According to a trade source, Fox Star India has come aboard as the studio for Rajkumar Hirani’s Dutt biopic starring Ranbir Kapoor at a price of a whopping Rs 180 cores. This has shocked the entire business because it is a unheard of price. Film studios in India have been facing rough times and this has stunned the industry into silence.
Hirani’s last film PK was sold for approx Rs 110 crores, and included satellite rights. The Dutt biopic has been picked up by the studio at an exorbitant price for just the film. The satellite rights will be sold separately. Adds a source, “Furthermore, the film’s profits will be shared 85-15. While Hirani will keep 85 per cent of the profits, the studio will get a mere 15 per cent.”
Says a trade analyst, “Please remember that Rajkumar Hirani has broken records with 3 Idiots and PK, but those films were created with Aamir Khan, who has made these records even without Hirani. No one is doubting Raju’s capability, but will he be able to break records without Aamir remains to be seen.”
Another studio head says, “Raju is an A-Class director, but he has not directed a biopic before. In the past, he has told stories that connect with people as they have had a pan-India appeal. This is new territory even for Raju. It’s great that the studio has this much confidence in the maker, actor and the subject, but while biopics are an interesting concept, they don’t do earth-shattering business at the box-office. Now the film is burdened and the collections will have to justify the cost.”
A producer on the condition of anonymity says, “What worries me is not the price, but the subject. A commercial film can recover the cost. Sanjay Dutt’s llfe story is known. It has been covered and read by magazines and newspapers for decades. No doubt it is an interesting story, but there is nothing new to it. Sports biopics make sense because their lives are not an open book. Which is not the case with actors. So, you have to think if people will come to the theaters to see the film. The only novelty is Ranbir Kapoor as Sanjay Dutt.”
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