Fenil and Bollywood

Posts Tagged ‘Salman Khan

At a school function, Salman Khan had kids screaming for more while scandalised authorities were wishing they had ordered for ear plugs

By Subhash K Jha (MUMBAI MIRROR; January 05, 2010)


When actors are asked to grace an event, particularly a school function, you expect them to prove to be good role models for the kids, encouraging them to study hard and eat right. However, if the actor happens to be Salman Khan, you can expect the unthinkable.

Salman, who had been invited to  judge for an event at Jamnabai Narsee school, Juhu, shared some little known anecdotes about his own school days with the kids present, all between 11-19.

“Salman had said he would come on time (4pm) and stay the whole evening. The school authorities were expecting him to make a brief appearance, but he surprised everyone by taking time off to be there throughout,” says a source.

When called on stage to say a few words, his speech took everybody by surprise. “When Salman was asked to share memories of his school days, the audience braced themselves for a dose of nostalgia. However, he recalled how he would bunk classes constantly and was rusticated from four schools. He also confessed that he was the school bully – he even asked the resident bully of the school to raise his hand. One hand did go up.” By this time, the students were almost falling off their seats while the teachers didn’t know where to look.

It didn’t end there. When he was asked by the children to dance on stage with them, he quipped, “I don’t dance without being paid.” Even before the stunned kids and teachers could recover from that statement, he had already proceeded to dance to one of his own songs on stage.

Salman at the event


Meanwhile…

Salman’s love for kids is unbelievable. At the event, Salman went on stage twice and enjoyed himself with the kids. He danced with the kids and even promoted his forthcoming film Veer saying, ‘there is a veer in all of you’ which has got you to come on the stage and perform like this’. After the dance, he gave out music CDs of the film to the kids. While leaving the venue, some of the kids followed him. Unknowingly, his guard pushed one of them. Despite the crowd, Salman noticed this. When he realised that the kid was hurt, he lost his temper at his guard. He made his guard apologise to the kid. He also hugged the kid and gave him the music CD of Veer with his autograph on it. The child’s day was definitely made as he left with a big smile on his face and memories to last a lifetime.

–Kunal M Shah

WHERE ARE THE ROLES? Lara Dutta, Bipasha Basu, Sonam and (above) Vidya Balan

They’re not studio hopping in 2010 because there’s no work

MEENA IYER Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; January 5, 2010)

The Bollywood men are sorted. Shah Rukh Khan is committed to doing one film in 2010 with Kareena Kapoor (RA 1). Aamir Khan may or may not even do that much. Salman Khan is introducing 20-something Sonakshi Sinha (Dabangg) to audiences. Ranbir Kapoor is romancing Priyanka Chopra (Anjaana Anjaani) and Katrina Kaif (Rajniti). Akshay Kumar is serenading Deepika Padukone (Houseful), Southern hottie Trisha (Khatta Meetha) and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan (Action Replayy). Ajay Devgn wants Bebo (Golmaal-3)! The five or six men who matter at the box office have their screen partners more or less sorted. If they sign new films, they once again want the top five Bollywood girls to prance with them. So what happens to the rest? Well, well. “As usual the expiry date for heroines in Bollywood is getting shorter and shorter, their shelf life is cramped,’’ says trade consultant Amod Mehra. He continues, “Except the top four girls actually —whichever order you place them in — whether it is Kareena, Katrina, Priyanka and Deepika, the other girls have slipped into oblivion.’’ A top hero (from the lot mentioned above) adds, “One of the heroines is so desperate for work, she is actually contemplating doing a film with an art film actor. The reason for her desperation is understandable. Last year we saw B-town beauties Preity Zinta and Rani Mukherji being phased out. In 2010, at least half-a-dozen girls of the existing lot will be quietly shown the gate.’’ Another trade source points out that Bollywood has enough talent and glamour to keep it going. However, the men on top definitely want either the Top 5 or they want someone completely ‘virgin’. Vidya Balan says she would much rather do just Ishqiya that revolves around her completely and follow it up with one Chenab Gandhi — again a pivotal role for her. But the fact of the matter is that even a volcano of talent like Vidya is left with little choice. Honestly, how many regular films can she find herself fitting into? Bipasha Basu and Lara Dutta also have just one/two films on hand. Asin Thottumkal hasn’t shot for a single film all through 2009. Post Ghajini she greenlighted only London Dreams and the 19th Step. London Dreams tanked and the 19th Step was shelved. Youngsters like Genelia D’Souza and Sonam Kapoor have promise but are still to make the box office grade. The fact is that 90 per cent of the B-town girls are more visible at advertisement commercial shoots, ribbon-cutting ceremonies, stage concerts and television reality shows. It is the money from these add-on revenue streams that keeps their world going around. Films? Well, what’s that?
IN TELLYLAND: Shah Rukh Khan, AkshayKumar and (top) Rani Mukerji with guest Shahid Kapoor, Salman Khan and Karisma Kapur on their TV shows
How worthwhile has it been for channels putting Bollywood stars on TV?

