By Joginder Tuteja
Mumbai, July 14 (IANS) "Kambakht Ishq" has hit the bull's eye at the box office by grossing Rs.100 crore (Rs. 1 billion) in the first week despite unfavourable reviews - and Akshay Kumar is having the last laugh. But he insists that he has no inclination of being the 'king' of Bollywood and is content playing a 'clown' for his audiences.
"Really, ever since the time it became loud and clear that 'Kambakkht Ishq' had succeeded amongst the audiences, I'm being asked if I'm marching towards the top again. My reply to them is that I'm happy living and dying being where I am and that's anywhere but on top," Akshay told IANS in an interview.
"See, I'm a clown and not a king. Once a clown, always a clown! I belong in the ring, not on the podium," said Akshay, who was deeply hurt that many of his contemporaries from the industry have been apparently trying to pull him down.
Before "Kambakkht Ishq", the 41-year-old saw a twin setback in the form of "Chandni Chowk To China" and "8X10 Tasveer". It was just apt that he announced his presence in a big way with the action-romance flick.
Eros International, the distributors of "Kambakkht Ishq", declared that the film had grossed about Rs.100 crores (Rs.1 billion) worldwide in the first week, making it one of the most successful openings in Indian cinema.
The film has grossed Rs.70 crores (Rs.700 million) in India and Rs.21 crores (Rs.210 million) overseas. And the music and digital rights of the movie have fetched Rs.10 crores (Rs.100 million) - No wonder Akshay comes down on the critics who had a field day ripping apart the film.
"Well, critics to us are like how the tax man is to everyone. We all wish they didn't exist, but they do. It's up to the people if they want someone else to make decisions for them," he said in a matter-of-fact tone.
Talking about the naysayers, he said: "I know they definitely had a whale of a time with this one, didn't they? What to do? I can't force them to be nice to me and I'm not the type to put a gun to anyone's head; so let them be.
"I have faith that my audience will come and prove my work's worth. And this time they surely have and I love them for it."
Has he himself never been influenced by critics for films that feature someone else?
"Honestly speaking for myself, if I want to see a movie I will, even if all my friends say it's crap. In fact, it will only make me want to see it even more. We all don't like sugar in our tea; so why would we all like the same movies? it's simple. Trust your own judgement and not someone else's. That's all I can say," he said