Tollywood STAR Directors and their Remuneration

By - November 15, 2013 - 07:31 AM IST

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Whenever a new movie hits the screen, this is what we hear from the audience on a recurring basis. It is the director who decides the fate of a movie. The movie will strike gold at the box-office, if he has grip on all the movie making departments. That is why a director is called “Captain of the Ship”. Heroes are on screen stars, while the director behind the screen is the backbone that can make or break these on-screen stars.

Since a director is responsible for a movies success or failure, he should also be credited for a Heroes rise in popularity, stardom and youth following and as such should be reckoned as a STAR. Take for example James Cameron, Christopher Nolan and Steven Spielberg from Hollywood, Yash Chopra, Subhas Ghai, Shyam Benegal and Mani Ratnam from Bollywood. When their movies hit the theatres, the audience focus is entirely on the movie not on the cast. Their reputation precedes them and competes with the heroes in terms of remuneration and sometimes even gets paid better than the hero/heroine. This is why they are referred to as STAR directors.

Tollywood is also graced with a handful of such STAR directors who get paid handsomely in comparison to STAR heroes. Rajamouli, Trivikram, Srinu Vaitla, Puri Jagannadh and VV Vinayak are holding the mantle of STAR directors and are competing with the STAR heroes in terms of remuneration.

Rajamouli – Is not a name, but a brand.  He is the undisputed number one Tollywood director with 100% success at the box office. Rajamouli surpassed director Shankar in popularity and is currently the talk of South India. This perfectionist makes sure every film of his scores a massive hit at the box office. With Magadheera, he proved his mettle and now this director is busy with magnum opus venture Baahubali. The two making videos released recently have flooded the YouTube with millions of views. The total budget of the film is around Rs.100 Cr and our Jakkanna is getting paid a whopping amount of Rs.20 Cr for this film.

Trivikram – Tollywood has quite a few minimum guarantee heroes but the only minimum guarantee director is Trivikram Srinivas. He is one director with whom the producers are comfortable and are guaranteed safe returns for their investment on the movie. Trivikram mesmerizes the audience with his dialogues and has the ability to portray a normal scene in a heartfelt and unforgettable way. This is the strength of his pen and that is why he is called ‘Maatala Maanthirkudu’ (Magician of Words).  With Pawan Kalyan’s Attarinitki Daredi touching 100 Cr club, Trivikram’s popularity and remuneration also sky rocketed.  According to our Filmnagar folks Trivikram is currently charging Rs.12 Cr.

Srinu Vaitla - Srinu Vaitla is c/o address for 100% Entertainment. He debuted with the film Neekosam and the result of the film changed his style and genre. Since then he has been coming up with out and out entertainers. Anandam, Dhee, Ready, Dubai Seenu and then Dookudu, he mixed entertainment with commercial elements and made wonders at box office. With the success of Dookudu, he joined the big director’s league in Tollywood.  For his forthcoming film Aagadu with Mahesh Babu. Srinu Vailta’s remuneration is Rs.10 Cr.

Puri Jagannadh – He is a Specialist in making pakka commercial flicks. Puri films don’t have much drama but he is very good at blending commercial aspects. Expectations mount with the titles he chooses for his films: Badri, Idiot, Amma Nanna O Tamil Ammayi, Deshamuduru, Chirutha followed by Pokiri, and Businessman with Mahesh Babu. Pokiri has changed the Tollywood’s collection graph and Puri gets the entire credit. In spite of his last three films not doing well at the box-office, his remuneration did not take a hit. He is still getting paid Rs.8 Cr per film now.

VV Vinayak – He is known for making mass and high voltage films. Explored the other side of Jr NTR with Aadi and with Tagore starring Megastar Chiranjeevi, Vinayak reached the top spot in Tollywood. He lost his sheen in the last few years and none of his films made noise at the box-office. Although there are many factors for this, his charisma did not fade at the box office. With Nayak, Vinayak bounced back and now is busy with introducing producer Bellamkonda Suresh’s son Srinivas. Sources say that Vinayak was paid a whopping amount of Rs.10 Cr for this film.

With their direction talent, they are making a normal actor into a STAR and in the process getting remuneration equivalent to that of a STAR. Let’s see how big they can make in future.