Call it the side effects of corporatisation. With big money, better deals and a timetable for movie making, Bollywood may well be seeing a method in the madness. Today, the biggest banners are merging with the best names in the industry and are leaving no stone unturned to ensure a blockbuster. But everything comes for a price.
And this time it is not just the actors who are calling the shots. Production houses are willing to sign multi-crore contracts with talented and promising directors for package deals. While Percept Picture Company (PPC) has signed 12 directors including Madhur Bhandarkar, David Dhawan and Nagesh Kuknoor to make 20 films, film-maker Vipul Shah has bagged a Rs 200 crore deal for making eight films with Adlabs, while Ram Gopal Varma will make 10 films at Rs 100 crore, including the RGV Ke Sholay and Sarkar II for them.
While production studios are turning into conglomerates that can make, distribute, market and even exhibit films, they also want the best talent to get the best out of their investment. Which is why actors such as Akshay Kumar has managed to sign a four-film deal with Adlabs for Rs 40 crore. This was followed by Hrithik Roshan’s much-publicised Rs 30 crore deal for three films. Akshay has also signed a three-film deal with PPC. Mahesh Ramanathan CEO, PPC, says, the films will be made in the next two years.
With so much happening, can King Khan be far behind? His deal is quite the biggest yet: He gets a Rs 35 crore contract for just endorsing three brands — a first of its kind, as no actor has been given this kind of money just for endorsements. And here’s the bonus: All that SRK has to do is work one week in a year for this.
However, Shah Rukh is yet to sign a package deal with any one production house. That of course, may be, because of his close association with Yash Raj Production and Karan Johar.
Manmohan Shetty, chairman of Adlabs Films says, “This means growth for everyone. There is a scaling up of business. Films are generating more revenues. new avenues are opening up and all that can only translate into bigger money for those involved.”
Though the industry experts call it a welcome trend, Subhash Ghai differs. “Earlier too I had signed such deals with many big stars like Madhuri Dixit and Aishwarya Rai. But few honoured the contract. Now that the corporates have made them taste blood with enormous money, it’s going to be chaos in the trade.”
Till then it’s raining money!