Bollywood star prices seem a laugh as you travel down South where, without fuss and headlines, Tamil star Rajnikanth has become India's highest paid actor.
He is paid more than the Khans or even the Big B. With each new film Rajnikanth breaks his own record as India's highest paid actor.
He is getting Rs 16 crore for his next film Sivaji. That is about Rs 6 crore more than what he got for his last film Chandramukhi.
The math is mind boggling for outsiders. Bollywood's biggies like Aamir, Shah Rukh, and Salman don't earn more than Rs 7 crore each for a film. And their films are distributed around the country.
But those who produce Rajni's films say Tamil Nadu's ageing superstar is worth the price. Chandramukhi, Rajni's last film, earned Rs 50 crore at the box office, which is a record in Tamil Nadu.
"We make enough money on a Rajni film. So much so that we can make another film. So we don't have any problems paying him this much," said Ram Kumar Ganeshan, Producer, Chandramukhi.
At 56, it is a record-breaking run that seems to be unchecked. Except four years ago, the film Baba, which by Rajni standards was a flop. It earned only Rs 20 crore.
Rajni bounced back with Chandramukhi but decided he would cut down on the number of films. What he won't change, though, is the signature Rajni style.
Shivaji is being directed by Shankar, who is Tamil Nadu's hottest director. But it's clear who will be calling the shots.
"Rajni is always afraid whether the director should be able to present him in the way the masses like him. So Rajnikant himself controls the script and directs the film to a large extent," said Sreedhar Pillai, a film critic.
When it comes to movies Rajnikanth works only with the biggest and the best in the business.
"When we sign him on, we are able to cover all expenses. When I met Rajnikanth, I gave him Rs 1,001 as advance. I said I will pay your salary in a few days and he said he will take his payments later after the film's completed," said A V M Saravanan, Producer, Sivaji.
One of the reasons for Rajni's skyrocketing rates is that he is Tamil cinema's lone superstar after MGR, while four to five big heroes rule Bollywood. Realities that even his co-actors accept.
"Finally Rajnikant stands on top. In the film, Jyothika's done a great job. I had a good role. Vidyasagar gave very good music. But finally it was a Rajni starrer. We were all there, but it was a success because Rajni was there. You need a Rajni for that," said Prabhu, Co-star, Chandramukhi.
2006/10/31 16:32:46 And the highest paid actor should be...
With Hrithik Roshan bagging a Rs 35 crore deal with Adlabs Films, After Hours asks readers who they think deserves to be the highest paid star in Bollywood.
Shah Rukh Khan should be the highest paid actor. He has the skills, charisma and superstardom to deserve the money. Kavita R, engineering student
My choice would be Aishwarya Rai. Firstly, she’s the most beautiful woman in the world. Secondly, she’s a rage on the international circuit. Piyush Whanmane, call-centre employee
Only Amitabh Bachchan deserves crores as his fees. It is surprising that he charges less than many of the self-proclaimed superstars. Ravi Shekhar, marketing manager
I had read about Aamir Khan being the highest actor in Bollywood. I am sure he deserves that tag. He puts in his 100 per cent. That’s the hallmark of a great actor. Arun Gupta, shop owner
I would say Amitabh Bachchan, because no one can match up to the legend. Even if Bachchan decides to charge Rs 15 crore, it looks plausible. Prakash Kumar, writer
Bachchan, Hrithik and Shah Rukh deserve to be in the league of the highest paid actors. They are known for their box-office recovery. Atul Mohan, trade analyst
We bid our big bucks on the Big B whose charisma has redefined 60 as being sexy. His popularity cutting across generations and continents, Amitabh Bachchan is one star whom even the box-office salutes. Considering his body of work and his unfailing ability to deliver, he rightly deserves the highest remuneration!
Rajnikanth cherishes a Rs 10 note given by a woman the most
He might have earned millions for essaying various roles in reel life, but Tamil superstar Rajinikanth cherishes most a Rs 10 note that a disguise in real life fetched him recently.
The superstar, who visited a temple in Bangalore in the guise of a humble old man, was mistaken for a beggar by a woman, who gave him Rs 10.
This amusing anecdote has been mentioned in the actor's recently-released biography 'The Name is Rajinikanth,' authored by city-based ophthalmologist Gayathri Sreekanth.
After his latest blockbuster movie 'Sivaji -- The Boss,' which kept cash registers ringing not only in India but also abroad, Rajnikanth suddenly wanted to visit a temple much to the bewilderment of his friend.
