After two months of empty seats and no-shows at ticket counters, multiplex owners are happy their stand-off with the producers-distributors over revenue sharing ended Friday. They are content with the solution arrived at.
According to the final settlement, 50, 42, 35 and 30 percent of collections in the first, second, third and fourth weeks respectively will be shared between the two parties.
"We have resolved all the issues amicably and in a manner that both sides are happy. We will issue a press release on Monday which will detail the specifics of the meet," Deepak Ashar, director of Inox Leisure and spokesperson of Multiplex Association of India told IANS over phone from Mumbai.
Tusshar Dhingra, COO, Big cinemas echoed the same and said: "We are content with the decision because whatever has been finalised has been a mutual decision."
Most of the mulitplex owners are happy with the the solution but they are expecting only "average" footfalls.
"We feel it's a decision which is best for everyone... we are now expecting a good response in terms of footfalls but not an overwhelming one because once all promos for new movies went off air, audiences have gone into a no-release mood," said Munish Sharma, general manager (marketing) of Delhi-based multiplex chain Satyam Cineplex.
"It might take a week or two to bring in absolute footfalls but things just might be getting into order June 19 onwards," he added.
But Dhingra is positive and said: "For Indians, watching movies is among the top most out-of-home activity that they indulge in, so, their movie watching habit will not die down so soon and they are going to revisit theaters."
The first films to release June 12 are Vashu Bhagnani's Kal Kissne Dekha and Mithun Chakraborty-starrer Zor Laga Ke Haiya.
Other movies slated for release in the near future include New York, Agyaat, Kaminey, Paathshala, Johnny Mastana, Kissan, Kambakth Ishq, Love Aaj Kal, What's Your Rashee?, Wake Up Sid, Main Aur Mrs Khanna, Aashayein, Aage Se Right, Tum Mile and Jashnn.
The standoff between producers-distributors and multiplex owners started in February over revenue sharing. While the producers demanded a flat 50 percent share of all film revenues irrespective of the stars, budget and box office collection, the exhibitors stressed on sharing profits based on the earnings of a film.
As a result, the United Producers and Distributors Forum (UPDF) decided not to push any new releases in multiplexes April 4 onwards and suspend marketing and distribution of all films.
While, multiplexes like PVR and BIG cinemas temporarily shut down some screens, exhibitors on the whole tried to keep the ticket window buzzing by playing re-runs of popular Hindi and English movies like Jodhaa Akbar, Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi, Dhoom 2, Life...in a Metro, Transformers, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Mr. Bean's Holiday, Razzle Dazzle and Marley and Me.
So far as the loses are concerned, the total loss for all multiplexes is expected to be around Rs.300 crore.