Movie-goers and movie producers have reasons to cheer.
The Competition Commission of India (CCI), moving to ensure fair play in film production and distribution pattern, has said that all movie halls whether standalone or part of multiplexes cannot take a discriminatory decision against a particular movie or production company.
Eros International Media Ltd and Sunshine Pictures Private Ltd and others had appealed to the regulator whose job is to ensure fair competition in any industry.
In a recent order, the CCI said several film bodies and associations had indulged in various anti-competitive activities in violation of competition rules asking producers, distributors to compulsorily register their films before release.
"There have been a few complaints and we want to ensure there is fair play and the principles of competition should be upheld," said Ashok Chawla, chairman, CCI.
There must be smooth functioning between producers, distributors and exhibitors so that the consumers (movies goers) are not affected, he added.
A distributor buys rights for screening a film in a particular "territory" and recovers costs from the exhibition of the film.
"However, often due to problems arising out of revenue sharing or past dues, exhibitors refuse to screen films," said Chawla. "This will have to stop, exhibitors would not be allowed to discriminate between movies and producers based on past records."
The show business has welcomed the move.
The tussle between theatre owners and movie distributors and producers has been recurrent problem that needed to be addressed, said film trade experts.
Earlier, the United Producers and Distributors Forum had postponed the releases of Shah Rukh Khan and Aamir Khan starring films in national multiplex chains as they wanted to explore the possibility of screening new releases in only single screen theatres across the country.