When cautioned that there would be a stampede in the temple, given his immense popularity, Rajnikanth stood his ground, saying he would go in disguise, the book said.
Pulling out a dental prosthesis from his kit, he got into action. Within a few minutes, Rajnikanth, reportedly the highest paid actor in the sub-continent next to Jackie Chan in the whole of Asia, was dressed in a crumpled shirt and a simple lungi, with a thick brown shawl covering his head.
When the incensed friend wanted to know how a man worth millions could come out like a beggar, Rajinikanth said " I like my freedom. No one can confine me in a golden cage."
Meera Jasmine has become the highest paid actress in Malayalam films! Last week the demure actress signed a record deal, for Rs 15 lakhs to be Dileep’s heroine in noted director Blessy’s Kolkatta News! It is the highest ever paid to an actress of Malayalee origin, as earlier I.V Sasi and producer ‘Liberty’ Basheer paid Rs 20 lakhs to Katrina Kaif to be Mammootty’s heroine in Balram Vs Taradas. The second highest paid heroine is Gopika (Rs 6 lakhs), followed by Kavya Madhavan (Rs 5 lakhs), Padmapriya, Vimala Raman (Rs 4 lakhs) and Navya Nair (Rs 3 lakhs).
Brahmanandam is now reportedly the highest paid comedy actor in Tollywood. He is featured in almost all films and is much in demand. His presence guarantees laughter in any film and he is much loved among the Telugu audience. The busy actor is reportedly cashing in on his popularity.
It makes sense to make hay while the sun is shining. And Brahmanandam seems to have digested this fact very well. He is demanding a very high fee and getting away with it. He is even reported to be asking the producers for extra remuneration if the shooting gets extended beyond scheduled time.
He is said to be asking for upwards of rupees 10,000 per hour for working overtime. Good going indeed.
Now it can be told. The star-price wars has escalated to an all-time high.
With Aishwarya Rai-Bachchan carrying home a pay packet of Rs 4 crores for her proposed stint as Rajnikanth's leading lady in Shankar's Robot, the lady has now become the highest-paid actress of Indian cinema.
A source very close to Aishwarya says, "The media has got it all wrong. Ash has actually received twice the amount quoted in papers and on websites as her fee for Robot. Yes, it's close to Rs 4 crores.
And she's very very amused when she reads about this and that actress being the highest-paid actress in Bollywood.
With three hits in a row (Guru, Dhoom 2 and Jodhaa-Akbar) Ash's equity as a Rai and a Bachchan have gone through the roof. If she wants she can preen about her successes. But that's not her style.
However she takes strong exception to Bipasha Basu 's quotes that she, Ash, had to 'hang around' to get into the international circuit.
Ash has been regularly offered international projects, from Provoked to Mistress Of Spices to Bride & Prejudice to Last Legion to Pink Panther. In fact all the other international assignments that have gone to other Bollywood actresses—including the honour of hosting the 7 Wonders Of The World event in Lisbon with Ben Kingsley—have gone to Ash first.
It's just that she feels awkward talking about herself."
As for her astronomical fee for Robot another source close to the project says, "It is no surprise that Aishwarya is getting 4 crores.
It's still chicken-feed compared with what Rajnikanth gets paid. He takes home Rs 15 crores plus fifty percent of his film's profits. But still he cannot make a film commercially viable outside the Tamilian belt on his own.
The dubbed Hindi version of Chandramukhi came and went. And Rajni's biggest hit Shivaji is in no hurry to be released in Hindi. With Ash in Robot it looks like an attractive non-regional film."
Salman Khan is now the highest paid star in Bollywood?
Salman Khan is on a roll. His last two films Dabangg and Ready are among the all-time blockbusters of Indian film industry and his acting fee has understandably shot up to a level that makes him the highest paid actor in Bollywood.
Buzz is that producer Boney Kapoor has shelled out a whopping Rs 10 crores to sign Salman Khan for the sequel of No Entry. The film is titled No Entry Mein Entry and will be directed by Anees Bazmee, director of ‘No Entry’ and also of ‘Ready’.
The project has been through a lot of teething problems due to differences between Boney Kapoor and Anees Bazmee. The latter apparently leaked the film’s original script to Sajid Nadiadwala who made Thank You out of it. Even Bazmee and Salman reportedly had a tiff while filming Ready in Bangkok.
