Kylie Minogue is cheaper than Kareena and Sylvester Stalone is a bargain compared to Akshay Kumar. Insiders in Bollywood say foreign stars charge much less than their Indian counterparts for roles in Bollywood.
According to a well-placed source in the industry, Kylie is being paid Rs 1.5 crores ($300,000 - $ 400,000) for her role and item number in Shree Ashtavinayak’s Blue. On the other hand A-list actresses like Kareena, Katrina, Priyanka and Aishwarya get between Rs 2 to 3.5 crores for the same amount of airtime.
Sylvetser Stallone is no different. A source says the Rambo star is getting $400,000 (Rs 2.5 crore) in Sajid Nadiadwala’s Kambhakht Ishq whereas Akshay Kumar, who features in the same film, will be getting his regular pay check, which is anywhere between Rs 30 to 40 crore, in addition to overseas distribution rights or co-production.
“More than the money, it is about getting cross publicity,” says Sabbas Joseph of Wizcraft, that organises IIFA every year. Case in point being the media frenzies surrounding Kylie since she landed in Mumbai. “She is the biggest news of last week. From her landing at the airport to having lunch at Akshay Kumar’s house, every bit was televised and reported. What more could a film or a performer want,” says trade analyst Taran Adarsh. Adarsh points out that Snoop Dogg, an unknown in India before Singh is Kingg, now has a million odd more fans thanks to one song with Akshay Kumar.
Aishwarya Rai’s latest movie, Pink Panther 2, received average ratings, despite which the film witnessed 75 to 80 per cent of collection over the weekend. “She was certainly an added connection for Indian audiences. It has fared 80 per cent on the weekends,” says Munish Sharma of Satyam Cineplex.