Multiplex row: Bollywood producer releases movie

May 16th, 2009 - 2:12 pm ICT by ANI  

Mumbai, May 16 (ANI): Aditya Shastri, producer of Bollywood movie ‘99′, released his film against the wishes of the United Forum, an association of Bollywood producers.

Producers are having a standoff with multiplexes over revenue sharing. They are insisting on a greater share of box-office revenues and are refusing to release new movies in multiplexes, piling on woes in an industry that is already battling a slowdown.

Shastri said that he had to release the movie against the wishes of the association in order to secure the future of his company and employees.

“We have a lot of money invested in the project. We spent a lot of money promoting the film and there is only so much that a producer can do to keep his product alive. The future of my films, my company and all my employees and their families depends on the release of the movie,” said Shastri.Meanwhile, the United Forum has expressed its displeasure on the decision of Shastri.

Mukesh Bhatt, chairman of the United Forum, said some action would be taken against Shastri.

Producers are demanding a 50 per cent share in box-office revenues, with multiplex owners favouring a performance-linked model based on a film’s budget and star power.

Multiplexes, which make up about 350 screens of a total of 13,500 screens, are largely concentrated in cities and big towns in India, and have also encouraged the production of low-budget films that are a departure from song-and-dance extravaganzas.

India’s film entertainment sector, estimated at about 2.2 billion dollars, is forecast to grow by more than nine per cent every year over the next five years, as per industry experts.

Multiplex owners have said the standoff comes at a time when no big releases were planned anyway, but the industry is already battling tighter credit and smaller budgets. (ANI)

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