MUMBAI: Just before the credits roll down in his 2009 hit Wanted that features Salman Khan as a cop embedded with the underworld, he delivers the punch line: “Once I commit to something, I won’t even listen to myself”.
Well, Rupert Murdoch and his Indian entertainmentempire are hanging on to those very words as Star India inks a deal with the 47-year-old superstar that will effectively make the channel the only satellite podium for any movie he makes in the next five years.
Khan confirmed the deal, but declined to share details. The deal, estimated to be in the range of 450 crore to 500 crore, is the first of its kind in Bollywood.
People close to the actor, who refused to be identified, said the contract will include all his films over the next five years after last month’s Dabangg2.
“It is reasonably long and big,” said Star India’s Chief Operating Officer Sanjay Gupta.
What is known is that Khan will do five films – Sajid Nadiadwala’s Kick , brother Sohail Khan’s next film, Boney Kapoor’s sequel to No Entry , Dabangg3 as well as Sooraj Barjatya’s next movie.
Salman’s Satellite Record Impressive
Star already holds a strong portfolio of Salman Khan’s films – Dabangg, Wanted, Ready, Bodyguard, Tere Naam, Pyar Kiya To Darna Kya – for 7-8 years, and Dabangg2, which it bagged for 50 crore for 11 years a year before its release.
Just like his recent box office record, Khan’s satellite ratings have been impressive. Bodyguard registered a record television rating points (TRP) of 10.3 when it was aired on Star Gold in December 2011.
TRP is a measure of what percentage of people in a defined time band and a defined profile watched a particular programme, a number keenly followed by the advertising industry.
A film is considered a success on TV if it can notch up an average 2.5 TRP through the year, apart from the high number it garners on premieres.
Over the past few years, satellite prices have been playing a key role in bankrolling films with at least a third of the movie’s cost of production coming from selling these rights prior to even beginning production. Competition among TV companies wanting to acquire the rights of hit movies has led to an increase in the acquisition price of many recent big films.
Hrithik Roshan’s Krissh3 and the Shah Rukh Khan-starrer Don2 were reportedly sold to Sony for 37 crore each, while Aamir Khan’s Talaash and Karan Johar’s Agneepath went for 40 crore. Channels usually spend an average of 200-300 crore a year to acquire film titles for their libraries.