Monday, January 21, 2008

New stars rake in big money

Deepika Padukone has struck gold with the success of her debut film, Om Shanti Om. She has begun to command Rs 1.5 crore for endorsements, three times more than before, and Rs 1 crore for a film, twice what she earned for the first and on a par with established stars.

Of course the big names – Shah Rukh Khan, Akshay Kumar, Salman Khan, Hrithik Roshan, Amir Khan, Priyanka Chopra, etc – have emerged strong this year and will continue to rake in the moolah.

However, badminton legend Prakash Padukone’s daughter, with two big films slated for release, leads the pack of emerging stars who may well come into their own in 2008. She already endorses Parachute, Kingfisher, Levi’s, Close-up, Limca and Maybelline.

“Deepika, even before the film, was a high-profile model and therefore while other models earn Rs 40 to 75 lakh, she commands almost Rs 1.5 crore,” said an industry player who did not want to be named. That is less than the Rs 2-3 crore that Aishwarya Rai commands, but quite impressive for a newcomer.

Padukone has company in friend Ranbir Kapoor, who made his debut with Saawariya, his leading lady Sonam Kapoor, singer Mukesh’s grandson Neil, who played a murderer in Johnny Gaddar, and Shiny Ahuja, who acted in the successful Life In a Metro and the not-as-successful Khoya Khoya Chand.

Industry experts say Ranbir, who will be seen in a Yash Raj film next year, is being wooed by a telecom company, an apparel brand and a soft drinks maker, from which he is asking for Rs 1.25 crore to Rs 1.5 crore as endorsement fee. A pizza company and a hair care company are said to be courting Sonam Kapoor.

“While Ranbir is already saleable, one will see a different Sonam in Dilli 6, in which she plays a complete extrovert. That will help her attract morebrands,” said an executive from an agency that handles celebrity accounts.

Mukesh is already said to have raised his rate from Rs 30 lakh to Rs 50 lakh for a film. Not-so-new Kareena Kapoor has made a resounding comeback with the success of Jab We Met. Her fee is said to have gone up by 50 per cent to Rs 1.5 crore.

Then there is Harman Baweja, who hasn’t yet had a release, but is expected to become big when his film Love Story 2010, opposite Priyanka Chopra, hits the theatres. Paid Rs 30 lakh for it, he is already asking for Rs 60 lakh to Rs 1 crore for new films.

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