Film industry: Bollywood’s business model is not viable, actors’ fees need course correction: Industry

Many Indian film producers and studio heads believe there is an urgent need to discuss and solve the problem of rising costs in a post-pandemic world, even as the Telugu film industry, or Tollywood, stops producing all films from August 1 until things are over. Solve it with different stakeholders.

Producers, studio heads, and top Bollywood CEOs felt that Bollywood’s business model needed to be corrected, starting with the actors’ fees.

“Massive shifts and headwinds for the film business now are not only in the theatrical market but also in the broadcast space. The volume of content acquired and values ​​are severely affected. It is important for all stakeholders in our value chain to be “Of course and the cost is right.” “I think talent fees, among other costs, definitely need to be in line with the realities of the market where opening weekend or broadcast fees are no longer guaranteed with the name of the actor or the scale of the film.”

“The business model in the Hindi film industry has gone downhill,” said one of the top producers, who has produced more than 50 films and some web series. “The only way it will work is if the stars go down to Earth. We’ve been talking about the rising cost of stars for a decade now, but nothing has happened.”

According to industry estimates, Akshay Kumar, who has had a string of failures – ‘Bill Bottom’, ‘Bachchan Pandey’ and ‘Samrat Prithviraj’ – is asking for Rs 117 crore per film and is said to have no dates until the end of this year.

The price of Shahrukh and Salman Khan, who both charge an upfront and share of the profits (background), is also close to Rs 100 crore each, while Aamir Khan is the only actor, who does not charge any upfront but takes 80% of the profits.

Among the other actors, Ranbir Kapoor and Ranveer Singh are charging around Rs 50-60 crore each, Kartik Aryan has increased its price to Rs 40 crore, Shahid Kapoor is looking for Rs 35 crore, while Varun Dhawan is quoting Rs 30 crore each for the film.

What is needed is a true course correction, reform of the economy and a recalibration of priorities,” said Tanuj Garg, managing partner at Ellipsis Entertainment. “This is something that Ellipsis, as a content creator, is very considerate, and that puts us in a good position. Content and budgets need to be designed in such a way that everyone in the value chain can make money.”

Garg is a producer of movies like “Ragini MMS”, “Looop Lapeta” and “Tumhari Sulu”.

Many industry experts say that with star prices soaring to where they are, the Hindi film industry is already in deep trouble, without even thinking about the creative part of the job.

“The biggest producers have been fired so far because they can sell their movies to OTT operators, but with these players also looking to cut costs and tighten their belts, legitimate producers won’t have the money to put in movies soon,” said one band leader. Big production house. “It’s a vicious cycle. All the money goes into the pockets of the actors and doesn’t go back to the industry, making filmmaking an unsustainable business.

Some feel that it is not just about the actors’ fees but the mismatch in the value chain across the entire creative and distribution industry.

“We need a fair distribution of risks and rewards,” said the head of one of the best movie studios. “Ultimately, who pays for movies in the value chain – earlier it was Satellite, now it’s OTT. The biggest payers now are DisneyStar, Viacom18, ZEE, Sony, Netflix and Amazon. We haven’t created enough roads. While we are theatrical OTT, satellite, overseas and music rights are being monetized, so what about additional rights? Unlike in the West, we haven’t created any franchises that can outlast movie originals.”

Most experts noted that with digital players paying top dollars for movie rights, satellite and theatrical revenues are declining.

The executive added, “What we’ve done is shift or replace one source of income with another. The public business has to grow, and the share of the consumer portfolio has to grow.”

The studio head, as well as the film producers, believe that Bollywood needs performance-related compensation.

“Big stars are picked up because of their fans and their attraction in the crowd. An easy way could be to spot their fee in the box office collection for the first day. But there will always be some spoilers who will come lure you in the glamor and money from the above quoted producer said:

The studio head added that in the current system, most actors do not have an appearance in the game. “Fees must be linked to box office performance and viewership ratings on the premiere.”

As an industry, many feel that the most important thing is to increase the sum of the parts, because it will serve no purpose if the pot remains the same.

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