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HindustanTimes Thu,02 Oct 2014

Rupee fall causes rise in overseas budget for Bollywood

Prashant Singh, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, September 02, 2013
First Published: 10:35 IST(2/9/2013) | Last Updated: 14:53 IST(2/9/2013)

Every morning, the falling rupee greets us at a new low. And as different sectors see red, Bollywood too isn’t immune to the depreciating currency value. With the rupee hovering around 66 (at the time of going to press) to a dollar, the budgets (for lavish overseas shoots) of big Bollywood projects have gone up by as much as 30 per cent.

"About 40 per cent of my film will be shot abroad. But this is part-and-parcel of the business. I can’t even say that cost-cutting is an option… not like you can fire people to save money here,” says producer Vashu Bhagnani, the budget for whose Saif Ali Khan-starrer Humshakals, has gone up by 20 per cent.

Sajid Nadiadwala can also vouch for the inflated budgets. His next two films —Kabir Khan’s yet-untitled next with Saif, and the Salman Khan-starrer Kick — will be shot at multiple locations overseas. “Of course our budgets have been hit, but there’s a silver lining: when our films release in other countries, the revenue will also be higher from those places. Besides, everyone is bearing the brunt, not just me,” says Nadiadwala. His budgets have apparently shot up by 28-30 per cent.

Farah Khan, however, is more at ease. “We haven’t been hit, though there will be some effect on the budget. We are luckier than producers headed to expensive destinations like the US or UK,” says director-producer Farah Khan, whose next, Happy New Year (starring Shah Rukh Khan and Deepika Padukone) is believed to have become 15 per cent costlier.

The budget for the Akshay Kumar-starrer, It’s Entertainment, has gone up by around 25 per cent. “It’s not something we can control. And we can’t compromise on quality,” says producer Ramesh Taurani.

Meanwhile, David Dhawan’s budget for Main Tera Hero, starring his son Varun Dhawan, is up by 15-20 per cent. Dhawan, who leaves for Bangkok later this month, says, “If needed, you can always save a couple of days by working hard and wrapping up the shoot quickly. But these things are hard to control.”

(All percentages only indicative of the films’ overseas shoot budgets)

Who’s headed where?
Humshakals:
The Saif-Bipasha Basu starrer will be shot across UK, mainly in London.

It’s Entertainment: Akshay Kumar’s film is currently being shot in Bangkok.

Kabir Khan’s yet-untitled: The Saif Ali Khan-Katrina Kaif starrer will be shot across Beirut, Boston and London.

Kick: The Salman-starrer is expected to be shot in the UK next year.

Happy New Year: The Shah Rukh Khan-Deepika (below) film is being shot in Dubai.

Main Tera Hero: The Varun Dhawan-starrer will be shot in Bangkok towards the end of September.

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