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Bollywood stars overpaid: Wikileaks

Actor Vidya Balan’s reported boyfriend Siddharth Roy Kapur, the head honcho of a production house has made an appearance on Wikileaks saying that there’s too much money in Bollywood.

“Following the Hollywood model, many film and entertainment companies are moving away from an actor/star-based system to a system more reliant on the production company's brand, and its stable of producers and directors," Kapur said.

Kapur has apparently blamed excessive competition and multiple avenues and sources of financing for much of the industry's problem because there is too much money and too many people chasing limited amount of talent. In doing so, studios can lessen their dependence on actors — who often command fees for as much as 50 per cent of the film’s budget compared to 10-15 per cent in the US — and increase their chances of profitability for each film, according to the US diplomatic cable sent in February 2010.

Akshaye Widhani, the head honcho of another prominent production house owned by Yash Chopra was also quoted as supporting the view. He was quoted as saying that there is a “price bubble” in thefilm industry.

Widhani believed that costs have to decrease by 40 per cent for the film business to sustain itself in the long term. However, actors’ expectations will become more realistic only after one of the major production studios fails or declares bankruptcy, he said.

The document therefore seems to imply that the salaries are too high in Bollywood. “…Nevertheless, with modest revenues and low profitability, the industry’s impact (on the global market) is more cultural than economic,” the document says.

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