The war between the six national multiplex chains and the Hollywood studios only escalated this week. It started three weeks back when the multiplex chains decided to reduce the share in net collections of Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part 2, that would be given to the Hollywood studio and its distributors. When a settlement couldn’t be arrived at, the six chains released the film and its dubbed Hindi version but asked Warner Bros. to await a final settlement. And what would the settlement be? The cineplex owners made it clear to Warner that it would get the some share in revenues as the Hindi film producers and distributors if in the next four weeks, other Hollywood studios were also given that much.
However, if other Hollywood studios were given less than the share given to Hindi film producers and distributors, Warner would also have to settle for lower shares (45% in the first week instead of 50% and similarly in the subsequent weeks). This week saw the release of Twentieth Century Fox’s Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes and its dubbed Hindi version – and the same tension surfaced all over again. The Hollywood studio asked for 50% of net collection in the first week but the multiplex owners refused to give more than 45%. Since the percentage share they would be giving Fox would also have to be given to Warner for Harry Potter, it was obvious that the cineplex chains would not budge from their stand to not pay 50% of the net collections in the first week to Fox. And because Fox was also not willing to agree to the lower share, the face-off resulted in this week’s English film and its dubbed Hindi version not releasing in any of the six national multiplex chains.
It may be mentioned here that the agreement for revenue-sharing terms between multiplexes and producers/distributors, which expired on 30th June, has still not been renewed. Are the industry leaders in such deep slumber?