Home » Regional Cinema » Happy Birthday Akshay Kumar: From Hera Pheri to Housefull 2, the Khiladi's 14 South Indian remake hits

Happy Birthday Akshay Kumar: From Hera Pheri to Housefull 2, the Khiladi's 14 South Indian remake hits

Sree Prasad Nair | Updated on: 10 February 2017, 1:47 IST

Bollywood superstar Akshay Kumar is celebrating his 49th birthday today, 9 September.

He started his film career with a cameo in the 1987 Mahesh Bhatt directorial, Aag. However, his first film as solo lead was Saugandh in 1991.The film was a failure at the Box Office. But the actor came back strongly with his third release, Khiladi, which was a huge success. Since then, Akshay had a bountiful time till 1997, with many hits like Elaan, Mohra, Mein Khiladi Tu Anari, Sabse Bada Khiladi and Khiladiyon Ka Khiladi. In 1994, the Bollywood Khiladi had 12 releases, out of which seven were clean hits at the Box Office.

Unfortunately, in the years between 1996 to 1999, Akshay Kumar delivered 14 flops with only one super hit (Khiladiyon Ka Khiladi) and one average grosser (International Khiladi) to his credit. The actor tasted his first success in his second innings with the Suneel Darshan film, Jaanwar. The action-family entertainer was well-received and earned him the much-needed hit to resurrect his career. But in the very next year, in 2000, Malayalam director Priyadarshan made a remake of one of the all-time Malayalam hit film, Ramji Rao Speaking. The film was not only a hit at the box office, but also helped Akshay discover his funny side.

Since then, Akshay Kumar has acted in 16 South Indian remakes, of which most went on to become the biggest hits of his career. In fact, it was Akshay Kumar, along with Salman Khan, who started the trend of remaking South Indian films in Bollywood. In fact, most of the recent Rs 100 crore Hindi blockbusters are actually remakes of South Indian films. Except the flops, like Khiladi 420, a bad remake of Thala Ajith's Vaali and Boss, a remake of Mammootty's blockbuster Pokkiriraja, all other South remakes have been successful for the Bollywood Khiladi.

On his 49th birthday, here are the 14 of Akshay Kumar's South Indian remakes which were successful at the Box Office.

1) Hera Pheri

Original film - Ramji Rao Speaking

Verdict - Super Hit

Hera Pheri is considered a landmark film in Akshay Kumar's career. The film also marks the first collaboration of super hit director - actor duo, Priyadarshan and Akshay Kumar. Since then, the hit duo has worked together in four films and all off them have been commercially successful. The film was a clean copy paste from Siddique - Lal's Malayalam blockbuster, Ramji Rao Speaking.

2) Garam Masala

Original film - Boeing Boeing

Verdict - Blockbuster

Garam Masala marks the second collaboration of Priyadarshan - Akshay Kumar duo after Hera Pheri. It is touted as one of the best remakes ever made in Bollywood. The film is about a photographer-bachelor, Makhrand aka Mac, played by Akshay Kumar, who dates three air-hostesses at the same time. Garam Masala was a Diwali 2005 release and emerged as a blockbuster and won the Best Actor in a Comic role award for Akshay Kumar at the Filmfare Awards. It's original version, Boeing Boeing was a 1985 classic comedy written and directed by Priyadarshan.

3) Bhagam Bhaag

Original film - Nadodikattu / mannar mathayi Speaking

Verdict - Super hit

Interestingly, Priyadarshan - Akshay Kumar duo's third collaboration, Bhagam Bhag was remade partially from two Malayalam films. The entire story of Malayalam director Sathyan Anthikad's Nadodikkattu was used by Priyadarshan in the first half of Bhagam Bhag. However, the entire second half plot was taken from another Malayalam hit Mannar Mathai Speaking. The film was released in Christmas 2016 and was a hit at the Box Office.

4) Heyy Babyy

Original film - Thoovalsparsham

Verdict - Super hit

Sajid Khan's Heyy Babyy was released in 2007. The film was the actor's third hit in a row afterBhagam Bhag and Namastey London. The film's story was largely inspired from the 1990 Malayalam hit Thoovalsparsham. It also starred Ritesh Deshmukh, Fardeen Khan and Vidya Balan.

5) Bhool Bhulaiyya

Original film - Manichitrathazhu

Verdict - Super hit

Bhool Bhulaiyya was the remake of all-time Malayalam blockbuster, Manichitrathazhu, directed by Fazil. The film is considered a landmark in Malayalam cinema history. It also marks a hat-trick of success for the Priyadarshan - Akshay Kumar duo. The script was so strong that it was later remade in Kannada, Telugu and Tamil as well. Commendably, all the remakes met with huge success. Bhool Bhulaiyya was also a super hit at the Bollywood Box Office. Surprisingly, Akshay Kumar won all the accolades rather than Vidya Balan, who reprised the role of Shobhana in the Hindi remake. The film was Akshay's fourth hit in a row in 2007 after Bhagam Bhaag, Namastey London and Heyy Babyy.

