It’s so strange that till 2019, Akshay Kumar was at the top of his game & was considered as the most bankable star at the box office with back to back hits.
However, post-pandemic, the audience’s taste changed significantly and this year, we saw most Hindi films failing to perform at the box office.
Akshay Kumar had four theatrical releases this year & all of them flopped.
But, it looks like he is going through a bad phase not just at the box office but also, career-wise.
Over the years, Akshay has led a number of cult films that have turned into a franchise but off late, Khiladi Kumar is losing out on these potential hits as well.
Here’s a look at 3 cult franchises that Akshay Kumar is no longer a part of:
Akshay Kumar starred in the 2007 comedy film along with Anil Kapoor, Nana Patekar, Katrina Kaif, Paresh Rawal, Mallika Sherawat & Feroz Khan.
However, for its 2015 sequel titled Welcome Back, Akshay was replaced by John Abraham while Anil Kapoor, Nana Patekar, Paresh Rawal & other cast members reprised their roles from the original film.
In 2007, Akshay Kumar starred in the Hindi remake of Mohanlal’s 1993 Malayalam film Manichitrathazhu. Titled Bhool Bhulaiyaa, the Priyadarshan horror-comedy also starring Vidya Balan, Ameesha Patel, Shiney Ahuja, Paresh Rawal and Rajpal Yadav was a cult hit.
However, in 2022, its standalone sequel Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2 was released and Akshay Kumar was replaced by Kartik Aaryan in the lead role.
The 2000 cult comedy starring Akshay Kumar, Suniel Shetty, and Paresh Rawal & Tabu is often termed as one of the best comedy films of all time in Bollywood.
In 2006, its sequel Phir Hera Pheri starring Akshay, Suniel & Paresh was released. And over the years attained cult status.
This year it was reported that Hera Pheri 3 is finally happening with the OG star cast returning. But, recently Akshay confirmed that he is no longer attached to the film and Paresh Rawal confirmed that Kartik Aaryan has been signed as one of the three leads.
Later, Suniel Shetty expressed disappointment and stated that he will sit with Akshay & producer to try and fix everything.
Besides these three cult franchises, there are rumours going around that Neeraj Pandey will soon begin work on Baby 2 but Akshay may not be a part of it
Released in 2015, Baby is an espionage thriller that spawned a spin-off titled Naam Shabana (2017) starring Taapsee Pannu.
We will now have to see if there is any truth in Akshay being out of the Baby franchise as well, or is it merely a rumour.