Multiplexes to get breather as Sony confirms release dates

MUMBAI: National multiplex chains will get a breather with new Hollywood releases by the end of this month as Sony Pictures Releasing of India has decided on the release dates of its forthcoming movies.

It may be recalled that for the last five weeks there have hardly been any new movie releases in multiplexes due to the on-going tussle between the United Producers & Distributors Forum and the multiplex chains over revenue sharing for Hindi movies.

As was first reported by Businessofcinema.com, Hollywood studios releasing their films in India were playing the wait and watch game due to this imbroglio between the two parties. One week after the last meeting between the two parties failed to yield any positive results, Sony Pictures Releasing of India has decided to release its latest film Angels & Demons starring Tom Hanks in India on 29 May.

Confirming the development to Businessofcinema.com, Sony Pictures Releasing of India managing director Kercy Daruwala says, "We will be releasing Angels & Demons on 29 May, which will be followed by Terminator Salvation on 12 June and The Taking of Pelham 123 on 26 June. We are keeping a window of two weeks in between our releases."

However, when queried about the release of the movies in multiplexes, Daruwala remained non-committal and said the picture will be clearer after 10 days. Angels & Demons will be released with approximately 250 – 275 prints across India in English, Hindi, Tamil and Telugu.

When Businessofcinema.com spoke to Inox Leisure director and Multiplex Association of India spokesperson Deepak Ashar about the development, he said, "As an association we have not had any talks with them. So I will not be able to comment on the matter."

Nevertheless, he added that even after last week’s meeting between producers and multiplexes yielded no results, talks were constantly going on between the two parties. "Discussions between us are happening constantly. We are hopefully that sooner or later we will be able to resolve the matter. However, I cannot comment on the time period that will be required to reach an amiable solution."

As was earlier reported by Businessofcinema.com, Fox Star Studios was planning to release X-Men Origins: Wolverine starring Hugh Jackman on 22 May in India. However, at the time of filing this story, Fox Star Studios representatives were unavailable for comment and hence a confirmation on the same was not forthcoming.

In the meanwhile, Hindi film producers are planning to release their new films in single screens across India from 29 May onwards if the issue between them and the multiplexes is not resolved by then.

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