Hrithik Roshan, Rs.35 Crore Star
26 Oct, 2006
It's the hush-hush deal that's become the talk of Bollywood. In a mega sign-up, bigger than any Diwali phataka , Hrithik Roshan has inked a three-film contract with the Anil Ambani-owned Adlabs for Rs 12 crore per film. 

This straightaway catapults Hrithik to the top of super-hero league, making him the highest paid star in India, way ahead of the three Khans, who charge anything between Rs 5 crore and Rs 8 crore a film, and Amitabh Bachchan, who hovers at a more modest figure. 

But that's not the only reason why Bollywood is keeping a close eye on the deal. 

The Rs 35-crore contract will change two things fundamentally for the Hindi film industry: First, the transaction will be all cheque and all white, giving greater impetus to corporatisation. Thus far, most stars accept remuneration in part cheque and part cash, while some like Aamir and Shah Rukh Khan accept part of their payment as distribution overflows from territories. 

For instance, if Shah Rukh's films do well overseas, he might demand rights to the overseas territory as part of his package. 

Second, and most importantly, this will shake up the entire pricing system in the film industry, sending star fees spiralling out of control, many fear. 

It is inevitable that other big stars will want similar monies, said a filmmaker who chooses to be anonymous till Hrithik's staggering price is made official.
"If true, this is a very unhealthy development. Hrithik is no doubt a fabulous and hard-working actor, but star prices have constantly been the bane of Bollywood. Often more than 65% of the budget for a film goes to the stars. 

Why, even a newcomer like Shiney Ahuja charges Rs 1 crore these days. Now, god knows how medium-budget filmmakers will manage their finances," he lamented. 

While sources revealed that Hrithik's super-deal has been signed, sealed and delivered, both Rakesh Roshan and Pooja Shetty chose to be more cautious. 

"Negotiations are on," is all that Roshan senior would say, while the director of Adlabs Films Ltd, when contacted, said: "Any news would be speculation till the official announcement was made." 


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