The way the economics of Bollywood works is that the superstars, around whose axis the entire industry revolves, have the least risk of loss even if their movie flops at the box office.
Someone like Akshay Kumar is reported to usually charge Rs1 crore per day of shooting but he is an exception in a star only taking a fee. The Khans take a percentage of the profit, sometimes along with a smaller fee. But the way the deal is structured, they don’t have to wait for the movie to become a hit for most of their profit component to come in.
Their movies are always sold upfront to distributors for a huge margin and it is the distributor who gambles on the movie becoming a superhit, in which case he makes his money. This system prevails because there is no one-shot salary that producers can pay someone like Salman Khan and still have a lot of money left to make the movie.
Usually, distributors agree to taking all the risk because a superstar is one precisely because his movie will make back its money most of the times. But then there is a movie like Tubelight, which should ordinarily have been a safe venture but has now turned into a dud. Distributors who bought the movie expecting it to touch over Rs300 crore are now finding that it has only made one-third that amount. This is a crushing blow. But superstars have no obligation after they make the movie and sell it.
Salman has however decided that he too must take some of the losses. Recently, it became known that he was going to compensate distributors of Tubelight Rs55 crore from his own pocket. That is not small change and it is money he could just easily have not given. Such a move also makes distributors eager to buy his movie in future because they know that at least some of their risk is insured by Salman himself. It also keeps his reputation intact.
A precedence that Salman had was in the Tamil superstar Rajnikant who too – when he had an unexpected flop – personally made up for some of the losses to distributors. But Salman might not need to repeat this measure. His next release, Tiger Zinda Hai, is an action entertainer and a sequel to the blockbuster Ek Tha Tiger. The chances of it failing are negligible.
Anyone taking a look at Taapsee Pannu’s movies would be struck by the care with which she has chosen character oriented roles. Like Pink in which she played one of three women who were being harassed by a bunch of powerful goons. The movie was critically lauded and Taapsee also became recognised for her acting abilities.
What is however not so well known among the Hindi audience is that before Bollywood, Taapsee made her debut in Telugu movies, and here she played out and out commercial roles, inevitably the glamorous arm candy to the hero with nothing to do.
Recently, Taapsee ruminated on her experience there. It was at an event in which she was talking to a comedy group and in a bid to appear funny she said that her first director in Telugu seemed to think that the midriff was very important to titillate the audience and even had scenes in which coconuts were thrown at her navel.
While it did lead to a few laughs in the audience, the Telugu film industry was not pleased and there were angry comments from its directors. Taapsee then made amends by saying that she had not meant to denigrate anyone. And she knew the director himself wouldn’t have any issue with what was said.
Sonam Kapoor recently said in an interview to a news agency that this is the year when she would be a decade old in Bollywood and compared herself to a tortoise that goes slow but toils ahead nevertheless to success.
The confidence emanates from her last two movies becoming big hits. There was Prem Ratan Dhan Payo in 2015 and last year it was Neerja. But ten years down the line, the way an actress is being treated by the media has not really changed, as was evident in something about Sonam that made news recently. There was gossip by the media that Sonam might be getting engaged soon. The name of her partner was said to be Anand Ahuja, a businessman. Whispers of their relationship have been on for sometime, further fuelled by photos of the two together that Sonam herself puts up on social networking, sometimes even from places abroad. But she has never confirmed any romantic relationship.
There were even rumours that her father, Anil Kapoor, was pressurising her to settle down to family life by tying the knot. When newspapers wrote stories about her engagement, Sonam put out a public statement, ‘For all the news outlets out there who are speculating about my personal life and writing unnecessary gossip about it because they think it makes good copy. If your sources are my friends and family then be rest assured they are not really my “friends or family” and if I do get married or engaged I’ll announce it on my own. So stop writing crap and stick to your real job of journalism.’
Basu refuses Rishi’s wish
Ranbir Kapoor is the producer of Jagga Jasoos. He is also the hero of the movie. Jagga Jasoos has just been released and Ranbir got great reviews by the critics. That puts the stamp on him being the heart, soul and much of the body of the project. He should have been able to pull any strings when it came to the movie. But there is one matter in which he has not been able to exert his influence, and the man who is resultantly miffed about it is reportedly Rishi Kapoor.
Rishi, the doting father he is, wanted to see Jagga Jasoos before the release. And he has lots of precedent to do that. Salman Khan is said to show his father Salim all his movies before they release to get his reaction and Salim has often given creative inputs. But when it came to Jagga Jasoos, its director Anurag Basu is said to have put his foot down and refused Rishi’s request. That is because Basu was clear that no one should see the movie before it releases. Given how Ranbir’s performance has been appreciated, Rishi should be somewhat mollified now!
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