ROSHNI K OLIVERA Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; January 4, 2010)

Abhishek Bachchan is stepping into his father’s shoes by hosting a game show on TV. What prompted Bachchan Jr. to give a nod to the small screen? Was it a lucrative offer? Perhaps, because it’s money that draws film stars to television. Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan, Akshay Kumar, Rani Mukerji, Karisma Kapur… the list is endless of Bollywood stars who made the big crossover.

Akshay, reports said, was paid a whopping Rs 2.5 crore per episode to host the second season of Khatron ke Khiladi. And Salman Khan was apparently given Rs 89 crore for the first season of Dus Ka Dum! It’s big money all right for the stars, but is it worthwhile for the channels to shell out such big bucks for the star value?

Statistics prove that shows with Bollywood stars have never topped the overall Television Rating Points (TRP) charts. Only Amitabh Bachchan’s Kaun Banega Crorepati, that changed the face of Indian television years ago, saw TRP success. All other shows hosted or judged by stars have raked in average or dismal TRPs. Yes, there is a fair amount of curiosity and people are bound to watch the show at least once for the star’s sake, but after that it’s content that sells. Meanwhile, TV actors are unhappy with the ‘filmi’ invasion but will not complain openly for fear of antagonising the channels. “Does it make any sense to pay film stars in crores? No show has zoomed up the TRP charts,” said a popular TV actress. “The TRPs that these stars have got, after the initial few episodes and special episodes, is the same that any other anchor has got! Did Rani’s presence lift the show up so much… wouldn’t it have been the same if it was somebody else? And what big difference did Karisma make?” Another veteran actor added, “In the name of recession TV actors had to go through paycuts, but film stars on TV continued to rake in the moolah!”

Channels have their reasoning. Programming head Ashvini Yardi explained, “We go in for film stars for three reasons: It boosts perception… the brand image of the star rubs on to the channel. For instance, having Akshay’s show gives the channel a fresh, adventurous and risk-taking image. Second, reality shows help bring in a fresh audience, especially the men and youth, who are not regular soap watchers. Also, shows with film stars rake in huge money in terms of advertisements.” What’s important though, pointed out Ashvini, is to make the right choice while choosing a film star. “The show has to go with the star’s brand,” she said. TV serial producers, however, believe that since it’s serials that hold the top slot in the number game, more attention should be paid to them. “Instead of cutting down on our budgets, channels should cut down on paying so much to film stars,” grumbled a TV director. Producer-director Rajan Shahi’s glad that top film stars are now also TV stars. “I hope TV stars get the same treatment in films,” he said. Talking about B-town’s foray on the small screen, he added, “I’m sure taking film stars has some benefit that channels see. In the past film stars have given huge TRPs… may be the magic will work again. For me, Rakhi Sawant has been the most successful film actor in terms of success on TV.”

Badly Burnt In Year Gone By, Industry Looks To Strong Content

Bharati Dubey | TNN (THE TIMES OF INDIA; January 3, 2010)


Pursue excellence and success will pursue you,’’ was what Aamir Khan’s character philosophised in 3 Idiots. But when the lights dimmed and audiences sat down after the National Anthem, what greeted them on screens for most part of the year was average, even poor fare, making 2009 the annus horribilis of the first decade of the 21st century. More than 200 films, with Rs 1500 crore at stake, released last year but almost Rs 1000 crore sank in the sea of mediocrity without a bubble, the sharks-andsexy bikini Blue leading the pack.
Added to it was the multiplex strike which cost around Rs 350 crore, upset release dates forcing films to share Fridays and dent each others’ collections. A multiplex source said, “Cannibalisation caused by big films’ release dates clashing could have been avoided.’’


