Hollywood studios postpone English movie releases in India

MUMBAI: Until now there wasn’t any clarity on the stance that Hollywood studios operating in India were taking with regards to the standoff between producers, distributors and multiplexes. It is now learnt that some studios are postponing the release of their films in India.

Warner Bros’ Nights in Rodanthe that was slated to release on 10 April and Fox Star Studios’ Dragon Ball that was to release on 17 April did not hit theatre screens. On the other hand, Paramount Films of India did release Monsters Vs Aliens last week. Sources inform Businessofcinema.com that due to unavoidable circumstances, Paramount could not hold back the release of the movie in India.

As was reported by Businessofcinema.com, as per the anti-trust law in the US, Hollywood studios are not allowed to participate in a strike. While studios are not coming out in the open and siding with the producers and distributors, some of them have delayed their film releases.

A source informs that Fox Star Studios has also postponed the release of its upcoming flick X-Men 4: Wolverine, which was to release in India on 1 May. Warner Bros India was looking at releasing two Hollywood films in Bombay and Delhi on 17 April. However, these movies are not playing at any multiplexes as of 20 April.

Other Hollywood films lined up for release are Paramount Films of India’s Star Trek (8 May), Sony Pictures’ Angels & Demons (15 May), Terminator Salvation (29 May) and Fox Star’s Night At the Museum 2 (29 May). Warner’s next big release is Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince in July, whereas Walt Disney’s next film Race to Witch Mountain and Bolt are slated to release in April end or May.

At the time of filing this story, none of the Hollywood studio heads in India were available for comment despite repeated attempts and hence the release status of these films remains unknown.

Sources also inform that after the Aamir Khan – Shah Rukh Khan press conference that was held on 7 April, there have been no formal discussions between producers, distributors and multiplexes. A source adds, "Talks are always on between the two parties but on a very informal level. Producers have told the multiplexes that performance based revenue sharing does not work and they need to come back with a model, which is in line with the 50:50 revenue sharing model proposed by the producers and distributors. However, there has been no movement from the multiplexes’ side as of now."

While the no show continues in terms of Hindi movies, it looks like the audience will now be deprived of English movies too. Meanwhile multiplexes continue to play earlier Hindi and English releases like 8×10 Tasveer, Slumdog Crorepati, Dev D, Delhi 6, Little Zizou, Aloo Chat, Gulaal, Fast & Furious, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Revolutionary Road and Confessions of a Shopoholic amongst others in various cities across the country. Regional films are also being screened in some chains. Kamal Hassan’s Dashavtar, distributed by Shringar Films, was one major Hindi film that released in the strike period, apart from some small budget movies like Ek Se Bure Do and Royal Utsav.

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