Junior NTR: Highest paid South Indian actor after Rajni
Neither 'Young Tiger' Junior NTR nor the makers of this untitled movie have come out in the open on the remuneration issue, but sources close to the star have confirmed the 9 crores figure to a leading daily.
Junior NTR is one of the few Telugu stars who are a sure draw even in Bengaluru. His next movie 'Shakti' due for release has fetched him over Rs. 7 crores, say sources.
Junior NTR races past all the GenNext heroes in South India, except Tamil Star Suriya, whose rates too have risen exponentially. Suriya demanded Rs. 5 crores in 2010 for his recent hit 'Raktha Charitra'. That was because it was a trilingual.
Junior NTR's current worth leaves most surprised but industry analysts say there is nothing mystifying about it. His remuneration, they explain, is directly proportional to his track record and the fan base he commands. Both 'Adhurs' and 'Brindavanam' released in 2010 went on to gross more than Rs. 30 crores. So the actor's rate is justified, opine industry pundits.
It is not Junior NTR alone who is getting huge amounts in Tollywood. The pay packets of other Telugu stars too are very high as Tollywood pays the best rates in South India. In recent times, no film in Telugu featuring an A list star has been made with less than Rs. 15 crores. On an average, close to 20-25% of a film's budget goes as the hero's remuneration and another 40% for other actors and technicians. The real fact is that only 30-40% goes into shooting of a movie.
Other Telugu stars also command high rates. Ravi Teja gets up to 7 crores per film, Mahesh Babu about 6 crores, Pawan Kalyan about 6.5 crores, Charan about 6 crores, Allu Arjun about 5 crores, Venkatesh about 4 crores, Nagarjuna about 5 crores, Naga Chaitanya about 3.5 crores, Ram gets 3.5 crores and Rana 3 crores. This is amazing when we compare this with what other South Indian artistes are getting.
So the Telugu industry is far ahead in terms of artistes' salaries. But even as the rates of stars have shot up astronomically, the Telugu film industry's success rate at the box office is nothing to boast about. In Kannada film industry, Puneeth Rajkumar gets about Rs. 2.5 to 3 crores per film, in Malayalam the big Ms Mammootty and Mohanlal get around Rs. 1.25 to 1.5 crores per film
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