actor is unable to leave his stamp on the character like a Shahrukh Khan did in DDLJ or Salman Khan in Dabangg. The next year or two these stars and others like Varun Dhawan and Ranveer Singh must have the right films which work in a big way all over as if only they work then they will have those high budget films when that transition comes of the old guard handing the torch the young guard. The only thing is the young guard will not be so young when it happens (unless someone comes out of the blue) due to hugely sustaining innings by the Khans.



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