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Does Vashu Bhagnani’s Financial Crisis Epitomise Bollywood Producers’ Plight?

Bollywood’s successful producer Vashu Bhagnani is cash-strapped and has put one of his properties on the block. Reportedly, he has not paid Rs 65 lakhs to his crew who worked in three of his films. Besides has also not paid the stars like Akshay Kumar who has agreed to wait. Incidentally, most of his films in recent times starring Akshay Kumar and Tiger Shroff have bombed at the box office. In the case of Akshay, all his four films with Vashu have done badly. Industry insiders say a film bombs because of poor script or high cost of stars or lavish production cost. It is an open secret that some of the popular stars take about 40% of the cost of production of the film.  Vashu Bhagnani who entered Bollywood in 1995 has given a series of superhits, so it’s surprising he landed in a financial mess. He invested about Rs 1,000 crore in Bade Miyan Chhote Miyan Mission Raniganj, Ganpath and Cutputli. But earnings have been very poor. Also, signing big stars does not guarantee box office success. In the past Raj Kapoor landed in financial trouble after Mera Naam Joker flopped; Prakash Mehra after Bal Brahmachari and Zindagi Ek Jua and Manmohan Desai after Anmol and Toofan. But, these producers failed not because of the high cost of stars but because the audience did not like their stories. In the case of Bhagnani’s high cost of stars is also one of the reasons. There is surround sound that actors should cut their price. Will they?