With quite a few actors turning into producers in recent times, it came as no surprise when Akshay Kumar launched his Hari Om Productions (his father’s name) in 2009. Talking about it Akshay had said, “I think it’s finally time that I took the leap. The past 18 years in the industry have been a great learning experience and I think I have enough knowledge to attempt my own production house.” Now almost two years down the line, this Khiladi seems to have gathered quite a lot of experience in his role as a producer.
At the music launch of his upcoming movie Patiala House (which he is also producing) Akshay Kumar said that he totally agrees with recent reports that stars’ high paycheck is adding to the losses to the producers. Which is why, he said, that he took to production himself. “Since I am putting my own money in the movie, my net value becomes zero. If I make more than I have invested, then I make a profit. If not, then I lose. But the distributors and exhibitors remain unaffected.” In reply to a reporter’s question about whether the failure of his film affects him as a producer he said, “I have produced eight films so far and none of them were unsuccessful commercially, and neither my distributors had to suffer any losses. Even my recent movies like Khatta Meetha and Tees Mar Khan have recovered their money.” Akshay believes that he is at a stage where he has enough in terms of money so he can branch out and try to experiment, “I don’t produce films for money. I make those films, which I personally want to make. I don’t know the fate of Patiala House but I am very happy to be a part of it and I have enjoyed working in it. I am not worried whether I would make money from it or not.”
Of course he still endorses commercial cinema over art and during the launch he told a budding student producer from Whistling Woods that it would be better to make commercial movies. Not that he is against small budget movies, but he believes that the niche audience which these movies don’t collect enough revenue. “I have seen the business of these kinds of films. I go and watch every film; I understand what the audience wants. When a person like me or Shah Rukh or Salman do a film, we have to collect a certain amount of money in the box office so that the distributors and exhibitors get their money back. So we cannot do this kind of films because there is a very niche audience for such kind of cinema. These films make a maximum of Rs.8 crore. Commercial cinema makes business of Rs.70 crore. Films like Dabaang make Rs.140 crore. So you have to make such kind of films. A film like Udaan has a certain kind of audience who would go and watch them. Maybe as time progress, more people would start watching these kind of films. In around four years, people would watch only this kind of cinema,” he said. He told the reporters that at that time he would be comfortable making such movies.
While Indian moviemakers don’t actually reveal the production amount of their movies as opposed to Hollywood producers, Aamir started this trend here with his earlier Peepli [Live] and the upcoming Dhobi Ghat. Akshay Kumar also came out in the open and said that the budget of Patiala House is around 31 crores.
You can catch more of Akshay’s comments regarding his latest movie Patiala House at our YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/bollyspicemag.