Which movies will open the strike, if and when it ends?

MUMBAI: The stalemate between multiplexes and producers over revenue share issue continues and the situation is far from getting resolved.

It’s true that amidst all this many films are surfacing to release and are fortunate to make it to the silver screen, but they are little or no good to drive business at cinemas and their quality is best left unsaid.

Subsequently, this postponement of releases has also created a backlog of movies. Now if and when the strike is called off and the producers and exhibitors resolve their differences, which movies will make it first to the cinemas and in what order?

Addressing this question at a previously held press conference, UTV chairman and managing director Ronnie Screwvala said, “We have entered a long discussion for an elongated period of time and we will find an absolute practical solution with a right mix of movie releases. There are strategies and discussions in place but we cannot put that forward because it depends whether this issue gets resolved in monsoon, winter or shraad. So the strategy will be based on that.”

But this issue is bothering many producers, especially the ones who are incessantly postponing the release of their films week after week. One possibility is that, all overdue films like New York, Kal Kisney Dekha, Shortkut, Jashn, Sikandar and Paying Guest may flock cinemas in the same time period or else some movies may reduce their marketing period and try to release sooner than others.

Moreover the release date of some biggies like Kambakkth Ishq and Love Aaj Kal is also fast approaching and so are many other films like Kissan, Kaminey and Luck which are slated for release in May and June.

Now, will the above mentioned films release on their designated dates only or will they also be postponed ahead in order to accommodate the long list of films in distress currently.

Ramesh Sippy says “We are meeting next week to decide the release schedule of movies. Of course, the stalled movies will be scheduled on a priority basis but some weeks may be a clogged as well. The smaller films will be tapped depending on whether they are ready or not. But the main focus is on big films as there is no point in clashing the release of big films because it may further harm the industry.”

A marketing head of a film corporate company says on condition of anonymity, “As soon as the issues are resolved, the smaller films under Rs 5 crore budgets may rush for a release with just 7-10 days of marketing. The slightly bigger films may follow then after 4-6 weeks of marketing.”

Most marketing material for these movies is ready since long as these movies were going to release earlier, but had to be pulled back as their releases were delayed.

Producer Vashu Bhagnani, whose son Jackky Bhagnani’s debut film Kal Kissne Dekha is also on hold, says, “I will need minimum 4 weeks to promote the film as little promotion had already begun with the music launch. But then if it clashes with the elections, then two weeks will go waste. Since we are a part of the United Forum, the decision on release of Kal Kissne Dekha will be a collective one. Aamir Khan has gone on a holiday now, so after he comes back we will look into this. It will have to be a joint call whether or not we want to release the film in single screens only, because it is for the sake of the industry and not just for me.”