But now, all the differences seem to have been ironed out. Bazmee is working on a new script. Boney Kapoor understands Salman Khan’s increased market value after the super successes of his last two films and did not object to the star’s higher acting fee. He reportedly paid between eight to ten crore rupees to Salman for doing No Entry Mein Entry.
If true, that makes Salman the highest paid actor in Bollywood.
A confirmation is still awaited from Boney Kapoor.
Superstar Rajnikanth arrived at Puttaparthi this evening. Rajnikanth is now busy meeting the officials of the Sri Sathya Sai Baba Trust. Rajnikanth learnt about the welfare activities being undertaken by the trust.
It is understood that Rajnikanth is planning to make a huge donation to the trust. Rajnikanth will stay at Puttaparthi overnight. He will have darshan of Sai Baba tomorrow morning.
Nowadays getting the dates of top stars is one of the main concerns of the director and producer of a film. Once he has bought the actors dates for whatever price it may be, he proceeds with the rest of the film. But actor director SJ Suryah is the first to give such importance to the music director first. One might think him to be crazy but all their criticism will stop once they hear that the music director in question is none other than AR Rahman.
The price that the director paid is surely an industry first. After getting 1.75 crores for composing the music of Shivaji- The Boss, AR Rahman is set to become to get the highest paid to compose music for a film. Suryah has offered him Rs. 2 crores for his new Telugu film Puli which has Pawan Kalyan in the lead role. An upcoming leading hero like Dhanush or Vijay get paid that much for a lead role in the film.
When asked, the director said, "Any body who knows the worth of AR Rahman's music will be prepared to pay him even more. His mantra for a film musical score has grappled the new generation of cinegoers. His music is priceless. It is not ethical for film artiste to reveal their salary but I am happy that I am offering the maestro his highest pay yet."
It is rumoured that the producer of Puli is willing to go upto Rs. 35 crore as far the films total budget is concerned.
2007/11/22 17:47:55 Some recent media reports had suggested that all was not well between Mohan Babu and Rajnikanth. The move gained currency when Rajnikanth choose to ignore Mohan Babu for the special show of Sivaji in Hyderabad. Rajnikanth did not invite Mohan Babu for the show.
Now it is none other than the superstar himself who has put all this to rest. Rajnikanth made an appearance at the venue of the shooting of Mohan Babu’ son Vishnu’s new film with Nagarjuna. Rajnikanth watched the shooting for some time and offered his best wishes to Vishnu.
Can you believe this? After churning out four hits in a row during 2007, Akshay Kumar is now charging over Rs 20 crore for a film!
Similarly, Akshay hit films during 2007 - the maximum by any actor in Bollywood - include HEYY BABYY, NAMASTE LONDON, BHOOL BHULAIYA and WELCOME. And, according to industry sources, Akshay has hiked his price and signed the next film by Venus Records for a whopping Rs 22 crore.
Although Akshay is far behind Amitabh Bachchan or Shah Rukh Khan as far as status value in the industry, success has not gone to the lad's head and he is neither interested in any competition with Big B or King Khan. On the other hand, sources close to Akshay say that he is inspired by Rajnikanth who has been charging Rs 16 crore per film following the runaway success of 'SHIVAJI - THE BOSS'. And Akki himself says that he is not too interested in past performances, but is working hard to give more hit films this year.
Akshay's consistency in delivering hit films has already earned him the title of 'Hindi Film Hit Machine' in Bollywood circles. If the films Akshay is doing now are any indication, the year ahead will see him doing a lot of action on celluloid. In fact, last year, most of Akki's movies were comedies.
Akshay's next film is Nikhil Advani's big budget adventure flick 'CHANDNI CHOWK TO CHINA' which depicts a part of the actor's life and is estimated to cost a whopping Rs 100 crore making it one of the most costliest films made so far! We sincerely, hope that the New Year will see Akki rising to greater heights in all regards.
2008/3/6 16:26:38 Superstar Rajnikanth will soon appear as the legendary Ravana in a new Mythological film. Prominent Bollywood director Raj Kumar Santoshi is planning to make a film on Ravana.
Rajnikanth began his career playing villain roles. He later switched over to hero’s roles and is now the undisputed number one hero in south India.
Rajnikanth went through the script and found it to be to his satisfaction. The character of Ravana has many negative shades. But for the first time, the director wants to portray the positive side of Ravana.
There are many good qualities and in Ravana and they will be highlighted in the movie. It means we will get to see a good at heart Ravana in the film.
