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Varisu producer Dil Raju: ‘At least 5 stars in south charge fee of Rs 100 crore’

Filmmaker Dil Raju revealed that at least five superstars in the south Indian film industry charge a fee of Rs 100 crore.

Dil RajuDil Raju has bankrolled Vijay and Rashmika Mandanna's Varisu. (Photo: PR Handout)

Telugu film producer Dil Raju has revealed the main reason behind the skyrocketing costs of movie production. It is the astronomical cost of hiring a top star. As the revenue streams of film producers increased with evolving technologies, so did the salaries of the cast and crew.

“Non-theatrical revenues have grown, which has led to a four times increase in remunerations of cast and crew. There are at least five stars who charge Rs 100 crore (per film),” said Dil Raju on the popular talk show Open Heart With RK.

Filmmakers now have more venues today, including OTT platforms, to cash in on their films than they did a decade ago. Earlier, only top stars in Bollywood could take home such massive salaries. But, the southern film industry has undergone a tectonic shift in the last few years. The earning potential of south Indian films has grown manifold, allowing producers like Raju to accommodate the high remunerations of big stars.

“After Baahubali, the film industry changed. And we can proudly say that the Telugu film industry is at the number 1 position today,” Dil Raju said.

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“At the time both the parts (of Baahubali) cost the producers Rs 600 crore. The profits from the first part for the producers were negative. The producers, director and stars tried to expand their market with that film. And they risked the (huge) budget. When Baahubali 1 worked, they made profits on part 2. Without taking the risk with part 1, they wouldn’t have gained this success,” Raju added.

The majority of the top-grossing films this year in India emerged from the southern film industry.

“Now take, for example, KGF. They took the lessons from Baahubali and made a compact film. The first part worked and the second part worked extraordinarily. They saw magic numbers (in collections). Kantara was pure magic. It made history when you consider its cost. Rs 25 crore is the maximum the producers would have spent on that film. It’s a very rare occurrence,” Dil Raju said.

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While KGF: Chapter 2 collected over Rs 1000 crore globally, Kantara’s worldwide collection is pegged at over Rs 400 crore.

Dil Raju has now bankrolled Tamil superstar Vijay’s Varisu. Vijay is one of the highest-paid actors in Tamil cinema. He’s said to have charged a whopping Rs 80 crore for his last film Master.

Varisu is directed by Vamshi Paidipally. And it will release in Tamil, Telugu and Hindi in January next year.

First published on: 30-11-2022 at 15:20 IST
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