He’s only 30. He’s only nine releases old. He has taken his own time to do these nine films, with only one release each in 2011 and 2012. He has not done a film yet in the most commercially viable genre today – Action. Yet, true talent speaks for itself. Inch by inch, Ranbir Kapoor (RK) has soared to the top of audience popularity charts.
The chart below showcases RK’s performance on our monthly track Stars India Loves (SIL) over the last 24 months. In SIL, cine-goers are asked to name their two most favorite male and female stars. Hence, a 22% share implies that in October 2012, RK was selected as one of their top 2 favorite male stars by 22% audiences.
As can be seen, RK has nearly doubled his share in the last two years, from 12% in Nov 2010 to 22% in Oct 2012. What is commendable about this rise is that it comes on the back of only two films – Rockstar and Barfi. In fact, when SIL started in Nov 2010, Anjaana Anjaani had just released. It remains easily the weakest film of RK’s career, and this reflects in his share remaining stagnant and then dropping to a mere 7% in Sep 2011.
The real journey started when the Rockstar campaign broke. From Oct 2011, he showed steady growth, jumping to 20% by April 2012, five months after Rockstar. A long gap between releases leads to a natural drop in share, because the star tends to go out-of-sight and out-of-mind. But with Barfi, the most appreciated movie of the year till date (Source: Ormax Media Word Of Mouth surveys conducted round the year), he is on the ascendancy again, touching an all-time high share of 22% and an all-time high rank of 4th, ahead of Aamir Khan and Hrithik Roshan.
In fact, in certain segments, such as females and the youth, RK is behind only Salman Khan, having already overtaken Shahrukh Khan and Akshay Kumar, among others. Truly, this is more than commendable, given his select filmography. The table below captures RK’s rank in various segments.
|All Aud||4||Salman, SRK, Akshay|
|Males||6||Salman, Akshay, SRK, Aamir, Hrithik|
|25-34 yrs.||5||Salman, Akshay, SRK, Aamir|
|Mumbai City||3||Salman, SRK|
|Maharashtra Rest||3||Salman, Akshay|
|Gujarat||5||Salman, Akshay, SRK, Hrithik|
|UP||4||Salman, SRK, Akshay|
|East Punjab||4||Salman, Akshay, SRK|
|Rajasthan||4||Salman, SRK, Akshay|
|CP Berar||3||Salman, SRK|
|CI||6||Salman, Akshay, SRK, Hrithik, Aamir|
|Bihar||4||Salman, Akshay, SRK|
|West Bengal||3||SRK, Salman|
|Mysore||6||Salman, Akshay, Hrithik, Aamir, SRK|
|Nizam||5||Salman, SRK, Hrithik, Akshay|
RK potentially has three releases lined up in 2013, starting with Ayan Mukerji’s Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani. That would make it his busiest year at the box office since 2009. By the time Anurag Kashyap’s Bombay Velvet releases, we should be prepared to see RK at a clear no. 2 position, and possibly, even no. 1 in certain segments, though Salman’s current popularity makes the latter difficult to achieve in the near future.
RK’s acting skills have been fairly well documented by critics and experts across the board. His intelligence, articulation and a (rare) perfect display of propriety gives him additional advantages.
It was back in 2000 that we got our last real big star, in Hrithik Roshan. All male stars who have debuted since then have flattered to deceive, with Shahid Kapoor being the best of the lot, but by no means a serious contender to take the baton forward from the Khans and the Kumar.
But RK is. And his journey has already started!