Like this page?
Send it to a friend!
Below par takings for Chandni . . .
Film releases suspended due to strike action
Strike action over revenue sharing between Mumbai producers and multiplex owners affects release of Bollywood films in UK cinemas.
The release of new Hindi films in UK cinemas will be affected till end of May 2009.
Hindi film industry has therefore taken strike action after failing to resolve an ongoing issue of revenue sharing raised by Indian multiplex owners.
Mr Avtar Panesar, Yash Raj Films, London
The heart of the matter is that producers are demanding a 50:50% share of the box office takings which presently also applies to all UK cinema exhibitors.
But Indian multiplex owners are only prepared to accept a sliding scale ratio depending on the film’s performance and star power at the Indian box office. This means that producers will get 50% of the takings in the first week, 38% in the second week and 28% in the third week.
Multiplex owners are only prepared to give 50% of the takings for all three initial weeks based on the film’s performance.
With Bollywood already feeling the pinch due to the global economic downturn, such a move will incur further losses running into billions if not immediately resolved.
'The strike is all about fighting for what is a fair deal for the producers, distributors as well as the exhibitors – while one side brings the software to the table the other brings the hardware,' says Avtar Panesar, Yash Raj Films, London.
Panesar further adds, 'A 50:50% split is the only fair deal otherwise the biggest losers will be the audience as well as the business due to the ongoing dispute.'
Kal Kissne Dekha only May release
Pranab Kapadia of EROS International, London, confirms Hindi film releases in the UK will be affected as distributors operate on a global release principle, with all films being released on the same day and date.
'Our stand in this issue is very simple. We are with the producers and fighting the cause jointly of getting a fair stake of our revenue. Our films cost the earth to produce and then are removed unceremoniously before the end of first week’s screening,' says Kapadia.
He also hopes the issues raised can be resolved quickly, as neither the producers nor the Indian multiplexes can afford strike action during this poor economic climate.
Adds Tanuj Garg of Studio 18, London, 'I'm in favour of the strike as a tough stand has been taken by the actors, producers and distributors against the bullying tactics of arm twisting exhibitors.'
Bollywood releases in the first quarter of 2009 have had a disastrous run at the UK box office. Predicted successes like Warner Bros’s Chandni Chowk To China, EROS International’s Billu Barber or UTV’s Delhi 6 gave below par box office earnings reaching only around £500,000.
This is due to audiences’ choice becoming more selective and diversified amidst rising ticket prices and uncertain financial instability.
Akshay Kumar’s Tasveer 8 X 10 which didn't get those box office tills jingling, was the only film to release before strike action this April.
Unless producers and multiplex owners reach an amicable solution very soon, Bollywood faces further tough competition from Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket matches in May.
Denise Richards in Kambakkht Ishq
With cinema goers glued to their television sets during the test series in South Africa, more film releases will witness dwindling audience attendances.
The only May release confirmed are Kal Kissne Dekha. Kambakkth Ishq starring Akshay Kumar, Kareena Kapoor and a string of Hollywood stars in cameo roles was supposed to release on 29 May. But this movie has now been postponed till August, informs Bhavna Mistry, EROS International.
Movies originally planned for May including New York, Life Partner, Raftaar 24x7, Shortcut -The Con is On and Jashn have now been put back due to strike action.
If so, then the Hindi film industry will have made up for lost time financially and also restored audiences’ confidence once again!
By Manish Gajjar