April 21,2009


Industry sources say that Salman Khan (controversy’s favourite child) is on paper, the highest paid Bollywood actor.

Salman has reportedly been signed for London Dreams for Rs 30 crores,’’ says our source. We messaged Vipul Shah but he remained unavailable for comment. The source however maintains that Salman may re-negotiate his price; and actually offer the makers a discount because of the global meltdown.

The interesting thing in this whole narrative is not what Salman will ultimately charge for London Dreams; but the fact that the actor has allegedly charged Boney Kapoor only Rs seven crores for the film Wanted Dead Or Alive.
Our source maintains that, “Salman knew Boney was in a spot and he decided to bail him out; hence he has been so reasonable with his pricing for Boney’s film.”

Know-alls also insist that Salman may get a share in the profits made from Wanted…; however that is not priority for the actor, who has done Boney’s film only to help him tide over a financial crunch.

Subhash Ghai who worked with Salman in Yuvvraaj says, “I don’t know what Salman is charging other producers. All I can say is that he is a boy with a golden heart. If he finds his producer is in a spot, then he will definitely reduce his fee or even waive it off. But he must be convinced about a situation. This guy thinks with his heart.’’

Incidentally it is being said that the A-list actors have started to take cuts in their remuneration. Sanjay Dutt is said to have been paid Rs15 crores upfront for a two-hero project that is nearing completion. “Yet today Sanjay has negotiated a film for Rs 4 crores,” says a trade analyst.

Akshay Kumar, who had joked saying “My wife Tina knows that the only thing that turns me on is the smell of money”’ has also apparently offered his friend Ratan Jain a discount in pricing for his film De Dhana Dhan. It is learnt that Akshay was to charge Rs 44 crores originally for the film; but the price he will now take is nowhere close to that amount.

Amod Mehra says, “There is a character actor who still refuses to do a film for less than a crore (his market price) and there are a few others too who are adamant about pricing; but most of the sensible guys have understood the crisis situation.”

A film corporation that has recently shut its feature film division; and is just completing work on their pending projects is rumoured to have paid Sunny Deol Rs 3.75 crores. And, Arjun Rampal post Rock On has pushed up his price to Rs 2.5 crores.

“However most actors have realised that their producers can no longer sell their films for the monies that they did a year ago; and have re-negotiated their contracts,’’ says film-maker Sanjay Gupta. Double digits may now be hard to come by even in a superstar’s pay packet; at least till the market condition improves.