The year began with Chandni Chowk To China that lost 50% of its Rs 65-crore budget. And marketing blitzkreigs couldn’t save a Blue and Kambakkht Ishq and the audience clearly showed content was king with surprise hits like DevD, New York, WaKe Up Sid and Ajab Prem ki Gajab Kahani. DevD made Rs 6 crore, collected Rs 25 crore at the box office while its ancillary rights made another Rs 5 crore and there are still more satellite runs to be sold. Trade experts also put films like Love Aaj Kal, Ajab Prem ki Gajab Kahani, Wanted among the certified hits, followed by profitable films like Paa, All The Best, De Dana Dan and Raaz 2.


But Bollywood’s loss was Hollywood’s gain, with films like 2012 and Avatar (that collected a whopping Rs 50 crore so far) filling the void for good entertainment.


It was left to And Aamir Khan to play Santa Claus third year in a row, with 3 Idiots the biggest hit of the year. It grossed a phenomenal Rs 100 crore in India in the first four days, and Rs 175 crore worldwide till December 31, even denting into collections of Avatar. Trade analyst Amod Mehra said, “What Ghajini collected in a week, this film has done in three days.


Corporates didn’t really have a great year in 2009 and after the bloodbath in the first half of the year, most of them avoided buying films outright, with even 3 Idiots being released on commission.


Thus 2010 dawns to vastly altered realities — purse strings have tightened by cautious corporates; big banners are no guarantee for success and may dish out big turkeys instead; marketing and stars don’t sell, a good story does; and the days of astronomical fees are over.


“Audiences are very smart, the content ultimately will guide their choices and approval. Marketing and hype will only work if content supports that hype. We may not have a Blue this year but projects like Veer and Prince are costly and prima facie look difficult in terms of recoveries,’’ says a trade expert.


So when Akshay Kumar, blamed for soaring star prices, announced towards the end of 2009 that he would not charge any fee for Farah Khan’s Tees Maar Khaan, it was a lifeline for the industry that had almost gone into the ICU.


Says Amod Mehra, “It is not that people did not come to watch Akshay Kumar films in 2009, it is just that the budgets of the films were so high and his remuneration was almost 40% of those budgets, so recoveries were not possible despite a good opening. But now that the actors are looking at sharing profit with the producer after the cost of the film has been recovered like in the case of Aamir Khan’s 3 Idiots then it will be fair enough. Cutting down of star prices will definitely reduce the budget of films and they will become viable and that is definitely going to be the trend in 2010.”


The year thankfully doesnt have a Rs 100-crore Blue in its line-up. Last year most production houses scrapped films as star prices were not viable. In fact, it is learnt Saif Ali Khan is reworking the budget of his next film Agent Vinod starring Kareena and himself. In fact, 2010 is short on mega projects as budget constraints ensured very few got on the floors in 2009.


The first biggie of 2010 will be Veer,
followed by Rann, My Name is Khan, Action Replay, Kites and House Full in the first half of the year. The second half of the year would have Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Guzarish and Patiala House.


The action in 2010 seems definitely more in mid-size and multiplex projects that would have strong and clutterbreaking content. “There are a lot of films this year that may not topline the Khans or Hrithik Roshan but still have a decent line-up of names and would be thematically different. Tight budgets and good content seem to be the mantra in the decision making corridors of Bollywood. Each company is carefully evaluating its options and are not getting carried away,’’ says Priti Shahni of Indian Films. Corporates, for instance, have decided to take films only on commission, and not buy them outright.


Shahid Kapoor’s Chance Pe Dance, Striker starring Rang De Basanti’s Siddharth, Aamir Khan Productions’ Peepli Live, Vishal Bharadwaj’s Ishqiya would release in the first half of 2010.


