Fenil and Bollywood

Posts Tagged ‘Inox


Although 2009 is considered as a black year for Bollywood, the last 3 ½ months have proved to be profitable not only for producers, distributors and exhibitors but also for viewers. There were at least half a dozen commercially successful films like Wanted, Wake Up Sid, All The Best, Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani, De Dana Dan and Paa. Also, flops like Dil Bole Hadippa, What’s Your Raashee?, Do Knot Disturb, Blue, London Dreams, Tum Mile, Kurbaan etc did manage to bring audiences to theatres in its first 3 days of release. Also, we got two Hollywood blockbusters, 2012 and Avatar. And tomorrow’s release 3 Idiots is expected to be the biggest hit of 2009. This Aamir Khan flick is been given one of the widest releases. If all turns out to be well, 3 Idiots may become the biggest blockbuster ever, breaking even Ghajini’s record (which at present is the biggest Bollywood hit).

People are coming to theatres. So many movies are running successfully. Unfortunately, no is celebrating it and no trade analyst is coming forward to discuss about it. Ironically, during bad times, every producers, distributor and trade pundits will come forward and state as to ‘how our industry is going through a crisis’. Somehow, we have become more negative in our approach. We love to live in bad times! Come on guys, pop the champagne and enjoy the good time!


Watching 3 Idiots shall turn out to be an expensive affair. Knowing that people are going to come for sure to watch this Aamir Khan flick, Vidhu Vinod Chopra and the distributors of the film have urged multiplexes and single screens across the country to increase the ticket rates for 3 Idiots. Even morning shows which had a meager price of Rs 60 or 80 is now sold for 160 or 180 and even 200 bucks. A prominent multiplex in South Mumbai (Inox, Nariman Point) takes away the cake by charging Rs 290 for the 11:30 am show! And for the evening and night shows, the least said, the better!

Surprisingly, hardly any Bollywood intellectuals have spoken against this unfair practice. All of them are concerned only with the problem of piracy. Why? Because it concerns them-they face huge losses because of pirated DVDs. And they don’t need to care for the inflated ticket prices since they can either afford it or they get to see films free of cost in preview screenings!

But all of them have failed to see the point that one of the biggest reasons for piracy is the expensive ticket rates. Reducing the ticket prices will automatically reduce piracy to a certain extent. But instead of applying this idea, ticket rates are increasing, thus giving a boost to piracy. Producers and distributors are only concerned with extracting maximum profits. And when viewers shun theatres due to high prices, they will again come up with ‘industry going through crisis’ stuff when the fact is that they only created the situation in the first place! Very very sad!

This post first appeared on MouthShut.com: http://www.mouthshut.com/diary/chfdltslp/Fenils-Bollywood-Talk80


Rise and shine. 3 Idiots is luring you to the multiplexes for a 6am show with free chai and biscuits

By Vickey Lalwani (MUMBAI MIRROR; December 23, 2009)

This Christmas morning if you manage to wedge your eyes open by four am, try and make it for 3 Idiots at the multiplexes, which are screening the movie at six in the morning! For all your efforts, Aamir Khan and Co have even decided to give you free chai and biscuits.

Considering that 2009 hasn’t paid off for most films, everyone is putting their money on the Aamir Khan-starrer. In fact, only two films have broken box-office records – Salman Khan’s Wanted and the Ranbir-Katrina starrer, Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani. 3 Idiots hits the theatres on Friday and everyone seems upbeat about it.

3 Idiots

Devang Sampat, Senior VP, Cinemax India Ltd, says, “There is often scope for a 6am show. There are many morning walkers and call centre employees who flock to the theatres at that time of the day. But we are doing it for the first time because there is a good demand for the tickets.” How many people watch movies after a sweaty morning jog is debatable, but it seems like nothing can dampen the festive mood.

Aditya Shroff, Asst VP Programming & Corporate Sales, Fame India Ltd, is geared to splash the movie across as many screens as possible. He says, “As we start early, we can accommodate more number of shows. We will have 37 shows spread over seven screens every day in Fame Malad. This would be the highest number of shows recorded in our chain on one single day.” Cinemax India will have as many as 28 shows on one day in their Andheri multiplex.

