Akshay Kumar’s Transformation: From The Masses To The Classes

The actor has steadily built up a fanbase among more picky urban audiences without sacrificing his popularity in smaller towns across the country


A string of action and comedy films over more than a decade made Akshay Kumar a hugely popular star in the mass audiences, such as the single screens and the low-end multiplexes in the mini-metros and small towns. His experiment with metro-centric content started with OMG Oh My God (2012) and Special 26 (2013). This experiment has taken the form of a full-fledged audience acquisition strategy over the last two years.

The chart below shows how Akshay Kumar has made huge gains in popularity in premium multiplex audiences in the big metros, i.e., Mumbai, Delhi NCR, Bangalore, Kolkata and Pune. The chart is based on Ormax Stars India Loves, which tracks the popularity of Bollywood stars every month across 56 cities. Premium multiplex audiences are those who spend at least Rs. 250 on their average movie ticket, and watch films in high-end multiplex properties, i.e., the best 45-50 theatres in India.

Akshay Kumar has tripled his popularity share in this audience in less than two years. His popularity rank in this audience has moved from a modest no. 6 at the start of 2015, to no. 1 after the release of Rustom earlier this year. The momentum started building with Baby and got a major impetus with Airlift in early 2016, and then came Rustom to deliver the final punch. What makes this transformation even more commendable is that he’s managed to retain his core base in the mass markets in the process of adding these premium audiences to his popularity kit.

Knowledge Partner – Ormax Media

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