Bhushan Kumar, head honcho of T-Series, has plans to get into movie production in a big way in the New Year. He already has two star-studded films racing towards a 2011 release - the Nikhil Advani directed Akshay Kumar-Anushka Sharma starrer, Patiala House, and Salman Khan-Asin’s Ready, helmed by Anees Bazmee.
Kumar is also gearing up to announce three-four films in the next five weeks. One of them, he admits, will feature Akshay Kumar. “We’re still figuring out the economics. The costing has to be right. The way music prices have come down drastically so companies can earn from them, budgets too need to be scaled down, so producers can make money too,” he reasons.Admitting that stars need to get realistic about their remuneration, he points out that royalty sharing is a feasible alternative. "You pay an A-list star an X amount upfront and later, a share in the overflow profit," he explains. "Of course, certain actors are still wary of this arrangement, because they are afraid of being cheated once the film releases, but it’s worked well for us and could work for others too."
Value for money
Another way to make a movie a profitable venture is to give the audience something that is paisa vasool (his money’s worth). For Ready, Kumar has flown down fight directors from Thailand to Mumbai for the action sequences.
“They had earlier choreographed the action for Jackie Chan’s films and Salman bhai (Khan) is really impressed with the hand-to-hand combats. We’ll be going to Bangkok in February for another schedule with them since the bungalows we have in mind are not available in India,” he says. “We could also make good use of the expressways, and maybe even the waterways and barges.” Ready is targeting a May 27 release.
After establishing its reign in the music industry, and getting into movie production, T-Series is also gearing up to revolutionise the mobile phone market. Kumar has lined up as many as 13 different models from the consumer-friendly T Series T20 model to the high-end T600, in the price range of Rs 900 to Rs 12,000. And they will not be standard fare. Manufacturer Kumar promises 3G phones, androids, me phones and dolby phones to name a few under the company’s brand name.
The entire range should be out early next year and will come with added attractions in terms of software and content. “On some models, you can download select songs from the T-Series repertoire. One of them allows you to watch the entire film, Wanted on your handset. With Patiala House gearing up for a February 11 release, may be there will be a hook there too,” says Kumar, whose ad campaign with the tagline Pocket mein rockethas already sparked off plenty of curiosity.