Rajnikanth is busy with Kuselan and will also commence work for Shankar’s Robo. The Hindi film is expected to go on to the floors sometime in 2009.
It was the turn of 'Super Star' Rajnikanth to call on Chief Minister M Karunanidhi at the latter's residence in Chennai. The meeting between the two generated a lot of hype and expectations.
Sources close to the actor said it was just a courtesy call and that Rajnikanth had called on Karunanidhi only to thank the Chief Minister or selecting him for the best actor award (State government) for his performance in 'Chandramukhi'.
Rajnikanth exchanged pleasantries with Karunanidhi and the latter appreciated his performance in the recently-released 'Sivaji'.
The superstar of cinema, Rajnikanth has finally come up with a categorical statement. Rajnikanth was reacting to the recent media speculation about his imminent political entry. Rajnikanth has put a full stop to all such stories by coming up with a categorical statement.
Rajnikanth said that there was no question of him entering politics at this moment. He also said that he is not thinking about politics for the next two years.
So, Rajnikanth will not think of politics for at least two years. He wants to concrete on his film career for some more time.
Rajnikanth now has three films in hand, the animated film 'Sulthan the Warrior', P Vasu's 'Kuselan' and Shankar's 'Robo'.
Shah Rukh Khan – the highest paid actor in Bollywood
By staking his claim at the overseas territory for Don (worth Rs 12 crore), Shah Rukh Khan has become the highest paid actor in Bollywood.
‘Don’ and Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna are the most eagerly awaited films of the year. Having spent most part of this year traveling all over the world, SRK is settling down in the rain-n-media-squelch of Mumbai.
His last film Paheli may have been a failure at the box-office, but with ‘Don’ and Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna the second half of 2006 is undoubtedly going to belong to the King Khan.
Talking to a prominent website, SRK rubbished reports of his alleged fallout with his childhood icon Amitabh Bachchan and stated that how can he even think of having differences with Big B as no one can come close to him.
As for his discomfiture with the growing popularity of Abhishek Bachchan , SRK said that he missed the Junior B when he had to go back to India during the shooting of Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna.
In spite of both Abhishek and Hrithik Roshan being much younger to him, he still considers them as ‘good friends’.
On his ‘differences’ with the mercurial Ram Gopal Varma who recently shelved Time Machine where both were coming together for the first time, SRK cleared the air by saying that at any given time he receives 10 – 12 offers, out of which he rejects 10 and accepts only two. And ‘Time Machine’ is one of those ten that he refused as it was not measuring up to the mark.
It was said that SRK was incensed with RGV for making fun of Karan Johar ’s films (RGV had stated in an interview that Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Ghum was his favourite horror film) and for also stating that working with SRK will be like going back to school insinuating about Khan’s limited vocabulary as an actor.
But the diplomat that he is, SRK is still saying that the SMS he sent to Ramu was: “We shall tell another story some other time”.
So look forward to SRK rocking the Box Office in the later half of an year that is proving to be the best ever year from business perspective of Bollywood.
Rajnikanth's Sivaji, directed by Shankar, is being dubbed and released in Hindi. Produced by AVM, Sivaji went to shatter all box-office records.
The original Tamil film had a song featuring Rajnikanth and Shriya in which Rajnikanth appeared as MGR, Sivaji Ganesan and Kamal Haasan. The Telugu version featured Rajnikanth disguised as NTR, Nageswarar Rao and Chiranjeevi.
According to sources, Rajnikanth will now impersonate Dev Anand, Shammi Kapoor and Shah Rukh Khan in the dubbed version. The portions would be shot in Chennai soon. The Hindi version will be released for Deepavali.
2008/4/19 22:46:12 Superstar Rajnikanth was the chief guest at the audio launch function of Puri Jagnnath's new film 'Bujjigadu made in Chennai'. Prabhas and Trisha are the lead artists. Rajnikanth praised Puri sky high. He said that he had watched both Pokiri and Chirutha and was greatly impressed.
Rajni also said that the late Kannada Rajkumar was greatly impressed with the work of Puri Jagannath. Puri has directed a Kannada film too. Puri is the number one choice for all big actors who are planning to launch their sons into films. Rajnikanth concluded by saying that if only he had a son, he would have requested Puri to launch him into films.
Rajnikanth may not have a son but he has two daughters. His son-in-law Dhanush is an actor. So will Rajni ask Puri to make a film with Dhanush?