The said multiplexes are also planning to hold their last show as late at midnight. Naturally, the theatres are going to pay additional incentives to their staff.”We have also instructed our people to work in shifts. Honestly, nobody is complaining,” says Sampat.

At the time of going to the press, Fame India had decided to have their first show at 6.30am. However, a source from the industry says, “They might push it up to 6am.”

Fun Republic will not start as early. Vishal, Fun Republic VP, Marketing says, “We will start early, but at 9am. Fame and Cinemax have more screens. They have programming flexibility.”

Ditto for Imax. Inox will not have early shows. As for PVR, their earliest show will be at 8.30am.

Whose bright idea was it to screen the film at the crack of dawn? The marketing man of 3 Idiots, Aamir Khan?  Shroff says, “I came up with this idea for my chain of theatres. I think it will work.” Sampat laughs, “We also have a thinking brain.”

Would you go for 3 IDIOTS at 6am?

Will the  multiplex be houseful at 6am?

Ishita Thakur (22), Mahim: No way. Firstly, I don’t get up so early. Secondly, I am not excited about this film. I don’t think it will be awesome. If it was Avatar, I would have definitely gone for it.

Sunder Chandiramani (68), Seven Bungalows: I like to see a film in a relaxed mood. I want to jog in the mornings.

Poonam Tilani, Seven Bungalows: I meditate in the morning. I don’t want to disturb my schedule.

Satish Shenoy (45), Vile Parle: That is the time I am getting ready to go to the office. I want to see 3 Idiots at leisure.

Nameeta Bandekar (24), Borivli: Why? I can watch movies at any time.

Manisha Jaisinghani (35), Kandivli: Sorry, I can’t get up so early. 6am is a terribly inconvenient show.

Just when movie enthusiasts across the globe are eagerly awaiting the release of James Cameron’s magnum opus ‘Avatar’ on Dec 18, multiplexes across India are gearing up to encash on the extraordinary buzz around its release.

Made with a fusion camera developed by Cameron himself, ‘Avatar’ is expected to revolutionize the film-watching experience and multiplexes are investing huge sums in upgrading their infrastructure to bring this extravaganza to moviegoers.

While Avatar will be released in 2D as well as 3D formats, theatre owners are particularly expecting a huge demand for the 3D version.

In the past, 3D Hollywood films like ‘Ice Age 3’, ‘& ‘Final Destination’ have done good business in India.

From the time producers Fox Star Studios screened 20 mins footage of Cameron’s film in August this year, the number of 3D screens in India has increased from around 12 to 40, and 60-70 screens by 18th December.

This covers cities across India including major markets like Mumbai, Delhi, Pune, Bangalore, Chennai & Hyderabad as well as smaller centers like Coimbatore, Amritsar, Kerala, Jaipur and Ahmedabad (which is considered a small market for Hollywood films).

Aditya Shroff, AVP – Distribution, Programming and Corporate Sales for Fame Cinemas reaffirms, “I believe that the 3D version of Avatar is going to be the revolutionary movie for this generation & hence Fame is trying to go as wide as possible with the 3D release. Avatar will do to 3D what Reliance did to mobile phone usage in India.

While most multiplexes in Pune and Bangalore are going 3D, single screens like ‘Central Plaza’ in Mumbai and ‘Urvasi’ in Bangalore are also going 3D before the release of release Avatar.

Interestingly, Avatar will be released in 3D in Hindi also.

Cinemax in Andheri (Mumbai) has updated its biggest auditorium that has the capacity of 377 with 3D facility for AVATAR.

Inox will have 3D screens in Pune, Baroda, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai, Nagpur, Raipur, Rajasthan, Indore, and Kolkata before the release of AVATAR.

Commenting on the hype around ‘Avatar’, Mr. Vijay Singh, CEO, Fox Star Studios India says; “There is an incredible buzz building up for Avatar across the India media, our theatrical partners and the core audiences. The dramatic increase in the no. of 3D screens, as well as the strong interest that we are getting from the Hindi, Tamil and Telegu language markets reaffirms the strong buzz for the film.”

