Ekta Kapoor and Sonam kapoor
Producer Ekta hints at backing out of Kareena’s first film since motherhood; says will back only profitable ventures
Mohar Basu (MID-DAY; April 27, 2017)

Rhea Kapoor’s upcoming debut production, the chick-flick Veere Di Wedding will see the return of Kareena Kapoor Khan to acting after the birth of her first child last December.

However, the numerous delays obstructing the film’s production have fuelled speculations around its shoot schedule with co-producer Ekta Kapoor now indicating she may not invest in it at all. “It needs to be a profitable venture [for me]. Eventually, it’s a business,” she says.

Kapoor admits that the growth of video-streaming platforms has affected the satellite television market. “At this moment, I don’t even know if I am investing in Veere or any other movie. As a producer, I have decided to only invest in films that will pull the audience out of their homes to the theatres. Rs 200 is a lot of money to demand [for tickets]. The content has to be bang on to bring in the bucks.”

In an earlier interview, Sonam Kapoor had said finding producers for women-oriented films is a tough feat. The producer acknowledges this fact, but reasons that at the end of the day, she is a “businesswoman”. “Indians usually go to theatres to watch male-oriented films. Who can you blame? The system, the producer or the audience? Point is, people don’t go.”

Yet, she says, there’s always a way to navigate financial concerns while dealing with niche ideas. “When I came on board for The Dirty Picture (2011), I was told it would lead to losses. But there was a will to make it. I made it cheaper, added sassy songs and it was a success.”

Although she has taken her first step into the digital world with a series of web shows under her banner, ALT Balaji, Kapoor still considers herself a “television producer who was lucky enough to make movies and now web shows”. She has shrugged off accusations of adding to the deplorable content on television with a “don’t like it, don’t watch it”, and points out that though criticized, soaps continue to rake in great numbers. “Saas-bahu sagas are liked and consumed by millions. If we don’t like it, we are a minority.”

There is an audience “that’s getting exhausted”, for whom she has finite shows on a new app. “Urban kids are bored of the same show stretching over four years.”