Generation-next too would be making its presence felt with Ranbir Kapoor in Anjana Anjani and Rajneeti, Imran Khan in I Hate Love Stories, Sonam Kapoor in Ayesha, and Deepika Padukone in House Full.


As the record breaking run of 3 Idiots that has spilled over to 2010 has shown, great content along with great pre-release buzz make the perfect mix.


2010: Coming Soon
RAJNEETI (Naseeruddin Shah, Nana Patekar, Ajay Devgn, Katrina Kaif and Ranbir Kapoor) BUDGET: 50 cr


DHOBI GHAT (Aamir Khan, Prateik Babbar) BUDGET: 15 cr


RAAVANA (Abhishek Bachchan, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan) BUDGET: 50 cr


TEEN PATTI (Amitabh Bachchan, Sir Ben Kingsley) BUDGET: 35 cr


VEER (Salman Khan, Zarine Khan) BUDGET: 50 cr


RANN (Amitabh Bachchan) BUDGET: 25 cr


ISHQIYA (Vidya Balan, Naseeruddin Shah, Arshad Warsi) BUDGET: 20 cr


MY NAME IS KHAN (Shah Rukh Khan, Kajol) BUDGET: 50 cr


KITES (Hrithik Roshan, Barbara Mori) BUDGET: 50 cr


ACTION REPLAY (Akshay Kumar, Aishwarya Rai) | BUDGET: 35 cr


GUZAARISH (Hrithik Roshan, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan) BUDGET: 50 cr


ANJAANA ANJAANI (Ranbir Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra) BUDGET: 40 cr


AGENT VINOD (Saif Ali Khan, Kareena Kapoor) BUDGET: 40 cr

Figures are an approximate estimation

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The biggest hits of their career were NEVER meant to be theirs

MEENA IYER Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; January 2, 2010)

You talk to any film director and he’ll give you gyaan on how such and such actor is in the film because he/she fit the casting to the ‘t’.

Yet, the reality of the matter is something else. It is usually who is available; and sometimes who is more saleable.

Take the latest: Aamir Khan was never meant to be playing the idiot in his latest film. It was to be Shah Rukh Khan. Since SRK and producer Vidhu Vinod Chopra had a difference of opinion, the Bollywood Badshah was replaced by Aamir. And while the rest is history, there are innumerable such examples in the film industry.

History knows that Amitabh Bachchan was not Prakash Mehra’s first choice for Zanjeer. It was meant to be Dev Anand or Raaj Kumar. When both actors said no, the Big B stepped in. Jaya Bachchan even thanked Dev saab for refusing the Zanjeer role. The film gave her — her real life husband and it gave Bollywood one of its most revered screen couples.

Today you wonder how Dev saab would ever have fit into the angry young man mould. But that’s an after-thought.
Hrishikesh Mukherjee wanted Raj Kapoor to play Anand. When he couldn’t, Hrishida sent for Shashi Kapoor but Rajesh Khanna wormed his way in. And till today Anand is synonymous with the 70s phenomenon.

Shatrughan Singh continues to smart that it was he who was to be Jai in the Jai-Veeru jodi of Sholay but because he was riding a crest of super-success then, he didn’t want to do a twohero film. Amitabh Bachchan got the role instead.
Aamir had been pencilled in for Yash Chopra’s Darr but at that point he ‘accused’ Yash of playing games. And SRK made a permanent place for himself in the YRF camp.
Ajay Devgn was to play Karan in Rakesh Roshan’s Karan Arjun. But he was ousted by politics and next thing you know is that Salman Khan was in. Till today Karan Arjun remains one of the biggest hits of Bollywood and Salman’s career. And it may become film history because he and bete noire are unlikely to star in a movie again.

Saif Ali Khan had qualms about playing a pansy in Dostana so John Abraham was brought in. John got male and female temperatures rising with this fun flick and is now a part of its sequel.

Kareena Kapoor asked for too much money for Kal Ho Na Ho; result — Preity Zinta landed this memorable film. Shah Rukh was meant to be playing Munnabhai but since he walked out after some miscommunication, Sanjay Dutt became Munna. Aishwarya Rai Bachchan was in Chalte Chalte till Salman dropped in as an uninvited guest forcing SRK to call Rani Mukerji to replace her… and Rekha and Jaya would never have had their screen face-off in Silsila had Parveen Babi and Smita Patil done their roles.

