Kannada producers-multiplexes end row, new films being released

June 12th, 2009 - 6:21 pm ICT by IANS  

Shah Rukh Khan By R.G. Vijayasarathy
Bangalore, June 12 (IANS) Film buffs in Karnataka can heave a sigh of relief - the Kannada film industry’s long stand off with the multiplexes over revenue sharing has ended and two new films - “Olave Jeevana Lekkachara” and “Karanjji” - are being screened at multi-screen theatres Friday.

Talking to IANS, Vijaya Kumar, secretary of the distribution sector of the Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce (KFCC), who was part of the negotiations with the multiplex owners, said the settlement was possible because of the positive attitude of the Kannada film industry members as well as representatives of the multiplexes, particularly PVR and INOX.

The Kannada film industry demanded a higher percentage of share to be fixed in favour of the films on the basis of occupancy ratios in cinema halls. The industry also demanded preferential screening and multi screening facilities for big budget Kannada films.

The body that controls the major multiplexes like PVR, INOX, Fun Cinemas here is relieved and looking forward to the release of some good Hindi and Kannada films.

“We have the best infrastructure to attract the audience to the multi screens. We only need good films. Now, that the stand off is over, we are sure to get sizable number of audience to the multiplexes.

“We hope that the excitement generated during the release of films like Shah Rukh Khan starrer ‘Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi’ and Aamir Khan’s ‘Ghajini’ will return within a few days as a number of good releases are on the cards,” said officials of a multiplex.

But the industry pundits are concerned about the extent of loss suffered by the multiplexes in the last two months of the strike.

According to informed sources, the losses suffered by multiplexes was due to its fixed costs like employees salary and maintenance charges.

When contacted, S. Satish of the operations department of PVR Cinemas, said that he would not be able to give the exact figures of the loss. However, he was confident that normalcy would be restored immediately after the release of new Hindi and Kannada films.

Thomas D’Souza, secretary of the Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce, said: “The losses to the multiplexes are notional since no big releases came. And even if some of the big films had released during that time, it would be hard to estimate how it would have fared during this summer vacation when the second edition of IPL (Indian Premier League) 20-20 was in full swing. Live coverage of the cricket matches had the potential to affect the collections.

“Another issue of concern for PVR and INOX multiplexes was they had to face rough weather because the Kannada film producers had also not been releasing new films for the past four weeks. Even big Kannada films like Upendra starrer ‘Dubai Babu’ and Vijay starrer ‘Taakat’ were not released in multiplexes,” said D’Souza.

“The Hindi films slated to hit the multiplexes in next 50 days are ‘Kal Kissne Dekha’, ‘Paying Guest’, ‘New York”, ‘Love Aaj Kal’, ‘Kambakht Ishq’ and ‘Main aur Mrs. Khanna’,” said Basha, a Bangalore-based Hindi film distributor.

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