6) Kambakkht Ishq

Original film - Pammal K Sambandam

Verdict - Hit

Kambakkht Ishq was the remake of Kamal Haasan's 2002 Tamil film, Pammal K Sambandam. The film starred Akshay Kumar as a stunt man and was also the directorial debut of Sabbir Khan. The film featured many Hollywood celebrities namely Sylvester Stallone, Brandon Routh and Denise Richards in a cameo. It opened to an earth shattering response at the Box Office through out the weekend. But the film had reasonable drop in collections from the first Monday onwards due to negative - mixed reviews. However, thanks to an outstanding opening weekend, it eventually turned out a hit at the Box Office.

7) De Dana Dan

Original film - Vettam

Verdict - Hit

De Dana Dan was Akshay Kumar's fifth release in 2009. The film, which had directed by his favorite director, Priyadarshan for the fourth time also starred his Hera Pheri co-actors Suniel Shetty and Paresh Rawal in supporting roles. The film was a clear rip-off from Priyan's Malayalam film, Vettam, which was also a hit at the Box Office.

9) Housefull

Original film - Kaathala Kaathala

Verdict - Super hit

Housefull was the only clean hit for Akshay Kumar in 2010. It was a remake of Kamal Haasan's 1988 film Kaathala Kaathala. It also marks the second collaboration of Akshay Kumar - Sajid Khan duo after their super hit Hey Babyy. Upon its release, Housefull had to face criticism from critics, but was well received by the audience.

10) Khatta Meetha

Original film - Vellanakalude Nadu

Verdict - Semi hit

Khatta Meetha was a remake of the 1988 Malayalam blockbuster Vellanakalude Nadu. The film starred Akshay Kumar in the role of a road contractor, essayed brilliantly by Mohanlal in the original version. The film is a political satire on the municipal mafia and the ill-fated political system of governments. Unlike other Priyadrashan - Akshay Kumar films, Khatta Meethareceived mixed reviews from the audience. However, the film produced by Akshay himself on a small budget of Rs 18 crore, collected Rs 52 crore at the Box Office and earned another success with his favorite director, Priyadarshan.

11) Housefull 2

Original film - Mattupetti Machan

Verdict - Super Hit

The second installment of the Housefull franchise, Housefull 2 marks the first Rs 100 crore grosser for Akshay Kumar. The Sajid Khan-directorial was a remake of the 1998 Malayalam hit,Mattupetti Machan. Like its first part, Housefull, Housefull 2 also opened to mixed reviews. But the smart promotion strategy from producer Sajid Nadiadwala and Akshay Kumar's perfect comic timing worked wonders for the film.

12) Rowdy Rathore

Original film - Vikramarkudu

Verdict - Blockbuster

Rowdy Rathore is Akshay Kumar's biggest blockbuster till date. The Prabhudeva-directorial was a remake of Ravi Teja's Telugu blockbuster, Vikramarkudu. The film was Akshay Kumar's second Rs 100 crore grosser in a row in 2012 after Housefull 2. It also marked the first collaboration of Akshay Kumar and Sonakshi Sinha. Rowdy Rathore starred Tamil superstar Ilayathalapathy Vijay in a cameo. The film collected Rs 133 crore at the Box Office.

13) Holiday: A Soldier Is Never off Duty

Original film - Thuppakki

Verdict - Hit

Popular South film director AR Murugadoss' Holiday: A Soldier Is Never Off Duty released in 2014. The film was an official remake of Murugadoss' Tamil blockbuster Thuppakki. Though Akshay Kumar reprised the role of Vijay in the Hindi remake, he failed to match up with Ilayathalapathy's charishma in the original. However, the content was strong and it started showing an upward trend in the collections after an average start at the ticket window. By the end of the theatrical run, Holiday: A Soldier Is Never off Duty raked in Rs 114 crore at the Box Office to give another century hit for Akshay Kumar and Sonakshi Sinha.

14) Gabbar Is Back

Original film - Ramana

Verdict - Hit

Gabbar Is Back was an official remake of Vijayakanth's 2002 Tamil blockbuster Ramana. Written by AR Murugadoss and directed by Krish, the film starred Akshay Kumar in the titular role of Gabbar. The film made Rs 89 crore at the Box Office and was the actor's only clean hit in 2015. Gabbar Is Back starred Shruti Haasan as the female lead and was produced by National Award winning director Sanjay Leela Bhansali umder his banner SLB films.

The Bollywood Khiladi's upcoming films include Ikka, another remake of Ilayathalapathy's Tamil film, Kaththi. Akshay Kumar is also making his Tamil debut with the most awaited film of the decade, Shankar's Enthiran 2, with Tamil megastar Rajinikanth.

First published: 9 September 2016, 7:50 IST