Ranjit Thakur, CEO of Scrabble Entertainment says “The demand for 2K Digital & 3D Systems is from all corners of the county. Even the single screen exhibitors want to capitalize on the opportunity of screening Avatar in 3D. ”

Thakur adds “The demand for the film has created a worldwide shortage of digital equipment and even silver screens for 3D are hard to get”.

‘Avatar’ is an epic action adventure film made on a whopping budget of Rs 1200 crores. It is the story of a wounded ex-marine, thrust unwillingly into an effort to settle and exploit an exotic planet rich in bio-diversity, who eventually crosses over to lead the indigenous race in a battle for survival.

Avatar releases worldwide on Dec 18 in 2D & 3D. In India, the film will also be dubbed in Hindi, Tamil & Telugu.


Fed up of warring with the producers, six multiplex owners have got together to buy films and release them. Shravan Shroff speaks
By Vickey Lalwani (MUMBAI MIRROR; May 09, 2009)

Shravan Shroff

Negotiations between multiplex owners and producers have not reached a consensus. Where does it go from here? Do you have plan B?

Six multiplex operators (Fame, Cinemax, PVR, Fun, Adlabs, Inox) have pooled resources together. We have already approached some filmmakers and we will approach some others soon. We have identified some movies which we will buy and release in our theatres.Which movies are these?

Rang Rasiya, Paying Guest, Lamha, Hostel, Short Cut, Forest, three films by PNC, a film by Ravi Chopra (Banda Ye Bindass Hai?) and SAB TV.

Did you expect the producers to remain so united?

We know that the producers are respected, intelligent people and we knew they’ll fight for what they believe is right. They are asking for 50 per cent share in the revenue for all weeks, for all movies. But that is not acceptable to us.

So what is their argument?

They argue that even small films like Jaane Tu… can become big hits. We want the revenue sharing to happen on performance basis. We don’t want to fight with them. They have come down a bit, we have gone up a bit, but unfortunately we haven’t met at a common point. We have offered them 50, 40, 30, 25 per cent (for the first, second, third and the fourth week); while they want 50, 45 40, 35… but that doesn’t work for us.

The producers had also complained earlier that multiplexes don’t pay them in time.

I disagree. They were always paid within 30-45 days. And let me tell you that all movies are paid refundable advances; there are innumerable cases where some producers didn’t return that to us.

A still from Rang Rasiya

Have you registered a big loss?

Of the 75 screens in our Fame Group, we have already shut 35. Last April we registered 22-24 per cent occupancy. This year it’s 10-12 per cent, which is a big loss.

But don’t most multiplexes not pay rent but share the revenue with property owners?

Times have changed. 99 per cent of the multiplexes pay rent. We (at Fame) run 21 properties. We pay rent for 20 of them.

Why do multiplexes charge differently on different days?

Don’t you pay differently for airfares on different days? At the end of the day, I am a businessman. If a consumer is willing to pay more, why shouldn’t I charge accordingly?


Inox Multiplex, Nariman Point, Mumbai (inoxmovies.com)

Mumbai: With fresh content drying up in the wake of the producers’ strike, multiplexes are contemplating closing down some screens to save costs.

A source said, “They will have to operate lesser screens till they get content for them. Many multiplexes have already closed one screen, and if the embargo continues guess they will close more screens to save operation costs.’’

Multiplexes claim their profit margins are just about 15% and high rentals are already pinching them. Maintenance cost for a 5- or 6-screen multiplex in a metro is between Rs 55 lakh to Rs 60 lakh a month and in smaller towns, it is about Rs 35 lakh a month.

A source said, “With little attractive programming to bring in revenues, with high overheads, multiplexes will have to cut costs. From the third week of April, there will be no content at all as the producers and distributors will not allow re-releases of their films in multiplexes. The halls will have to control their fixed costs.’’

It is learnt that multiplexes in small towns have closed at least two screens and are restructuring the working hours of their employees to save overtime costs. A source said, “Some owners are encouraging their employees to take more leave. Working hours are being reduced—instead of 15 hours, the employees have to only work for 12 hours till the problem is resolved.’’

