National multiplexes shy away from Angels & Demons over terms

MUMBAI: National multiplex chains namely BIG Cinemas, Cinemax, PVR Cinemas, Fun Cinemas and Inox Leisure have not yet signed up with Sony Pictures Releasing of India for their forthcoming film Angels & Demons, which is slated to hit screens tomorrow (29 May).

When Businessofcinema.com spoke to Sony Pictures Releasing of India managing director Kercy Daruwala on Wednesday, 27 May, he had said, "We are open for all the screens, the multiplexes as well as single screens. We have got nothing to do with the strike."

However, sources inform that Sony is quoting revenue sharing terms of 55:45 (Sony:multiplexes), 50:50, 45:55 and 40:60 for the first four weeks to national multiplex chains. "The terms quoted by Sony are not viable and acceptable in the current scenario. As of today, we have not yet signed up with Sony for Angels & Demons," said a multiplex officer, on condition of anonymity.

"The terms are too high from what we have been giving for English films prior to this. For big Hollywood films like Harry Potter and Spiderman we signed terms of 48:52, 38:62, 30:70 and this is a big jump from that," said another multiplex official.

According to information available with Businessofcinema.com, Sony will be screening the movie in single screens as well as independent multiplex chains in Delhi and Pune like Wave Cinemas, Satyam Cinemas and E-Square.

Pertinent to note here is that at least 60 – 65 per cent of English films’ box office collections come from multiplexes. According to information available, when The Da Vinci Code was released in India in 2006, the movie grossed approximately Rs 144 million, wherein Rs 88 million came from multiplexes. Thus, multiplexes contributed 61 per cent of the India box office of The Da Vinci Code. On the other hand, last year’s big ticket Hollywood film The Dark Knight saw almost 66 per cent of collections coming from Indian multiplexes from the total box office collections of Rs 156 million.

The only Hollywood studio that is going ahead with the release of its films in national multiplex chains in Paramount Films of India. The company will be releasing J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek on 5 June in India.

Fox Star Studios, which has in its kitty X-Men Origins: Wolverine starring Hugh Jackman, too has not decided on the release date of the movie. On the other hand, Warner Bros India has its next movie – Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince – slated for release only in July. Walt Disney’s Race to Witch Mountain and Bolt are also lined up for release.

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