MUMBAI: While the revenue sharing issue between multiplexes and producers rears its head up prior to every big film’s release, the matter is most definitely sorted out one way or the other! However, the interim period is stressful for both parties.
Taking a cue from the repeated tussel between the two, producers and distributors have decided not to release any movies post Delhi 6 until a final decision is arrived at, after which the release dates of movies will be decided. In the meanwhile, Studio 18 has postponed the release of Shortkut from 3 April to 10 April or indefinitely if the matter is not resolved within a week’s time.
Any movie requires a window of at least six weeks for promotions prior to its release. Hence if this matter takes more than a week to resolve, the industry is literally going to come to a halt.
Puja Films chairman Vashu Bhagnani has stated that there will not be any Bollywood release in multiplexes as multiplex owners demand imbalanced and unfair share in the profit of a movie.
A source close to the development says, "Both the parties are keen to settle the revenue sharing terms issue before the end of this financial year. We don’t want to take this issue forward into the new year. However, a mutual decision on this matter has not yet been arrived at as talks are still on."
"The movies will release in multiplexes only after the settlement with the multiplex owners. Every time they demand an increased percentage of profit in films despite the increase in production cost and the global recession effect on entertainment industry. This year the entertainment industry is expected to grow at just seven per cent where last year it was 12.3 per cent and multiplexes are demanding more and more every time. This is incorrect; first we will settle the sharing terms and only then will we release any film in the multiplexes," Bhagnani said.
Bhagnani has also postponed the release of his son’s debut film Kal Kissne Dekha. It stars Jackky Bhagnani, Vaishali Desai and Rishi Kapoor and is directed by Vivek Sharma. The movie was slated to release in theatres on 24 April, 2009; however, due to the squabble with multiplexes, the movie’s release has been postponed indefinitely.
At a meeting that was held a two weeks back between producers, distributors and exhibitors, a unanimous decision was not reached at on revenue sharing terms. It may still take a week or more to arrive at an amicable decision between the two parties. While producers want a flat 50 per cent share for their movies in the first week, multiplexes are not in agreement with this figure.
The outcome of this endless saga remains to be seen.