Vishal Kapoor, COO of Fun Cinemas said, “Cost cutting measures are being adopted. Content available to us has limited shelf life. For us, the operational cost per cinema per month is about Rs 20 lakh. If we close down one screen, we only save about Rs 1 lakh a month, which is nothing considering the rentals and salaries that have to be paid.’’

Meanwhile, two films—Ek Se Bure Do and Pal Pal Dil Ke Ssaat—were released at multiplexes on Friday. Also, Anjan Dutt’s Chaurasta and Kamal Hasan’s Dashavatar will release in multiplexes next week. Sources say these films are being released “as the producers of these films don’t belong to the United Producers-Distributors Forum.’’


Meena Iyer & Bharti Dubey (THE TIMES OF INDIA; Apr 8, 2009)

Mumbai: Raj Kumar Santoshi would’ve been a happy man. The film-maker has tried in vain to get Shah Rukh Khan and Aamir Khan to co-star in a film. Insiders say despite Santoshi’s “dogged persistence, their egos never let it happen’’.

Not until Tuesday, when the two Khans joined the United Forum (the producer-exhibitor combine) to address the issue of their face-off with multiplexes. The fight, as is common knowledge, is about the 50:50 profit sharing revenue between producers and multiplexes.

“There are several other issues too,’’ chorused Aamir and Shah Rukh—the two main speakers at a film fraternity gathering that saw everyone from Yash Chopra, Vidhu Vinod Chopra, Rakesh Roshan, Karan Johar and Sajid Nadiadwala. Corporate power was represented by UTV, Eros, and Indian Films.

With nothing coming out of the week-long discussion with multiplex owners, the United Forum has now started toying with the idea of releasing films on the 11,000 single screens across India “till an amicable solution is found,’’ said Aamir.

Shah Rukh made it clear that there was no war with multiplexes, it was just a long overdue dialogue. He requested the media to support the cause of the film industry. “Don’t call this a strike,’’ he said. “One faculty of our trade (multiplexes) has become rusty and it needs repair. Till such time, we apologise for the break, rukawat ke liye khed hai.’’ Aamir added, “Until they give us a fair share of what we deserve and also account for other grievances (see box), we will not budge.’’

Multiplex owners are not pleased with the United Forum for involving actors in the issue. Alok Tandon, CEO of Inox Cinemas, said, “We have not stopped anyone from playing movies at our cinemas. It is they who are denying us content.’’ About treating all films equally, Tandon feels that is not an option. “We’re not talking about big or small films but about movies that do well at the box office and those that don’t. How can one give the same terms to both?’’

At what is called one of the most widely attended press conferences in Bollywood history (over 120 camera units were present), Karan Johar said it was a sad day in the lives of the film fraternity when they had to actually address a public forum to seek what was rightfully due to them.

“We are creative people, we want to die making films,’’ said Shah Rukh. “We hope our fans don’t misunderstand us and think we are chasing some extra percentage to add to our kitties. We love our fans, we want our movies to be seen by one and all, but we’re united here because we want a fair deal from multiplexes.’’

Johar moderated the media proceedings; Even while a segment of the fourth estate was divided over trivial pursuits, Shah Rukh quipped, “Aamir and I will share a car, we’ll probably land by the same flight at some destination or be in a film someday. Give your copy any headline you want, but please remember that the core issue here is that we are united in our fight for justice. Don’t miss the plot,’’ he reminded the media.

Vishal Anand, V-P, Fun Cinema, said, “The two actors are also producers, so they have a genuine interest in the matter. They are also the biggest stars and they may be able to strike a balance between the two lobbies.’’

1. Multiplexes charge a 1% INR (Indian Newreel fee), while only 0.25% to 0.30% is passed on to the government
2. There is a service charge of 2%-8% levied that is unacceptable to United Forum
3. Even on tax-free films like ‘Taare Zameen Par’, multiplexes didn’t pass on the
benefit to the consumer
4. Discrepancies were found in the daily collection reports (DCRs) where the price of tickets mentioned didn’t match the printed amount
5. Producers wait endlessly for their money, while plexes pocket the ticket sale amount across the counter