Home >Industry >As Bodyguard sells, Salman’s fees swell

New Delhi : A 45-year-old Indian man being treated for a nerve condition in a US hospital has about 300 crore riding on his admittedly muscular shoulders. Salman Khan’s enduring reign as a Bollywood star has been confirmed by the runaway success of his latest film Bodyguard, which has made more than 100 crore since its 31 August release.

Khan’s fee has been surging thanks to a run of hits—from 12-15 crore three years ago to 30 crore now, according to trade analyst Komal Nahta. Apart from this, following the success of Wanted in 2009, produced by BSK Network and Entertainment Pvt. Ltd, Khan has entered into profit-sharing deals, which on average net him another 20 crore.

“Salman Khan is the only actor in India who has delivered the quickest box office success in India. His fee per film will soar," said Vajir Singh, editor of Box Office India, a trade magazine. “There’s no other actor in the Hindi film industry who delivers 100 crore in the first five days of a film’s release."

Khan’s charging 30 crore for Ek Tha Tiger, being produced by Yash Raj Films Pvt. Ltd, and due for release in 2012, Singh said. For last year’s Dabangg, produced by Khan’s brother Arbaaz, the star got 20 crore as his fee.

Besides Ek Tha Tiger, Salman Khan has producer Sajid Nadiadwala’s film Kick, brother Sohail Khan’s Sher Khan, and the sequel of Dabangg at various stages of production. Most of them are set a release next year, but may be delayed because of the actor’s health issues.

Salman Khan, “along with Shah Rukh Khan and Aamir Khan, is one of the biggest stars of the industry", said Navin Shah, joint managing director, Entertainment Marketing Communications Worldwide Pvt. Ltd. The profit-sharing deals could have given Khan additional revenue of up to 30 crore per film, he said.

While the actor’s fee can’t rise beyond a point, these profit-sharing exercises with production companies and his family members—who are producing his films increasingly—push up his market price, Shah said. “When each film does better than the previous one, obviously his share in profit increases."

Wanted made 30 crore in its first week, Dabangg made 80 crore, and Ready, which released on 3 June this year, earned 67 crore in its first week.

His last three hits have also ensured a high brand value. Endorsement fees could increase from an annual 8 crore to 12-15 crore with the success of Bodyguard, said a celebrity brand manager.

In the next three months, Khan will endorse two leading confectionery and skincare brands, according to the senior executive of a leading celebrity brand management company. The deals could be worth about 15 crore though other details weren’t available.

Khan currently endorses seven brands—jewellery, writing instruments and beverages.

In mid-September, the History Channel, a part of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., will have campaigns announcing Khan as its ambassador. The channel paid 7.5 crore for the endorsement, according to an executive, who declined to be named since he isn’t authorized to speak to the media.

Khan’s charity, the Being Human Foundation, will start a clothing line designed by the actor in December with a 100 crore investment from Mumbai-based textile company Mandawa Industries Ltd. The company will open 11 stores in four Indian cities by the end of 2012.

Bodyguard, directed by Siddique and jointly produced by Anil Ambani-controlled Reliance Entertainment Pvt. Ltd and Atul Agnihotri’s Reel Life Entertainment Pvt. Ltd, has made 90 crore so far on the domestic circuit. In overseas territories, including the US, the UK and West Asia, the film has grossed $3.8 million (about 17.5 crore), according to Sanjeev Lamba, chief executive of Reliance Entertainment. Satellite rights for Bodyguard have been sold to Star India Pvt. Ltd for 27 crore, according to trade analysts.

The next two weekends will likely see Bodyguard making at least another 150 crore locally, if not more, said trade analyst Taran Adarsh. Other 2011 releases such as Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara and Singham have made about 90-95 crore each.

Singham’s domestic first weekend collection was 9 crore, while Ready (also a Salman Khan film) also collected the same amount. Dabangg and 3 Idiots (2009), one of the all-time biggest Bollywood hits, made the same amount in the first weekend—Rs 14 crore.

Bodyguard may, however, not rack up a similar record, analysts said—3 Idiots collected 315 crore in the first 18 days from India and abroad.

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