MUMBAI: Pipping Reliance ADAG’s BIG Motion Pictures in the race, AIM listed Indian Film Company (IFC) has signed Farhan Akhtar and Ritesh Sidhwani’s Excel Entertainment for a six film deal pegged at a whopping Rs 2.11 billion (Rs 211 crores).
Sources inform Businessofcinema.com that the paperwork is ‘almost’ done. Excel Entertainment has been talking to all major corporates for a deal. Rumors were rife that BIG Motion Pictures had signed Excel Entertainment for six films; however that deal has now gone kaput.
According to sources close to the development; apart from IFC, the other companies in the fray for a deal with Excel Entertainment were BIG Motion Pictures, UTV Motion Pictures and PVR Pictures. While BIG Motion Pictures and PVR Pictures had put forth Rs 1.82 billion (Rs 182 crores) for the deal, UTV Motion Pictures quoted Rs 2 billion (Rs 200 crores). However the deal went into IFC’s lap, which tabled Rs 2.11 billion.
“IFC will be paying Rs 2.11 billion as a minimum guarantee (MG) for a limited 10 years rights for the films. The first film to be made under this will be Voice From the Sky to be made on a budget of Rs 310 million (Rs 31 crores). A signing amount of Rs 50 million (Rs 5 crores) has already been given to Excel Entertainment,” says the source.
When contacted by Businessofcinema.com, IFC’s Sandeep Bhargava and Excel’s Ritesh Sidhwani completely denied the development. However, according to information available, the official announcement is likely to be made in less than a fortnight at IFC’s next board meeting.
On the films’ front, the sequel to Don is also likely to fall under this deal. However, Shah Rukh Khan, who was cast as the lead in Don, has not yet been signed for the sequel. On the other hand, Voice From the Sky will be a period film to be directed by Farhan Akhtar. Other directors that are also associated with Excel Entertainment are Zoya Akhtar and Reema Kagti (Honeymoon Travels Pvt Ltd).