Hindi dubbing rates crash, producers to suffer?

Until recently, Telugu film producers were minting pots of money in Hindi dubbing rights as it even crossed Rs 22 crore mark per film, but now it has come crashing down, say distributors. Actually, films of superstars were sold around Rs 17 to Rs 22 crore per film and even a few flop heroes, boasted their Hindi dubbing rights market since they were doing action movies but they have to look for alternative sources now. "A Hindi film distributor lost more than Rs 9 crore after buying a mindless action film of a big star for over Rs 20 crore which sent shivers down the spine of the Hindi film distributors," says a distributor based in Mumbai and adds "A director openly says that he made his film with a cost of Rs 15 crore and earned Rs 12 crore in Hindi dubbing rights but the film turned out to be a damp squib. Telugu filmmakers can't take Hindi dubbing distributors for a ride with insipid content and poor making values anymore,"

According to another distributor, the steep rise in Hindi dubbing rates was like a big scam, "It was a bubble about to burst anytime since the figures went over-the-top. Many distributors burnt their hands and finally resolved to put things in perspective. From now onwards, even star films will be bought for not more than Rs 10 or 12 crore," he points out.

Besides soaring rates, three channels out of four or five Hindi channels like Sony, Zee, Colours and Star- have slowed down buying Telugu movies which added to their woes. "Few channels have almost cut down buying Telugu films since they are procuring action movies from Kannada, Tamil and Malayalam which cost much less. The lacklustre and repetitive content has harmed Telugu productions in a big way," adds the distributor, who compares the scenario to killing of a golden goose. "It was fetching them good money, but some greedy producers fleeced Hindi distributors and dug their own grave," informs Mumbai-based distributor.

In fact, there no takers for 20-odd movies, of which some of them bombed, the scenario is going from bad to worse in coming days. "A film that didn't do well in the two Telugu states, despite a fan following, has less chances of connecting with pan-India viewers, forcing us to adopt wait and watch approach," he adds.

Any avid watcher of Hindi channels like Zee, Star, UTV, Sony and 40-odd Hindi channels, wouldn't have missed watching a Telugu star mouthing Hindi punchlines and bashing up goons since almost 10 to 12 films, are screened daily on 50-odd Hindi channels. In fact, Mahesh, Allu Arjun, Ram Charan, NTR, Prabhas and Ravi Teja swayed pan-Indian viewers with their dare-devil stunts. "Telugu stars popularity among pan-Indian small screen viewers has gone up, but producers have shot it down with their aberrant demands." he adds.

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