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Thread: Multiplex war soon to be over
05-29-2009, 02:43 PM #1
Multiplex war soon to be over
Nothing official yet, but the war between film producers and multiplex owners is finally over. The two warring parties have kissed and made-up.
Evidently, it was the producers who first blinked. An industry insider said, “The final settlement reads 50 per cent in the first week, 42.5 per cent in the second week and 35 per cent revenue in the third week for the producer of all films.” It may be recalled that the key demand by producers was a 50 per cent revenue share for all films for all weeks while the exhibitors wanted a performance-linked arrangement where the revenue split would depend on the audience response.
As losses mounted for industries which are directly related to the film business, the strike also wreaked havoc on ancillary industries like television, media, home video, music, radio and news which are highly dependant on movie content.
Time and again, the warring parties met at Yash Raj Studios, Vidhu Vinod Chopra’s office and even five-star hotels to settle matters. But, even after several heated arguments, the multiplex owners had consented to offer 50 per cent in the first week, followed by 42.5 per cent and 32.5 per cent revenue during subsequent weeks after the release day. As for the producers, they had categorically said they would settle for no less than 50 per cent, 45 per cent and 40 per cent revenue. They too refused to budge.
The settlement was reached during a meeting on Wednesday night held at a Bandra five-star hotel. The meeting was attended by Aamir Khan, Shah Rukh Khan, Ronnie Screwvalla, Yash Chopra, Vidhu Vinod Chopra, Sunil Lulla and Amit Khanna (who represented the multiplexes) among others. As things stand today, films will start releasing in multiplexes from Friday, June 5.
Giving out additional information, a source said, “If the film does more than Rs 70 crore nett business, the multiplex will give 2 per cent extra revenue to the producers.”
Yesterday evening, Tushar Dhingra, COO, Adlabs Cinemas
, said, “I can't talk now. I am busy.”
Distributor Ramesh Sippy said, “What you have heard about some kind of settlement is partially correct. But I am in a meeting right now. I will talk to you later.”
Mahesh Bhatt too confirmed that some kind of a settlement had been reached. “I was a neutral observer at the meeting. The worst is behind us. But I am not supposed to give you any details until the entire paperwork regarding this matter is completed. You will have a clear picture by tomorrow. We will not uncork the champagne till then,” he said.
The standoff is estimated to have cost the Industry nearly Rs 300 crore. There has been no new Hindi film in the multiplexes in the past seven weeks except for some non-starters. The United Producers and Distributors Forum (UPDF) had taken a stand to not release any new film in multiplexes from April 4 and had even threatened to release their films in single screens starting May.
Trade analyst Taran Adarsh said, “You cannot discount the huge expenditure incurred by the multiplex owners who did not shut down their theatres during this tussle period. They had to shell out high rents, salaries to their employees and projection costs. Multiplex owners lost far more than the producers did.”
The occupancy rate in multiplexes has dropped to a meager 10-12 per cent since April first week, making it one of the worst periods for them. A visit to a multiplex in the western suburbs yesterday by Mumbai Mirror saw that they were selling only one burger at the refreshment counter. When asked about it, the salesman at the counter said, “Do burger bikega nahin. How can I keep more than one?” That says it all.
05-30-2009, 10:43 AM #2
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