Aamir Khan may be a bundle of nerves today as his home production, Peepli Live, hits the screens tomorrow (August 13) but that’s not so much because he is concerned about whether he will or won’t make money in the film, but because he is scared about how people will accept his labour of love. And it’s the same nervousness before release of every Aamir starrer, production or directorial venture. As far as Peepli Live is concerned, it is a small-budget film in which the superstar has already broken even before release.
Aamir and his co-producers, UTV, have spent around Rs. 60 million in making the film. Add another Rs. 40 million for promotion and prints and you have a cost of Rs. 100 million. Believe it or not but the satellite rights of the non-star cast film have been sold (to Zee) before release, for a whopping Rs. 80 million. The audio and home video rights have fetched Aamir and UTV another about Rs. 30 million. All of which means, the joint producers are already in surplus. Whatever comes from India and Overseas theatrical business would now only go towards adding the profits.
Very creditable, considering that even huge star cast films often struggle to break even! And here we have an absolute non-star cast film becoming a profitable enterprise even before it has hit the screens. That’s brand Aamir Khan for you!
– By Komal Nahta