The battle between film producers and movie 'multiplexes' may have reached a crisis, as they have stopped issuing new releases as of today. "Until the multiplexes agree to the demands of the producers and distributors, the marketing and distribution of all new films set for release from 4 April has been suspended," film maker Mukesh Bhatt told reporters in Mumbai.
The producers and distributors have long been demanding equal share of the revenue with the multiplexes. Joining Bhatt in the boycott are some of the biggest names in the industry, like Yash Chopra, Mahesh Bhatt, Ramesh Sippy, Eros International, UTV Motion Pictures, and Indian Film Co.
Hollywood studios like Warner Bros, Fox, Disney and Sony Entertainment Pictures have joined hands with the distributors.
The producers have been demanding an equal share in revenue, regardless of the star cast or budget, for every week a film runs in the multiplexes. "It is a do-or-die situation for us. We have to survive in the industry and so we have been asking for an equal revenue sharing model," Bhatt said.
"We spent crores of rupees for making and distributing the movie, that too with a huge risk. They [multiplexes] just have to release it. They earn revenue from various sources like canteen, parking, and advertisers among others. Even then, they have been demanding more revenue share," he added.
Mukesh Bhatt, chairman of the United Producers Forum, said, ''We do not distinguish between small-town properties and prime location properties of multiplexes, so it is unfair for them to differentiate between films based on the starcast.''
Exhibitors currently change their revenue sharing ratio from film to film according to their own grading system.
"We have had many rounds of discussion with multiplexes. The fact that we had to come to the media means that we have exhausted all means of dialogue. We think it's important to get the message out. We are asking for our fair share. We don't want more than 50 per cent but we don't believe that we should be getting less than 50 per cent,'' says UTV Motion Pictures chief executive Siddharth Roy Kapur.