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Last Updated 17.10.2019 | 4:04 PM IST
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“No film actor has asked me his market price” – Subhash Ghai

A never-before recession has hit the entertainment industry. First the economic slump, then the 26/11 trauma…Bollywood has never been more crippled by adversities. And yet the potential blockbusters with stars charging the sun, moon and galaxy continue to be made. Subhash Ghai explains the economics of a crippled industry to Subhash K Jha.

An all-time recession has hit the world, and Bollywood. What is the status of the film industry’s morale, and how do you feel about the present-day scenario?

Finally the time has come for a reality check in our industry too. We, the production companies surviving for thirty years were pushed back by financial tigers attacking the city of Bollywood. It was the first time when corporate companies entered without studying the nature of this creative industry and threw investors tons of money to everyone who mattered in the industry to create a perception among investors that they have bought over the industry or industry’s best. They offered unimaginable prices to stars and directors without considering the economic logistics.The cost of every production went haywire. I was told that one company financed a producer with known losses on the paper just so that he could bring one star in his project. In the history of the movie business, we can see a director become successful producer… and a producer can become a distributor [Rajshri, Yash Raj, Mukta Arts]. But the reverse process could never be a success. Last year we could see financiers becoming distributors and producers. Everyone was creating paper wealth in the name of IPR. This unnatural escalation had to tumble down. But to our dismay every thing went extremely costly. My latest film Yuvraaj which could be made in Rs. 30 crores easily now cost us 50- plus… it just happened in one year… But now the storm is over…NOW everyone will get the place he deserves.


My latest film Yuvraaj which could be made in Rs. 30 crores easily now cost us 50- plus

The economics of Bollywood have hit an all-time low. Many really big films are lying unsold. What do you suggest as remedy for the industry?

Now prices have to come down back to the rates that existed in 2006. New trained professionals with a deep knowledge of this industry must be recruited in companies. Everyone should do the job he is made for or he is best for …don’t intrude into other territories – investors must be educated on the fundamentals of this movie business. We must encourage low budget high concept movies. Depend more on experienced wise men. Stars must ask for a fair share of money. We must work more on a product than marketing.


I am of the opinion that small budget movies at multiplexes must have reduced rates [50%] at theatre windows

Its felt ticket prices in the multiplexes are growing prohibitive for the common man. What do you think is the correct approach to filmmaking so that the average viewer gets his money’s worth?

Multiplex theatre is a luxury place for which one pays on his own will like going to five -star hotels. Of course I am of the opinion that small budget movies at multiplexes must have reduced rates [50 %] at theatre windows. We must make audience -friendly movies… and don’t cheat audience with false marketing. Many movies have done well during the first weekend but dropped on Mondays only because of the word of mouth.


No film actor has asked me his market price. They want a good role and a good film from me

Earlier during the year you made a smaller-budgeted film with only Anil Kapoor as a ‘star-attraction’. Why have you gravitated to the big budget film again?

The same question was asked to me during the release of Black And White… why have you gravitated to such a small budget film… I say it was a break… there has to be a vast difference between a TV movie and a theatre motion picture.

Do you feel star prices need to be brought down with immediate effect? Do you pay your stars their full market price, or are they more accommodating because of your own awesome reputation as a movie maker?

Stars react both to market and filmmakers. Some stars are swayed by the market over a talented team…some prefer filmmakers of repute over money. In 1970, Dharmendra used to charge Rs. 8 lakhs per movie when he had accepted Rs.1 lakh for Hrishikesh Mukherjee movies. They always charge producers as per the profit margin. It’s the traders who gave them a wrong picture of the movie business and lured them with huge prices only to snatch them away from genuine filmmakers. This was done to create a false market perception in share holder’s mind. No film actor has asked me his market price. They want a good role and a good film from me.

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