Rohit Shetty’s Sooryavanshi appears to have brought the cheer back to theatres. As the cop drama featuring Akshay Kumar in the lead role with Katrina Kaif as his love interest is earning crores at the box office, we put the focus firmly on the film’s lead pair. The two have appeared in six projects before Sooryavanshi, not counting a cameo. Here’s decoding the journey of Akshay Kumar and Katrina Kaif as an on-screen couple and how the audience reacted to them.
Humko Deewana Kar Gaye (2006)
The musical film started a string of collaborations for Akshay and Katrina. The love story directed by Raj Kanwar followed the journey of Aditya and Jia, who fall in love even when they are engaged to different people. A misunderstanding separates them and an accident finally brings them together. It earned Rs 28 crore at the box office, but the film was termed a flop, with critics talking about its done-to-death storyline, and average performance by actors. The music of the film, however, remains memorable.
Namastey London (2007)
The following year, Katrina and Akshay delivered a hit with Namastey London. The film had Katrina playing a British-born Indian woman, who is tricked into marrying a desi man (Kumar), by her father. While she is set on annulling the wedding once they return to the UK, she eventually falls in love with him. Given the character was so close to Katrina’s persona, she seemed natural on-screen and managed to deflect the criticism that used to come her way. Her chemistry with Akshay was also loved by all, and the music by Himesh Reshammiya continues to be as memorable as ever. The Vipul A Shah directorial earned Rs 71.2 crore worldwide and found a massive audience in the UK.
Riding high on the success of their previous outing, Katrina and Akshay struck gold again with Aneez Bazmee’s Welcome. Given it clashed with Aamir Khan’s Taare Zameen Par, the film received mixed to negative reviews, but the producers laughed their way to the bank. Also starring Anil Kapoor, Nana Patekar and Feroz Khan, the rib-tickler earned more than Rs 100 crore at the box office. The film was also a big success musically. In 2014, its sequel Welcome Back was released by the makers. Its characters and dialogues still have many fans, especially Kapoor’s Majnu bhai.
Singh is Kinng (2008)
Then we saw Khiladi Kumar and Kat in Anees Bazmee’s Singh is Kinng. The film had Akshay Kumar playing a simpleton from Punjab, Happy Singh, who unintentionally causes trouble for his village folks. Wanting to get rid of him, he is sent to Australia, where he meets Sonia (Katrina) and falls in love. Even before the love story could kickstart, Happy became the ‘king’, the underworld don in the country owing to a series of misunderstandings. What follows is a comedy of errors, followed by a dramatic climax. Snoop Dogg featured in the title song of the film, and the music album was the third-highest seller that year. As for the box office, Singh is Kinng earned close to Rs 136 crore, and even got Akshay Kumar the Best Actor award at the Screen Awards.
De Dana Dan (2009)
Two struggling friends fall in love with two girls, who ask them to ‘get money, or forget us’. As they get set for a cash grab, the friends face a series of troubles that only makes matters difficult for them. Apart from this successful couple, the film also brought together the ‘Hera Pheri’ trio Akshay, Suniel Shetty and Paresh Rawal. The film, however, earned only Rs 65 crore at the ticket windows.
Akshay Kumar, Lara Dutta, Sanjay Dutt’s Blue had Katrina Kaif in a cameo. The 2009 high-budget film, for the first time in Indian cinema, was shot underwater, hence the name. While it had a good opening, collections dropped following negative reviews. Made at a massive budget, it failed to recover its cost. International pop star Kylie Minogue was also brought in to be a part of a special song “Chiggy Wiggy” in the film.
Tees Maar Khan (2010)
Perhaps the biggest fiasco delivered by Akshay-Katrina, Farah Khan’s Tees Maar Khan was an official remake of Vittorio De Sica’s 1966 Italian film After the Fox. It was written by Khan’s husband Shirish Kunder. A forgettable film, Tees Maar Khan is primarily remembered for Katrina’s dance moves in the track “Sheila ki jawani.” The film took a 100 per cent opening at most multiplexes across India, however, the negative word-of-mouth caused the bookings to drop within a few days.