Friday, June 16, 2006
New Delhi (UNI): Akshay Kumar's 'dream run' at the overseas box office continues! After the huge success of his earlier films like Mujhse Shaadi Karogi, Andaaz, Dosti. Garam Masala, Deewane Hue Paagal and, most recently, Humko Deewana Kar Gaye in the United Kingdom, the latest Akshay-starrer Phir Hera Pheri has opened to an excellent response at the UK box office. A sequel to Priyadarshan's laugh riot Hera Pheri, the Neeraj Vora-directed Phir Hera Pheri figured at number eight in the UK box office charts in its opening week with collections of 125,366 UK pounds (Rs 87 lakh) from just 36 cinema screens, ahead of the Hollywood film Mission Impossible III and Kunal Kohli's Fanaa.
What is more, the film, which opened to a stupendous response all over India following its release on June 9, had the second highest per screen average of 3,482 UK pounds (Rs 2.5 lakh) in the UK among the top ten, ahead of films like X-Men: The Last Stand, The Da Vinci Code,Poseidon, RV and Mission: Impossible III. Trade observers say Akshay Kumar's typical brand of Comedy in Phir Hera Pheri has had audiences "laughing all their way to the ailes" while winning for the actor rave reviews from the film critics at home and abroad.
Akshay's brilliant comic timing had earlier fetched excellent collections for Priyadarshan's Garam Masala and Deewane Hue Paagal, both of which proved to be hits in the United Kingdom. In fact, critics say that Akshay, along with the inimitable Paresh Rawal, is the soul of Phir Hera Pheri, which also stars Suneil Shetty, Bipasha Basu and Rimi Sen contributing immensely to the film's strong initial. That the strong showing of the film in the UK is largely due to the immense draw that Akshay Kumar has come to enjoy in the overseas territories is evident from the fact that the other comedy release of the week, Priyadarshan's Chup Chup Ke had collections far lower compared to Phir Hera Pheri.
In this sense, the strong showing of Phir Hera Pheri at the UK box office, following close on the heels of the stupendous success of his last film Humko Deewana Kar Gaye, only reiterated the immense draw of Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar overseas, putting him in the league of the 'Khans' - Shahrukh Khan, Salman Khan and Aamir Khan.In fact, Akshay's last film Humko Deewana Kar Gaye, which also featured the beautiful Katrina Kaif and the sexy Bipasha Basu opposite him, garnered a record breaking opening in the United Kingdom - the highest ever for a solo Akshay Kumar-starrer in the UK, even surpassing the opening week's collections for Andaz, his earlier film with Raj Kanwar.
The stupendous response to Humko Deewana Kar Gaye in UK has led trade analysts to describe the actor as a strong contender to Shahrukh Khan and Salman Khan for the "overseas heartthrobs" tag. Recent years have seen Akshay emerge as the new star on the overseas circuit. Films starring the actor like Garam Masala, Deewane Huye Paagal and, more recently, Dosti have proved to be hits in the United Kingdom. Of the above, the success of Dosti is specially remarkable considering that the film opened to a lukewarm response from Indian audiences.
Trade analysts say the strong showing of Phir Hera Pheri in India as well as abroad has paved way for other filmmakers to venture into making of sequels of their successful films encouraged by its success. It has raised the curiosity level for the sequels of Rakesh Roshan's sci-fi film Koi Mil Gaya and Sanjay Gadvi's Dhoom, scheduled for release in the coming months. While Krrish, the sequel for Koi Mil Gaya is to release on June 23, Dhoom 2, the sequel for Dhoom is slated for release on Diwali.