Koimoi.com Exclusive: As it happened in the case of Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part 2, so also it happened last week in the case of Singham. The uncertainty over the release of the two films in the national multiplex chains of India came to an end only some hours before the release. The disagreement between the multiplex chains on the one hand and the producer/distributors of the two films on the other was in both cases over the revenue sharing terms. There was one basic difference, though. While the dispute for Harry Potter started when multiplexes refused to pay 50% of the net collections to the producer/ distributors of the Hollywood film, the battle in the case of Singham began when the producer (Reliance Entertainment) demanded more than 50% of the net collections in the first week, which the national multiplex chains refused to give.
Reliance Entertainment will not get less than 50% in first week and 42.5% in second week even if the share from the six multiplex chains is less than Rs. 11 crore.
Cinemax multiplex chain was the first to arrive at a settlement with Reliance and agreed to screen Singham, leaving the revenue-sharing terms to be decided later. The other four chains (besides Big which is owed by Reliance Entertainment itself) viz. PVR, Inox, Fame and Fun simply refused to part with more than 50% in week 1 and, likewise, more than 42.5% in week 2. The tension went on till Thursday (July 21) evening so that the film’s advertisements in newspapers did not even carry the names of the multiplexes till Friday morning. It was only on the day of the release (Friday, July 22) that the public got to know that the film was being released in all the multiplexes. Many display ads in the newspapers did not even carry the show timings of multiplexes on Friday. And what was ultimately settled between the warring sides? The revenue- sharing terms remain unchanged i.e. 50% to the distributor in first week, 42.5% in 2nd week, 37.5% in 3rd week and 30% in 4th week. In case the share from the six multiplex chains is more than Rs. 24.85 crore, the distributor will be entitled to an additional 2.5% of the net collections in the first two weeks. What Reliance Entertainment did manage to convince the PVR, Inox, Fame and Fun Multiplexes to not insist on was the lower threshold figure of Rs. 11 crore. Eros and UTV have reportedly agreed to reduce their share in the first two weeks, when their films release, by 2.5% per week if their films earn a share of less than Rs. 11 crore from the six national multiplex chains. But as per the settlement arrived at for Singham, Reliance Entertainment will not get less than 50% in first week and 42.5% in second week even if the share from the six multiplex chains is less than Rs. 11 crore.
While all this is fine, the worrisome part is that the multiplexes on Friday recorded collections less than they would’ve recorded had there been clarity about the release of Singham. Since the release in the multiplex chains was finalised only on Thursday night, there was no advance booking also for the film. The same was the case with Harry Potter.