Wednesday, August 20, 2008

"Flush With Cash, Bollywood Glows"

An interesting article titled, "Flush With Cash, Bollywood Glows," in
the New York Times, by writer Anupama Chopra, who is also the author
of the much publicised book on Shah Rukh Khan, says, "Five men
dominate the business in Bollywood: Shahrukh Khan, Aamir Khan, Salman
Khan (the Khans are not related), Akshay Kumar and Hrithik Roshan.
Each of these stars function almost as a one-man studio, with an
in-house production company. Two of the most successful films in 2007
— "Om Shanti Om" and "Tare Zameen Par" ("Stars on Earth") — were
produced by the companies of Shahrukh Khan ("Om") and Aamir Khan
("Tare"). The last holdout to the production game, Mr. Kumar,
co-produced his latest release, "Singh Is Kinng," which set a
Bollywood record by making $15 million in its opening weekend earlier
this month. Revolving around these stars are favored directors,
producers, writers and stylists. And if their films aren't playing in
cinemas, the actors are on television selling products or presenting
shows. (Mr. Kumar, Shahrukh Khan and Salman Khan are among India's
highest-paid television hosts.)"

""A star guarantees the first weekend box office, and it is this
business which decides all the other revenue streams," said Kishore
Lulla, chief executive of Eros International, Bollywood's largest
overseas distributor. "Without a star it's too risky." Eros plans to
produce and finance 50 films over the next year. The company raised
$100 million from the Alternative Investment Market on the London
Stock Exchange and another $100 million from Citibank and is
redirecting substantial funds into several star-led "business
adventures," to use Mr. Kumar's expression," writes Chopra.

Read the full article at --

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