No hindi film will be released on Friday and those running in the multiplexes could also be withdrawn after April 24.
The decisions were taken by the United Producers and Distributors Forum which is in a standoff with multiplexes over profit-sharing for the last two months.
“After April 24, we’re going to withdraw the older content also, like Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi and Ghajini. We wanted to give each film five to six weeks’ time, before we withdraw it completely,” Priti Shahani, senior vice-president, Indian Films Company, said.
This is first of its kind strike the Hindi film industry has seen after the first multiplex was set up in the country in 1997.
The multiplex association has not contacted the producers and distributors forum after Tuesday’s conference where actors Aamir Khan and Shah Rukh Khan backed its demand for equal sharing of profits. The multiplexes want performance-based sharing.
But for the first day, first show buffs, there are Ek Se Bure Do and Pal Pal Dil Ke Ssaath, apart from the scheduled English film releases.
Understandably, people are upset.“Multiplexes are the only places that have late night shows — at 10.45 and 11.15 —, people in our profession find it very difficult to watch films otherwise,” said Neha Bist, a television producer.
Single-screen theatres have been dragged into the crisis, with no producers willing to release films in single screen halls after the failure of Aa Dekhen Zara.
“It saddens me to see this day, but nothing is forever... If nothing works out, we will revive single-screen theatres, and bring movies out in those again,” said forum spokesperson and producer Mukesh Bhatt. The multiplex association wasn’t available for comment.