Bollywood movie producers have gone on an indefinite strike after they failed to reach to an agreement with multiplex owners over sharing the revenues generated by movies. The producers are threatening to put a stop to all the upcoming releases if they are not given 50% of the revenues and the theater owners are refusing to pay heed to the demand.
“It is unfortunate and a reality now. We are going on strike from April 4,” said producer Mukesh Bhatt.
“We have been discussing with (the multiplex owners) to sort out this issue for the last two months but no solution has been found.”
Multiplex owners say that they are unable to give half of the revenues generated by the movies to the producers until and unless a movie is a super hit. Flops and even marginally hit movies don’t leave a chance to share the revenues equally, given that most of the people in India still watch movies in small single-screen theaters.
“If a film does well we are willing to pay 50:50 revenue to producers but unfortunately if a film does not do well then we cannot pay that kind of money to them,” Tushar Dhingra, head of the Big Cinema multiplex chain, said.
Given the present situation, it doesn’t look like that a compromise would be reached soon. Industry analysts have expected at least a month’s delay before any big movie releases because of the strike.
The major movies that might get affected include Sajid Nadiadwala’s Kambakkht Ishq, Shahid Kapoor starrer Kaminey and Anil Kapoor’s Shortkut.
Around 3.7 billion tickets are being sold in the country in a year and around 70% of revenues are being generated by the multiplexes, thanks to the high priced tickets. Bollywood is estimated to be a $2 billion-a-year industry, according to Earnst & Young.