Source : http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/filmstars-take-advantage-of-their-star-appeal-hike-prices/1/288307.html
While production costs in Bollywood have doubled in the past five years, star prices have risen even faster. The Rs 50-lakh payment, once reserved for the top few, no longer raises eyebrows. Madhuri Dixit, the undisputed number one after HAHK, reportedly signed Rakesh Roshan's Koyla for Rs 50 lakh, be coming the highest paid heroine ever.
Nana Patekar, after the success of Krantiveer, has also entered the Rs 50 lakh bracket. Among the top-ranking heroines, actresses such as Juhi Chawla are charging Rs 20 lakh plus and fast-rising stars such as Kajol, Raveena Tandon, Karisma Kapoor and Manisha Koirala fall in the Rs 10 lakh to Rs 15-lakh bracket. But the big money is reserved for the heroes.
Bachchan is contracted to do one film a year for ABCL, for which he will be paid Rs 3 crore per film - all in white. The others, though nowhere close, are also making substantial sums. Ajay Devgan is rumoured to have been offered Rs 70 lakh. Sunny Deol is reportedly receiving Rs 50 lakh for 15 days work in Raj Kumar Kohli's yet-untitled production.
Sunil Shetty, after Anth, Mohra and Gopi Kishan last year, is believed to be receiving Rs 30 lakh for a month's work in Kohli's film. Mithun Chakraborty, despite umpteen consecutive flops, asks for Rs 40 lakh. Even novices such as Sanjay Kapoor, Akshaye Khanna and Bobby Deol are in the Rs 30-lakh plus category. Says one producer: "Today, a star can ask for what he wants and get it. It's a bidding war."
Producers, unwilling to risk launching new faces, are paying for names that sell. Shetty, a hot favourite, is booked till end-1997 and has 30 producers waiting to sign him. Shah Rukh Khan is booked for the next 18 months. Akshay Kumar, also hot after Yeh Dillagi and Mohra, has 12 films on the floor and a 30-producer waiting list.
Anil Kapoor, Sunny Deol, Aamir Khan, Shah Rukh and Ajay Devgan prefer to remain exclusive. One producer, who has recently signed Deol for Rs 60-lakh plus, calls it "fancy-buying". He says: "There are so few Sunny starrers, so the curiosity is still there. He has a draw."
he rest, including Deol, Salman Khan, Jackie Shroff and Saif Ali Khan, are overpaid. Says Amod Mehra, publisher of Box Office: "Today, only Sunny and Ajay are worth their price. At Rs 3 crore, Amitabh Bachchan is grossly overpaid. He is no longer a hero."
Star fortunes change every Friday. Sridevi, the reigning queen only a few years ago, is rumoured to have brought her price of Rs 35 lakh down to Rs 25 lakh today. Salman Khan, after a meteoric rise and fall, is emerging from the shadows only after HAHK and now, Karan Arjun.