Last year, Ajay Devgn had filed a case against production house Yash Raj Films for using their dominance in the industry to book maximum number of screens for Jab Tak Hai Jaan (2012), and in effect, leaving hardly any options for his film, Son of Sardaar (which released on the same day).
A similar situation is feared as Chennai Express and Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai Again gear up for their Eid release. However, it seems that both contending parties might just be able to mend fences. Next month, multiplex owners and film producers will meet to discuss new policies to tackle the matter."We are in the process of resolving the matter. Nothing concrete has worked out as of now. I hope that the meeting brings a favourable result," says Mukesh Bhatt, president, Film & Television Producers Guild of India. Highlighting another angle to the current debate, producers and multiplexes claim that controversies happen every week. "Every week, till Thursday, the screening of films remains undecided. We faced the issue during the release of Aatma, Akaash Vani and the same is happening with all the films. The agreement to book screens in advance has expired and until that is renewed, the problem won’t be solved," says Kumar Mangat, film producer.
Concurs Girish S Wankhede, GM, marketing and public relations, Cinemax India Ltd, “Many films get delayed for not getting screens. The meeting will resolve the issue by renewing the terms and conditions.”
Kumar, however, admits that production houses and multiplexes share a symbiotic relationship. “Both need to survive and in order to do that, we need to solve the problem,” he says.