In a recent interview with hitlist (Read More), Salman Khan had spoken about his Diwali release, 'Prem Ratan Dhan Payo' as "one of the most expensive films" that he has worked in.
Salman Khan in a still from Prem Ratan Dhan Payo
Supplementing his statement, a unit hand reveals that the film's makers have spent a whopping amount on the set lighting — around Rs 15 crore.
Sonam Kapoor in a still from Prem Ratan Dhan Payo, which is set for a Diwali release
"Director Sooraj Barjatya is known to spend lavishly on set design and since his upcoming film revolves around a royal family, he made it as opulent as it could get. Lights were an important element of the set design and the cost of illumination over the 258-day schedule has come to somewhere between Rs 13-15 crore," adds the unit source. The film's budget is pegged to be around Rs 90 crore.
While Barjatya and the film's spokesperson did not respond to our text messages for a comment, a source close to the production team says, "Exquisite and expensive lights were purchased for the shoot because Sooraj sir was clear about lending a grand look to the film. And with Salman deciding to let go of his fee (Read More), the director was able to spend generously on the production."
Industry sources tell us that record number of screens have been booked for 'Prem Ratan Dhan Payo' — 4,800-5,200 in India and 1,000-1,200 overseas. "Normally, big-ticket films are released on around 3500-4000 screens in the domestic market and 200-500 screens outside the country. However, Sooraj Barjatya's marketing team have set an ambitious target and want to cash in on the Diwali fervour. The film has been hugely publicised since Salman Khan and Barjatya have teamed up after a decade and half, and the team wants to make the most of it," a source says. The film's spokesperson confirms the story and says, "Yes, it is one of the biggest releases in India as well as the overseas market."
A still from PK starring Aamir Khan and Anushka Sharma