Fenil’s Bollywood Talk # 42
Posted April 2, 2009on:
Come SaturdayApril 4 and no new film will release in multiplexes. The United Producers Forum, comprising of producers and distributors, have decided to go on a strike, until their demands are met.
The producers demand that they should get 50% revenue from the multiplexes. However, the multiplex chains charge different revenue for different film. Mukesh Bhatt and Ratan Jain, spokespersons of the Forum, elaborate (source: Mumbai Mirror):
“1. Multiplexes take the call on percentage revenue – it differs from film to film. On bigger films, they take as much as 52 %. Do they know the fate of every film before hand?
2. Multiplexes decide how many shows will be allotted to the films.
3. Multiplexes pull out a film according to their own whims and fancies. Certain small films pick up by word of mouth only after three days.
4. Multiplexes don’t inform producers if and when they pull out a film. There have been cases when a producer is under the impression his film is running at a particular theater, but suddenly realises it’s not so.
5. Multiplexes don’t adhere to the different tax structures in different states. In other words, their accounting is not transparent.”
Multiplexes on the other hand claim that they are being as fair as possible. They have to pay a rent of around 20-30 lakh per month on each of their multiplex, whether there is audience or no. Therefore, they take higher revenue for themselves.
I feel it is the multiplexes which are completely at fault. One should not forget that they are earning money not only from their ticket, but also from the food in the canteen (which is normally overpriced), car parking and advertisement boards placed inside. Also, they could attract more moviegoers by reducing the price of their ticket. It’s really shocking to see multiplexes like Inox, Metro Big Cinema (in Mumbai) charging Rs. 270 or 290 for a single ticket during the weekend (Even Shahrukh Khan once said in an interview “I don’t like to pay Rs. 275 for a ticket”). And then selling 300-ml soft drinks for Rs. 45! And due to all this, such multiplexes register 5-10% occupancy during weekdays or for films which have got a bad report. But theatres with reasonable prices manage to get as much audience as possible. For instance, at Sterling Cineplex in Mumbai, morning shows are priced at Rs. 80 and afternoon onwards, the rates are Rs. 120/150. And with such reasonable rates, this multiplex gets a good number of audiences even for morning shows in weekdays!
The revenue sharing issue usually solves on the day of the film’s release or 1 day prior to it. At such times, the timings of the show in multiplexes are not published in newspapers and even online booking sites stop functioning. As a result, viewers, wanting to venture for a film on the first day itself face problems. Thus, producers are justified in the 50-50 revenue sharing for each and every film, so as to solve this problem once and for all.
As of now, the multiplexes are adamant and are refusing to give in to the producer’s demands. But the losses that they are going to incur with lack of films running in their screens will bring back their senses and they’ll have to bow down to the demands. Of course, the film industry too will suffer but this step was necessary. I am on the producer’s side and I hope they win this ‘battle’ soon!
1. EVEN THOUGH THE STRIKE BEGINS ON SATURDAY, AKSHAY KUMAR’S ‘TASVEER 8X10’ WILL RELEASE TOMORROW IN ALL SINGLE SCREENS AND MULTIPLEXES
2. THE STRIKE WOULD BE OBSERVED IN MULTIPLEX CHAINS (E.G. FAME, PVR, INOX, BIG CINEMA ETC.) AND NOT IN STAND-ALONE MULTIPLEXES.
(This post first appeared on MouthShut.com: http://www.mouthshut.com/diary/bbjbumnon/Fenils-Bollywood-Talk42)