Unlike real history, reel history is often made by default.

SMILES AHEAD: BT shot Akshay Kumar exclusively on the sets of Khatta Meetha

Akshay Kumar in his avatar as the Common Man

MEENA IYER Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; January 1, 2010)

The last decade in Bollywood has primarily been dominated by three Khans (Shah Rukh, Aamir and Salman) and one Kumar (Akshay). And even as his brand equity is at an all-time high, Akshay Kumar’s business plan in the new year is to take his banner Hari Om Production (HOP) to greater heights.


The banner which is a late bloomer, swung into action with Waqt — The Race Against Time in 2005, but has already notched up hits like Namastey London, Singh is Kinng, the entertaining grosser De Dana Dan, and is now ready for its next three productions — Priyadarshan’s Khatta Meetha, Farah Khan’s Tees Maar Khan and Nikhil Advani’s Patiala House.

Says Priyan, a close associate of Akshay and the HOP, “Khatta Meetha is a satire on the system. It is about the road-mafia which is prevalent all over but more so in Bihar and eastern UP. The main plot line is inspired by R K Laxman’s famous common man. Based on a true incident, this film unveils the travesty of the common man. I have made this film in Malayalam earlier and it was wonderfully received. I’m sure it will be a winner in Hindi too.’’ Both Hari Om Productions and Akshay will move by leaps and bounds in 2010. While the banner will have two releases in Khatta Meetha and Tees Maar Khan, the actor will also be seen in Sajid Nadiadwala’s Houseful and Vipul Shah’s Action Replayy. Of course, it is not all work and no play for this superstar. He is currently on vacation in Goa with his family. Asked what was uppermost on his mind when the clock struck 12, he says, “I sincerely want 2010 to be a year of peace and harmony. I wish BT readers a Happy New Year.’’

Rewinding to his recent Canada trip where he represented India at the Winter Olympics, the superstar says, “I can’t tell you what a proud moment it was when I was handed the Olympic Torch in Canada. It was very moving. In my opinion films and sports are the two passions that can bind any nation.’’ Having talked about his moment of glory on foreign soil, Akki adds, “I’m proud that New Delhi is the chosen destination for the Commonwealth Games. I pray for peace because I want this sporting event to go off really smooth. I want the world to know that India is safe and capable of hosting an event of this magnitude. As a true sports lover this is something uppermost on my mind.’’
On television, it has to be the Bachchan family, who may yet establish a monopoly on reality shows in 2010. Ash too has been made an incredible offer

By Subhash K Jha and Kunal M Shah (MUMBAI MIRROR; December 30, 2009)


Barely has the Big B concluded hosting Bigg Boss 3, we hear that he has been roped in for the next season, apparently at a much heftier fee than the reported Rs 1.5 crore he was paid per episode. The show begins in the second-half of 2010, after Abhishek’s game show Bingo plays itself out.

Amitabh Bachchan says, “There are some other television offers. I’m considering them. It wouldn’t be prudent to mention their names at this point. Yes, the channel has expressed a desire to continue the relationship.”

Aishwarya Rai Bachchan Amitabh Bachchan Abhishek Bachchan

They are also going all out to woo Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, apparently to host a chat show. Convincing Aishwarya at this stage of her career when her calendar is full is proving to be problematic.

But as a senior person from the channel says, “We’re on the job. We never planned to get both, Mr Bachchan and Abhishek. But now that they’re on, we’re getting ambitious.” Apparently they plan to rope in the entire Bachchan parivar in one capacity or another.

Meanwhile, Abhishek is gearing up for his debut as a TV host on the show National Bingo Night. He says, “I have been getting quite a few offers in the recent past for television. I loved the show as it has a special connect with the viewers. They can participate, play the game and win sitting at home. I loved the uniqueness of the theme.”

Talking about competing with his father who has just finished hosting Bigg Boss 3, he says, “I don’t think about these things or I will lose focus. Once I am in front of the camera, I am going to be myself. I have always maintained that it is a great honour to be compared to the best. I will do what I have to do which is to go out there, play the game with the contestants and have fun on the show.”