Chidambaram wants IPL postponed; films may get window

MUMBAI: This can be touted as a classic case of the Domino effect! Believe it or not, the terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team in Pakistan’s Lahore city on 3 March could directly or indirectly affect Hindi films’ release in India during April – May.

The attack has most definitely caused a ripple of concern across the country since the Indian Premiere League (IPL) cricket tournament is scheduled to commence from 10 April. Keeping in mind the IPL, Hindi film producers shied away from releasing their movies theatrically during period in order to avoid a clash.

However, post the events on the morning of 3 March; citing security issues, Indian home minister P Chidambaram conveyed to the Union Home Secretary to speak to the IPL organisers and postpone the tournament until the Lok Sabha Elections are over.

If and only IF the upcoming IPL cricket tournament is postponed after the Lok Sabha elections (16 April – 13 May), an entire one month window of release will be staring in the face of producers!

Nevertheless, apart from the fact that as of now producers haven’t scheduled major releases during this period, there is also the on-going revenue share imbroglio between producers, distributors and exhibitors that has to be taken into consideration. None of the concerned parties are ready to bend backwards. While producers are taking shelter under the IPL umbrella and holding their ground, multiplexes are also banking on alternative content as a breather during this period of no show. Multiplexes submitted the tenders for IPL’s theatrical distribution rights on 2 March and results are expected to be out in a week’s time.

In case the IPL is postponed, producers, distributors and exhibitors may have to walk that extra mile to resolve the revenue share issue in order to take advantage of the open window for movie releases. A call will most definitely need to be taken.

For the time being though, it all depends on whether the IPL is postponed or not.

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