Dabangg 2 on TV for Rs 50 crore?

Not a scene of the Salman starrer sequel has been shot, yet buzz in trade suggests the film has gone for the highest bid ever for a movie on TV. Until recently, Agneepath had topped the price charts for TV rights of big-ticket movies.

bollywood Updated: Feb 27, 2012 19:24 IST
Rachana Dubey
Rachana Dubey
Hindustan Times

Until recently, Agneepath had topped the price charts for TV rights of big-ticket movies. Trade estimates state that Zee Network paid approximately Rs 41 crore for it, beating Hrithik Roshan-starrer Krrish 3, Aamir Khan’s Talaash and 2011’s RA.One with Shah Rukh Khan. Now, it seems Star Network has picked up the Dabangg sequel, slated to go on floors in the first half of March, for approximately Rs 45 to 50 crore.

Hemal Jhaveri, general manager, Star Gold, admits the sale has broken records, though he avoids revealing the exact amount. “We have the biggest library of Salman’s movies. It made sense to buy Dabangg 2 because his last release, Bodyguard (2011), rated well on its premiere show, and fetched about 11 points in television ratings. The subsequent screenings have scored well too,” he says.

According to tradesmith Amod Mehra, the bankable heroes such as Salman, Aamir, Shah Rukh, Hrithik and Akshay Kumar only have one or two releases a year. So, leading networks are willing to go the extra mile to acquire TV rights to their movies.

“RA.One may not have been a box-office hit, but it fared well on TV. Agneepath will be received well too. Even sponsors don’t like to advertise when a smaller movie is premiered on the tube,” says Amod, pointing out that prices are no longer a concern for leading channels. “Salman commands excellent value right now.” Jayantilal Gada of Pen India Pvt Ltd, which acquires movies for a leading network, believes that with new big-budget movies being announced routinely, it would not be impossible to break Salman’s new record this year either. “Sometimes, movies are announced but never move forward, while some others are taken on the floors immediately. Buying and selling TV rights also depends on whether a movie will ever see the light of day,” he explains, adding, “I’m sure there are some films in the pipeline that leading networks will vie for. And one of them could fetch a higher price than Dabangg 2.”

Salman, who has just returned from Cuba, and will reprise Chulbul Pandey’s character in the sequel to the 2010 hit, admits he’s unaware of the details of the sale: “Arbaaz (Khan) is the best person to comment on this. And if the news is true, I’m going to be very delighted.” Arbaaz remained unavailable for comment. As for the sale of TV rights becoming one of the best means for producers to recover their production costs, Amod says, “Dabangg 2’s budget won’t go beyond R70 crore. And they’ve already made roughly Rs 45-50 crore.” Jayantilal adds, “Before, audio rights assured recovery of production costs. Then, it became video rights and now, it’s satellite TV.”

Check this list:

Agneepath — Rs 41 cr
Krrish 3 — Rs 38 cr
Talaash — Rs 40 cr
RA.One — Rs 35 cr
Bodyguard — Rs 33 cr
Rockstar — Rs 18-20 cr
Housefull 2 — Rs 22-25 cr
Desi Boyz — Rs 22-25 cr
Joker - Rs 23 cr
Agent Vinod — Rs 20 cr
Barfi! — Rs 15- 18 cr
Heroine — Rs 15- 18 cr

* according to trade estimates

First Published: Feb 25, 2012 11:56 IST