With no big releases, movie buffs at a loss

April 15th, 2009 - 3:48 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, April 15 (IANS) It’s a dry spell at the box office thanks to the ongoing tussle between the producers and multiplex owners. Movie buffs, deprived of their usual dose of entertainment, are looking for other options.
“Every week I would end up watching a film with family and friends. But now that there aren’t any movies worth watching, I’m planning to go to an amusement park, something that was being delayed for quite some time now,” averred 22-year-old Leena Hiranandani working with a chartered accountancy firm.

The producer-multiplex tussle is over revenue sharing.

While the producers and distributors forum decided last month not to push any new releases in multiplexes after April 4, the films released in single screen theatres have not been worth watching.

“Ek se Bure Do”, “Coffee House”, “Pal Pal Dil Ke Pass” and “Royal Utsav” - all received a cold shoulder from the audience.

“People really need a good breather on weekends. And because of this fight between the producers and the multiplexes we are not getting what we really need - entertainment. Now I have no other option but to watch some classic movies at home,” said Karan Sachdeva, a 24-year-old media professional.

Priyanka Anand, a housewife, said: “We love watching movies on weekends. But now that no new films are coming, I don’t know what to do. So finally we have decided to visit the monuments in Delhi.”

BPO professional Karma Saxena said: “I used to watch films with friends at weekends. Now when there are no films, I spend time with my family.”

Delhi-based post-graduation student Shweta Sharma is a Hindi film aficionado and going to the nearest multiplex with friends to catch a film was her idea of fun.

However, the present situation has left her weekend without any activity.

“Watching movies is my passion. Every Friday I wait for new films. But it’s been long that I have gone to see one because of the multiplex tussle. It’s a sad situation for someone like me. Now I don’t have anything to do on the weekend,” she said.

After a disastrous first quarter of 2009, this seems to be the industry’s worst dream coming true with hardly any films being confirmed for the next two months except “Kal Kissne Dekha”, releasing May 1 and “Kambakkth Ishq”, scheduled to open May 29.

According to filmmaker Mukesh Bhatt, Bollywood is bleeding.

“We (the film industry) are bleeding. This strike is affecting the industry and we are suffering colossal losses,” Bhatt, chairman of the United Forum for Bollywood Producers and Distributors, told IANS.

On being asked about the approximate percentage of loss that the industry is expected to suffer, he said: “As of now, we are not doing any number crunching but we are sure the loss will ultimately be huge.”

With no definite date till when the strike is supposed to be on, moviegoers would miss their share of entertainment for quite some time.

“It’s such a sad situation that I’m not getting my dose of entertainment. I’m just hoping that the dry spell gets over soon. However, till then I’ll explore markets that I haven’t done for some time now. I’m sure shopping is the only thing that I can pass my time with, if there are no films,” said 30-year-old Niharika Dhar.

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