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Marquees at war over Jodhaa Akbar screening

The battle between multiplexes all over the country and PVR Cinemas has intensified with the latter striking a deal with Jodhaa Akbar producers, reports Hiren Kotwani.
By Hiren Kotwani | Hindustan Times, Mumbai
UPDATED ON FEB 16, 2008 07:07 PM IST

After a truce which lasted 18 months, the association is once again witnessing a split.

In May 2006, some 'plexes had agreed to the demand for a hiked percentage of the ticket sales for Yash Chopra's Fanna. Others had been sore about the buckling in to pressure. Now, Jodhaa Akbar is the bone of contention. It is being shown only in PVR Cinemas.

According to a trade expert, "Although it is a member of the association, PVR broke free to strike its own deal with the producers UTV Motion Pictures."

"The association has not taking this lightly and has collectively decided to ban PVR. For starters, the other multiplexes will not screen the Hollywood film, August Rush, since it's being distributed by PVR."

Profit ke liye
The face-off has been reportedly triggered off by UTV, which asked for a heftier share of profits from the multiplexes.

Sources reveal that it is asking for a ratio of 50 per cent, 42.5 per cent and 35 per cent for the first, second and third week respectively.

At the time of going to press, the Multiplex Owners' Association had agreeing to the ratio of 50 per cent , 40 per cent and 35 per cent respectively.

The stalemate is over 2.5 per cent from the second week collections, which the 'plexes aren't willing to concede.

Our source adds that even if the multiplexes reach an agreement with UTV over the terms of profit-sharing, they still won't screen August Rush on their screens.

Disagreements
"The question of releasing the PVR-distributed film doesn't arise because what they did was unethical. We're all fighting in the interest of the members of the association. If one member chooses to pursue his own interests. The association cannot be taken for granted."

We contacted Sanjeev Bijli of PVR Cinemas for his side of the story. After hearing us, he said that he was out of the country and we should speak to Aashish Saksena, COO, PVR West. Saksena was unreachable.

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