Bollywood producers, studio heads and senior executives felt that Bollywood’s business model needed a fix, starting with actor fees.
“Massive changes and headwinds for the film industry are no longer just in the theater market, but also in the streaming space. The volume of acquired content and values are profoundly impacted. It is essential that all stakeholders our value chain are priced and cost right,” said Amrita Pandey, CEO of Junglee Pictures.
“I think talent fees need to be brought into line with the realities of the marketplace where there’s no longer an opening weekend or guaranteed streaming fee with an actor’s name or the scale of the film. ”
“The only way it will work is if the stars come down to earth. We’ve been talking about the rising cost of stars for a decade now, but nothing has happened,” said a top producer.
According to industry estimates, Akshay Kumar charges ₹117 crore per film. Shahrukh and Salman Khan’s price is also close to ₹100 crore each, while Aamir Khan is the only actor, who charges no amount in advance but takes an 80% share of the profits.
“What is needed is a real course correction, a correction in the economy and a recalibration of priorities,” said Tanuj Garg, managing partner of Ellipsis Entertainment. Garg is the producer of movies like “Ragini MMS”, “Looop Lapeta” and “Tumhari Sulu”.
Industry experts say that with the star’s high prices, the Hindi film industry is already in deep trouble, not even considering the creative side of the business.
“The bigger producers are isolated so far because they can sell their movies to OTT players, but as those players are also looking to cut costs, legitimate producers won’t have money to invest in movies,” said the head of a large production house. Some think it’s not just about actor fees, but also about the mismatch in the value chain across the entire creative and distribution industry.
“We need a fair distribution of risks and rewards,” said an official from one of the biggest movie studios. “At the end of the day, who in the value chain pays for movies – before it was satellite, now it’s OTT.”
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