The rising remunerations of Telugu stars!

Tuesday, February 18, 2020 - 10:15

Like never before, the fee paid to Tollywood's stars and noted actors has skyrocketed in just one year. This exponential growth is perhaps unprecedented in the history of Indian cinema. There have been instances of one or two actors doubling their remuneration at a given point of time after a big hit. What is happening Tollywood right now is way bigger than this. 

A few high-profile cases will tell you the whole story. 

Prabhas is capitalizing on his pan-Indian appeal by partnering with his producers. It is estimated that, roughly, he is earning Rs 75 Cr per movie. For 'Saaho', he reportedly got nearly Rs 100 Cr. But he took a pay-cut to help his friends (UV Creations) and made do with Rs 70 Cr. He is the highest-paid actor in Tollywood now. He took Rs 30 crore to the first part of ‘Baahubali’. 

Pawan Kalyan who is making comeback to films after two years is now charging Rs 50 Cr. For ‘Pink’ remake, he will get Rs 1.5 crore per day and he has allotted about 15 to 17 days. He is also taking home Rs 55 crore for the other movies that he had signed - Krish and AM Rathnam’s film as well as Harish Shankar and Mythri’s movie. He was getting Rs 25 crore three years ago.

Just a year ago, Mahesh Babu was taking home Rs 25 Cr or so per film. Today, he is pocketing anywhere between Rs 40-50 Cr. For 'Sarileru Neekevvaru', he was one of the partners. He got Rs 45-50 Cr for doing this film by getting the digital, satellite and Hindi dubbing rights. 

Next in line are NTR and Ram Charan, both known for mass masala movies. For the much-awaited 'RRR', they are not only being paid Rs 30 Cr each as remuneration but also have a stake in the film's business. Producer DVV Danayya was okay with this arrangement, given that this one is a highly expensive flick.

Allu Arjun is demanding Rs 25 Cr, besides a share in the business. He used to charge Rs 18 Cr till a year ago. The exponential hike effected by Bunny is in tune with the prevalent culture in Tollywood. He has a massive appeal in the Hindi dubbing movies segment as well. And now with the record-breaking hit of ‘Ala Vaikunthapurramloo’, he may also hike remuneration further.

Balakrishna hasn't left himself behind. Surprisingly, he has doubled his fee from Rs 5 Cr to Rs 10 Cr. We hope the number of punchlines he utters in his movies will also be double!

As for middle-range stars, Natural Star Nani, Vijay Deverakonda are charging Rs 10 Cr. Even Ravi Tej who has delivered many flops has been so stubborn about Rs 10 crore remuneration that he is ready to lose a project but not compromise on the number.

After the success of 'Majili', Naga Chaitanya is pocketing Rs 8 Cr. And, after 'iSmart Shankar', Ram Pothineni is getting Rs 8 Cr.

A table of remunerations of Tollywood stars

Star Remuneration in Rs
Prabhas 70 Cr
Pawan Kalyan 55 Cr
Chiranjeevi 50 Cr
Mahesh Babu 45/ 50 Cr
NTR 30 Cr+
Ram Charan 30 Cr+
Allu Arjun 25 Cr
Vijay Deverakonda 10 Cr
Nani 10 Cr
Ravi Teja 9/10 Cr
Balakrishna, Venky, Nag 8- 10 Cr
Naga Chaitanya 8 Cr

By: Venugopal