In a development in the distributor-multiplex dispute, Tollywood distributors have agreed to allow their films to be shown in multiplexes after May 1st – the day the boycott was due to come into effect. “The multiplexes agreed to seven out of the 10 demands we had placed before them at the meeting. We wanted the multiplexes to be less rigid on show timings for Bengali films. Advance booking for Bengali films would open only on Thursday evening or Friday. Now, the multiplex authorities have agreed to start advance bookings from Wednesday,” said Pulak Mukherjee, of the East India Motion Picture Association.
The 50-50 issue regarding the demand by distributors that they should receive 50% of the revenue will need to be resolved at a national level. The move represents a gain for the Bengali film industry, so often seen as working in the shadow of the Mumbai industry or Bollywood. “Until now, the multiplexes have failed to understand the business prospects of Bengali films are different from those of Bollywood releases,” Pulak explained, “Bengali films do good business on the second and third week but most multiplexes do not run Bengali films for three weeks. These issues have been sorted out in the meeting.”
The first films to benefit from the concessions are Cross Connection and Rangeen Godhuli. The first is a double love story with Rimjhim Mitra and Abir Chatterjee; the second was released last week after the boycott was pushed back by a week and is still showing.