Karan Johar, the maverick among Bollywood’s movie Moghuls, debunks the myth that his actors give him a discount out of goodwill. Stars can no longer demand prices they can’t justify. Producers can’t afford it, and stars don’t deserve it. When we consider the opening weekend of last year’s films starring A-listers Akshay Kumar, Aamir Khan, Varun Dhawan, and Ranveer Singh, the fees they demand are not only irrational, but insane.
What makes producers so reliant on stars that they pay them the fees they demand without first proving their box office clout?
Karan Johar, the maverick among Bollywood’s movie Moghuls, debunks the myth that his actors give him a discount out of goodwill. They charge him the full amount. Star fees accounted for more than half of Karan’s Dharma Productions’ last year’s semi-hit Jugjugg Jeeyo budget.
Karan Johar and many other top producers, including Sajid Nadiadwala, Ritesh Sidhwani, and Aditya Chopra, have “requested” that their actors take a voluntary pay cut because they cannot afford to pay them what they want.
It’s a domino effect: pay Varan Dhawan what he wants, then pay Anil Kapoor what he wants in a film because otherwise he’ll feel insulted. The truth is that, aside from Ajay Devgn, only Kartik Aaryan had a hit last year. According to industry sources, only Kartik Aaryan has been offered a raise. Karti Aaryan’s producers, Bhushan Kumar and Murad Khetani, have offered him a significant pay increase for Bhool Bhulaiyaa 3.
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Kartik is the only A-lister who has had a successful single.
Kumar presented him with an expensive car as a token of appreciation after he declined the offer, claiming that the recession requires him to downplay his rising fortunes. All of the other so-called A-listers are in the same leaky boat, and it’s time for them to get off their high horses and take a few zeroes off their pay.
Following the calamitous failure of Heropanti 2, director Ahmed Khan and his leading man Tiger Shroff have both agreed to take pay cuts for their next project for producer Sajid Nadiadwala, a light comedy musical. Nadiadwala, by the way, is preparing to launch his own son.