How many times have you discussed or heard others discussing Shahrukh Khan, Aamir Khan and Salman Khan lately? More importantly, how many times have you missed them since they went off the glamour billboards and the giant, invasive publicity machine that surrounds us? Chances are, you have not.
Coronavirus pandemic killed the Superstars.
That happy time may be over for Superstars
The uniquely skewed economies of Indian cinema had created the kind of stardom that depended solely on extravagant marketing and control over demand and supply to gloss over tired scripts, average acting, and forgettable direction. Only the big houses and filmy cartels could afford massive marketing budgets and stranglehold over distribution and screening. Top male stars walked away with more than half the money spent on producing the entire movie. This economics allowed the superstars to grossly over-earn and underperform. That happy time may be over.
COVID will go away one day, Will the Superstars return with same swag? Unlikely!
Covid-19 and the spate of lockdowns have bombed the economics the giants were playing in. Theatres are shut for months -And digital OTT platforms have levelled the playing ground. Digital OTT platforms are here to stay. Today, those long relegated to the middle-benches as ‘character actors’ – Manoj Bajpayee, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Pankaj Tripathi, Pratik Gandhi, Radhika Apte, Jaideep Ahlawat, Rasika Dugal and others – are household names. They have broken into the galaxy of stars because of sheer talent.
In the post COVID, increasingly digital world of cinema and entertainment, it is the Khans, Chopras, Johars and Kapoors who need to catch up, measure up, if they are to stay in the strobe light of public memory.