The dry spell of Bollywood that started with the standoff between the producers association and multiplex owners since April 4, is likely to end in the next few days, according to industry sources.
An official response from Big Pictures, which owns the Adlabs chain of multiplexes said, “Negotiations are in the final stage. We hope for a resolution early next week.” Another industry official, who requested not to be quoted, confirmed that a resolution is around the corner. “The negotiations are in the final lap”, he said.
Multiplex owners are believed to be agreeing upon a changed revenue-sharing structure. The end of the strike will help producers heave a sigh of relief as completed projects on hold may finally be released. This will help them manage spiralling interest costs better, which was difficult in the absence of any releases.
It will also mean that multiplexes, which suffered opportunity losses due to falling occupancies, may see businesses getting back on track. Some of the big movies likely to be released once the strike ends are Kambakht Ishq, Love Aaj Kal.
Speaking to Hindustan Times, Navin Shah, CEO, Percept Picture Company said, “Earlier producers’ share used to be 48 per cent, 38 per cent, 30 per cent and 25 per cent for the first four weeks, respectively. The new ratio will see their share increasing to 50 per cent, 42.5 per cent, 37.5 per cent and 30 per cent for the first four weeks, respectively.”
Due to the standoff, both multiplex owners as well as producers have suffered opportunity losses. The entire cycle of new movie releases has been pushed forward by about five weeks, due to the strike. Shah estimated that the losses for the entire multiplex industry could be around Rs 350 crore.
Even while the strike was on, some movies such as 99 and Detective Naani got released. “Producers broke the terms of the agreement”, said Shah.
Multiplex owners like PVR, Fame, Inox, Cinemax, Fun Cinemas, Big Cinemas had to run non-Hindi movies during the course of the strike. Queries sent to PVR and UTV remained unanswered.