Super-hit as Actors, flop as producers ?
Bollywood actors turning to film production has become a very common practice these days. Every leading actor has either started a production house or got associated with one. Among the commonly cited reason for this ‘change-in-role’ are the ever-increasing revenues from the box-office, creative freedom, the shrinking shelf life of actors and so on. However, most of them could not taste success at the box office.
With the vision of becoming a premier entertainment company, the great Amitabh Bachchan launched ABCL in 1996 and came up with its first production Tere Mere Sapne the same year. Big B also tried to revive his acting career with Mrityudaata in 1997 and Major Saab in 1998. This was followed by Rakeysh Mehra-directed Aks in 2001 and the badly reviewed Viruddh in 2005. All of these films proved to be box office duds.
The highly ambitious Shah Rukh Khan started two production companies, first Dreamz Unlimited that made Phir Bhi Dil Hai Hindustani, Asoka and Chalte Chalte, and then Red Chillies Entertainment that produced Main Hoon Na, Paheli, Om Shanti Om, Billu and recently Ra.One. Only a couple of these films performed well at the box office while others failed to make the King Khan happy.
Trade analysts say actors don’t want to leave any stone unturned to cash in on their stardom. They know that as producers, they call the shots with distributors and make a good killing.
Saif Ali Khan established Illuminati Films and made a refreshing start with Imtiaz Ali-directed Love Aaj Kal that was among the highest grossers of that year. Saif recently produced his dream project Agent Vinod, a spy thriller directed by Sriram Raghavan.
Despite denying his aspirations of being a producer for years, Akshay Kumar finally floated a company called Hari Om Productions and dished out three blunders called Thank You, Tees Maar Khan and Khatta Meetha.
Ajay Devgan had started well and made big bucks with Pyar To Hona Hi Tha. But the following two duds in the form of Raju Chacha and U Me Aur Hum, which was his directorial debut, cost dearly to the actor and he is yet to make another film since then.
Anil Kapoor debuted as a producer in 2002 with a failed comedy called Badhaai Ho Badhaai. He later made the critically acclaimed My Wife's Murder and Gandhi My Father. Recently he put money in Shortcut, directed by Neeraj Vora, and Aisha that starred his daughter Sonam Kapoor. But none of Kapoor's films could leave any mark at the box office.
Among other actors who too tried their luck in production include John Abraham, Sanjay Dutt, Sunny Deol and Jackie Shroff. While established actors wear the producer’s hat to continue their dominance in the industry, the unsuccessful actors are doing it in the hope of reviving their respective careers. Recently, Lara Dutta, Ameesha Patel, Dia Mirza, Zayed Khan, Fardeen Khan, Dino Morea, Preeti Jhangiani and Aftab Shivdasani also jumped into film production but incurred losses.
A very few actors, who have a nose for good content and knowledge of filmmaking, succeed at the box office while many burn their fingers in the process.
The only actor who made a mark as a successful producer is Aamir Khan. His Lagaan not only tasted success at the box office but it also put Aamir in the elite category by getting nominated at the Oscars. Aamir Khan Productions is one of Bollywood's most polished production houses with an enviable track record of films like Lagaan, Taare Zameen Par, Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na, Peepli Live, Delhi Belly and his wife Kiran Rao directorial debut Dhobi Ghat. “The reason I produce films is I have full control. I can make it better. Creative liberty is in my hand,” Aamir says.
So guys, why do you think Actors turn into bad producers with the exception of a few? Share your thoughts.