Kartik Aaryan & Kabir Khan Discuss Rising Costs & Film Budgets

In a candid discussion, actor Kartik Aaryan and filmmaker Kabir Khan shared insights on the rising costs of entourages, star fees, and the significance of controlling a film’s budget. Their upcoming film, “Chandu Champion,” has prompted both to reflect on the financial aspects of filmmaking, especially post-pandemic.

Healthy Debate on Film Budget Control

Kartik Aaryan and Kabir Khan believe that the current debate on rising star fees and overhead costs is essential. With several big-budget movies underperforming at the box office, there’s increasing chatter in Hindi cinema about the remuneration demanded by top stars and the additional costs of their entourages.

Kartik Aaryan’s Perspective on Film Mathematics

Aaryan, one of Bollywood’s leading actors, emphasized the importance of ensuring a film’s profitability. “There are so many rights of a film when it releases. So you get an ‘x’ amount of money out of it. If your star value and the entire project’s value give profit to the entire team, the math adds up. If it doesn’t, you should take a cut… It’s a healthy discussion,” Aaryan told PTI.

Kabir Khan on Industry Dynamics Post-Pandemic

Kabir Khan, known for directing blockbusters like “Ek Tha Tiger” and “Bajrangi Bhaijaan,” discussed the shift in industry dynamics post-pandemic. He noted that audiences’ viewing habits have changed, affecting box office returns. “OTT stepped in as another large part of the revenue. But at whatever point the industry faces a tough time, there will be an attempt to control budgets,” Khan said.

Both Aaryan and Khan agree that controlling costs should not compromise the quality of the film. Khan pointed out that significant portions of the budget go to star fees, and many actors are now willing to take pay cuts for the greater good. “Nobody wants to cut down the money that’s being spent on things you see on screen. Even stars and actors are stepping forward and saying, ‘If this is the film you’re making, this is the money that’s needed to mount it on this scale, obviously we will take a cut in our fees,’” Khan added.

The Need for Smart Financial Decisions in Filmmaking

Aaryan, who has starred in successful films like “Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2” and “Satyaprem Ki Katha,” stressed the importance of smart financial decisions to support the entire industry ecosystem. He noted that post-Covid, audiences are more particular about the films they watch in theatres, making it crucial to balance costs and content quality.

“Chandu Champion,” directed by Kabir Khan and starring Kartik Aaryan, is a biographical film on India’s first Paralympic gold medalist, Murlikant Petkar. The film chronicles Petkar’s journey as an Indian Army soldier, wrestler, boxer, war veteran, and swimmer. Produced by Nadiadwala Grandson Entertainment & Kabir Khan Films, the Hindi film is set to release on June 14.


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