500 crore riding on Salman Khan, filmmakers panic

The recent developments in the Salman Khan 2002 hit and run case has sent shivers down the spines of Bollywood producers. Three key eye witnesses have identified Salman in the court increasing the possibility of him getting convicted. The producers are scared because Salman going away means they will face huge financial loss. According to industry estimates, Salman has around 500 crores of investments on him.  Without him being around, the fate of all those projects will become uncertain.

When Sanjay Dutt was given a jail sentence last year, several film projects were hanging in the balance.  He had to finish some pending works on war footing before going into jail custody.  But Salman has a lot more riding on him due to his superstar status. As per industry sources Salman has refused to take up any new project till the situation was resolved.

Salman has multiple big projects lined up at this moment. He recently completed shooting of Sajid Nadiadwala’s ‘Kick’. The movie is expected to hit the theaters on the occasion of Eid this year. Some of his other upcoming films are Anees Bazmee’s, ‘No Entry Mein Entry’ (sequel of his hit ‘No Entry’), Sooraj Barjatya’s ‘Prem Ratan Dhan Payo’, and an untitled film by director Kabir Khan in which Salman is also involved as a producer.

Trade analyst Komal Nahta has said “Of course, everyone is concerned about Salman but I think its early days in the case, and there’s a long way to go before you can say that things might go against him,". Apart from 350 crores on films, he has endorsement deals (including a popular soft drink and an automobile brand) that sums up to Rs. 50 crores.  So not just movie producers but several corporate houses are also worried because Salman endorses their brands.

Ad guru Prahalad Kakkar has commented on this whole situation - “God forbid, if the case goes against Salman, and he is gone for 5-10 years, then that’s it. It’s the end of his career. He is at the top of his game right now.” Salman’s friend and filmmaker Aness Bazmee is hoping that things will turn out positive – “it’s a concerning issue, but hopes that things will go in the actor’s favor. Everyone knows how big a star Salman is. But I am sure everything will be fine," he says. Apart from doing films and ads, Salman also has a big production venture in his hands, the Rs. 150 crore remake of ‘Hero’.