After seven weeks of being on strike, film producers now say secondary issues like distribution and ticket pricing are now holding up an agreement on the primary issue of profit sharing.
The producers claim the multiplexes want an all-or-none rule on distribution — films should either be released in all multiplexes or none. This, the producers say, makes bad distribution sense.
“Releasing all films everywhere is not an option. Films like Little Zizou and Oye Lucky!Lucky Oye! cannot be released in all multiplexes in all cities — that would make our distribution strategies redundant,” said Mukesh Bhatt, spokesperson for the United Distributors and Producers Forum.
The producers also say multiplexes’ expensive ticket pricing is fuelling film piracy and consequently diluting their revenues.
Another peripheral issue now on the table is the number of shows — the producers say multiplexes change that number after the first week without letting them know about it.
On the central issue, the producers are now demanding 50-45-40 per cent for the first three weeks, down from their initial demand of a flat rate of 50 per cent. The multiplexes have offered them 50-42.5-35.30 per cent for three weeks.
“Talks have been on. I cannot comment on the specifics of the meetings, but we are in the process of finding a solution,” said Deepak Asher, spokesperson for the Multiplex Association.
The strike began on April 4. For the first time in the history of the Hindi film industry, no big films have released in six weeks.
With the general elections done, a fertile release period for new films is in sight but the end of the strike is not.