A lot has changed in the film industry in the last decade. What was unimaginable in year 2000 is a reality today. A quick recapitulation of the notable changes the industry has seen from 2001 to 2010:

A decade ago, the film industry used to talk in terms of crores of rupees worth of business for an entire circuit like Bombay, Delhi-U.P. etc. Individual cities in these circuits used to fetch revenues in lakhs of rupees. But the last ten years has seen all that change. Now, we see box-office figures of cities like Bombay, Delhi, Pune and Bangalore running into crores of rupees. Business has grown manifold in the last decade, thanks in no small measure to the revenues contributed by multiplexes. The cineplexes may be small-capacity houses but their gate collections are very big. This is, obviously, because the multiplexes charge admission rates as high as Rs. 250, 300, even Rs. 500 per head. Did you ever imagine in 1999 that a family of four would end up spending Rs. 2,000 on a single movie on weekend days, which is when the ticket rates are the highest? But that’s a reality today. And this reality has led to collections skyrocketing to unimaginable levels.


Akshay Kumar, Salman Khan

If revenues have grown so much, can costs be lagging far behind? A major component of the cost of filmmaking is star prices. They have indeed reached obscene levels from what they were a decade ago. Heroes, who used to get paid some lakhs for acting in a film, today demand fees in crores of rupees. And those actors, who were approaching the crore mark, don’t come for anything less than Rs. 10, 15 or even 20 crore! Star prices have spiralled out of control, making filmmaking a nightmare for many producers even as indemand actors charge their dream fees.

If anybody says, he had seen this coming, he is lying, because nobody even in his wildest of dreams could’ve imagined that stars would ask for – and get! – such crazy amounts as remuneration.

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But corporatisation has contributed majorly to this kind of price hike. Flush with public money and with almost complete lack of knowledge of the filmmaking process, the corporates did not think twice before paying stars far more than their worth if only because they wanted to produce star-studded films. In a way, the excess fees they were paying the actors was like their entry fee to get into this industry. And since in the lives of stars, prices move in only one direction – upwards – irrespective of the fate of their films, the high and higher remunerations became the norm rather than the exception in the decade gone by.

Aamir Khan, Shah Rukh Khan

Another noticeable change, which started in the beginning of the decade but has now become a trend, is that of actors turning producers. Whether it is A-list stars like Aamir Khan and Akshay

Kumar or stars like Sanjay Dutt, everyone worth his salt turned producer in the decade gone by. Since the sources of revenues available to producers have increased, actors have realised the potential of profitability if their film clicks. As against just an acting fee, they can now make crores in profits if they are also the producers or, maybe, joint producers. Actors like Akshay Kumar insist on becoming partners in production when producers approach them with acting assignments. Aamir Khan was a partner in the biggest hit of 2009, 3 Idiots. Before ten years, there weren’t too many stars opting to take the additional responsibility of production, but today, most of the leading men double up as producers.

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