Talk money, talk Bollywood. It’s an old association. Over the years of course the industry and its stars have hit upon new ways to make money besides regular filmmaking, from endorsement deals to the latest — taking Bollywood live to other lands.
Yes, live shows abroad are big. An average world tour (spanning about two months and several cities) could fetch top stars anything between three to 10 times the amount they earn doing a movie, which in any case would take at least a year to complete.
Come April, and two separate groups will leave for two prominent world tours — Heat and Rock Stars — across 20 cities. The first show ‘stars’ Akshay Kumar, Preity Zinta, Saif Ali Khan, Arjun Rampal, Sushmita Sen and Celina Jaitley.
Heat is directed and scripted by Abu Malik and produced by US-based Aron Govil. Slated to open in San Francisco on April 8, 2006, the tour will travel across Los Angeles, Atlanta, New Jersey, Chicago, New York, Houston and Dallas over the next two months. Rock Stars will feature Salman Khan, John Abraham, Shahid Kapoor, Zayed Khan, Kareena Kapoor, Esha Deol and Mallika Sherawat. The show is scripted and directed by the Morani Brothers and produced by Esquire Viva Entertainment. The tour will travel to 18 cities including, LA, San Francisco, Washington, New York and London, over two months.
With the popularity of Indian cinema soaring worldwide, the craze is understandable. Average tickets for such shows range from $35 to $150 (red carpet event tickets can cost upto $2,500).
Says Sabbas Joseph of the event management company, Wizcraft: “There has been a gradual growth in Bollywood fan power worldwide.
Among the vast NRI population, there’s always a longing to see Indian stars perform.” The obvious benefit (of making big money) apart, the stars love doing such shows for the instant crowd response.
Says Esha Deol: “Such shows give us actors an opportunity to interact with people.”
While the stars won’t reveal amounts earned, an industry insider says: “The Khans earn anywhere between Rs 18 to 22 crore per tour. Actresses in the league of Priyanka Chopra and Kareena make Rs 5-10 crore on a single tour.”
Says Aly Morani: “The Khans rule, but of late John Abraham and Zayed Khan are hot too.” Says Abu Malik, who has been directing live shows for 25 years now: “The increase in prices of stars has been over 500 per cent. Still, I feel they are underpaid, especially given their popularity abroad.”