Multiplex Owner Talks Fail

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In a stormy meeting on Monday night held at Yash Raj Studios, producers and multiplex owners again failed to reach agreement on revenue shares on Bollywood movies and the boycott of the 250 multiplexes by key producers continues. Luckily, at this time of the year, there would be very few A-list releases due to school exams and the IPL cricket league.

At the meeting, the producers stuck to their demand of a flat rate of 50% of revenues for the entire run of the movie. They rejected a presentation by the multiplex owners suggesting a different mix. Currently, multiplex owners get 52-55% in the first week, rising to 55-60% in the second week and up to 70% from the third week onwards.

“Our talks have stalled. Multiplexes have come back with the same formula they had proposed in January 2009, with absolutely no change. If that was a feasible percentage then why would we have stalled releases for so many months and deprived audiences of films?” asked Mukesh Bhatt, spokesperson for the producers, after the meeting. “We are not meeting again, not at least in the near future. We are looking at an alternative release strategy of releasing films in single screens and independent non-national multiplexes.” he confirmed.

UTV Motion Pictures said they were now looking at releasing Kaminey with Shahid Kapur and Priyanka Chopra in the 8000 single-screen cinemas only. “Since there is no resolution on the national chain of multiplex issue, UTV will proceed to start releasing its big and small movies in single-screen theatres and non-national chain multiplexes nationwide from July onwards,” a spokesman said.

Deepak Asher, President of the Multiplex Association of India said, “We were in discussions to find a solution that would leave both equally satisfied,” said Deepak Asher, president of the association. “We had a meeting but we were not able to find a solution. Revenue sharing was the primary issue and we were not able to reconcile our differences. We are formulating a white paper for the media, which should be ready in a couple of days, to put our points in the right perspective.”

Multiplex cinemas occupy around 65-70% of the cinema market in India.

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