The lumbering elephant has morphed into a lithe, cunning cheetah. The RPG group music company Saregama India Ltd (formerly Gramophone Company of India Ltd) has signed the biggest ever music contract in the archives of Bollywood with Mr Vashu Bhagnani's film company Puja Entertainment (I) Ltd.
The deal was signed on Saturday but no official confirmation is available on the amount. Market sources estimate that the deal is valued at Rs 25 crore for the film company's next five films.
Vashu Bhagnani, one of the top Hindi film producers in Mumbai, ventured into film production five years ago.
He was earlier a successful businessman dealing with cassette manufacturing and its components.
Saregama has snared Vashu Bhagnani from the enemy camp of Tips. Vashu has made major super-hits (both films and soundtracks) like Coolie No.1, Hero No.1, Pyaar Kiya to Darna Kya, Bade Miyan Chhote Miyan, Biwi No.1 and Tera Jadoo Chal Gaya.
Among the films that have fallen the Saregama kitty is a multi-starrer with Anil Kapoor, Abhishek Bachchan and Fardeen Khan, directed by Anupam Kher and with music by Anu Malik. It is expected to release towards the end of 2001.
The second Bhagnani project is with the music-genius AR Rahman. The other projects are yet to be finalized but Nadeem Shravan will score the music in 2 films and Anu Malik in one.
All these five films are expected to be completed and released within three years, by end-2003.
In addition to these, Saregama has already signed 18 films, the music of which will be released over the next 18 months. Alongwith these, the company is also in the process of allying with film moguls like the Rajshris, Raakesh Roshan, Yash Chopra, RK Films and others for soundtracks.
On Saregama's March-December 2000 performance, Mr Mitra said there have been a few major developments during this period. Among the big hits notched up by the company are the Hrithik Roshan megahit Kaho Na Pyaar Hai, sales of which have crossed 5 million, Refugee and Mohabbatein. Sales of these films have resulted in a growth of over 150 per cent in the new film music category.
It may be noted that Saregama has also just released two new Hindi films, ``1 2 Ka 4'' starring Shah Rukh Khan and Juhi Chawla (music by AR Rahman) and ``Kasoor'' starring Lisa Ray and Aftab Shivdasani (music by Nadeem Shravan).
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