It’s all about controlling costs. Aamir Khan has proved with Dhobi Ghat that even a class-appealing film can be turned into a profitable venture if made in a tight budget. He has reportedly spent Rs. 6 crore to produce Dhobi Ghat. He has expended an additional Rs. 5 crore to promote and release the film. His cost has totalled to just Rs. 11 crore because he hasn’t charged his company a single naya paisa for acting in the film.
Cost Zero, Revenue 90% It’s a peculiar case because although his cost to the production company (Aamir Khan Productions) is nil, 90% of the revenues – whether theatrical or otherwise – are accruing only because of Aamir Khan’s name! In other words, the earnings in Dhobi Ghat are almost completely because of Aamir Khan but his cost is nil. If one were to put even a notional cost of Rs. 7.5 to 10 crore as being Aamir’s minimum fee for acting, the budget of the film would go haywire and, consequently, the film itself would not prove to be an earning proposition which it appears to be today, given the fair opening it has taken and given the price it is expected to fetch even today from sale of its satellite rights.