Hollywood summer blockbusters like Rampage, Jurassic World, Skyscraper and Mission Impossible: Fallout didn’t find an 3D release in India leaving the fans disappointed. While the films that were shot in 3D released in the three-dimensional format across the globe, the Indian audience had to settle with the Digital 2D version of the film. The audience here is left wondering about the reason for films not releasing in 3D in India
After speaking to several exhibitors, we learnt that there is a big conflict going on between the exhibitors and the Hollywood studios taking the 3D glass share. Hollywood studios like Paramount, Universal Studios and Warner Brothers have demanded a 50% share from 3D glasses because that’s the business norm followed in countries like China, US, Canada and Australia to name a few.
The CEO’s at the studios are of the opinion that 3D glasses form a part of movie ticket, and they are entitled to a share in revenue that the cinema owners earn by charging extra for tickets. The exhibition sector in India believe that the 3D glasses are purchased by them and since all theatres in India are not equipped with 3D technology, it is an exclusive service provided by them to the audience. Charging that extra amount for 3D glasses is the only way for them to recover the huge chunk of investment made by them to provide the three-dimensional experience to the audience.
The Bollywood film producers never ask the exhibitors for a share from 3D glasses, and hence even Hollywood studios should keep themselves disassociated with the same. Even top Bollywood players like Salman Khan (Race 3), Shah Rukh Khan (Ra One and Don 2), Sanjay Leela Bhansali (Padmaavat) didn’t ask for the additional 3D share. So what makes the Hollywood studios put this unreasonable demand, which is nothing but unfair on the exhibition sector.
The two main players from Hollywood i.e. Disney and Fox Star Studios are well verse with the business practice in India and hence they had no issues to release their films in 3D. However, the other studios have put their foot down and refused to supply 3D prints in India until their demands are met with. In the fight between the two sectors, it is the audience who is suffering, as they are missing out on an experience. The Hollywood studios earn Billions of dollars in a year, and what they are fighting for is nothing but a small piece of pie. The revenue that they would earn by demanding a share from sale of 3D glasses would be less than Rs 10 crore for an average Hollywood film earning Rs 45 to 50 crore in India. It is too small an amount for the studios, but a huge chunk of money for the exhibitors and therefore the demands by studios in my opinion are quite harsh and unreasonable.
Here’s hoping that the issues are resolved and we get to see a lot of Hollywood Blockbusters in 3D. When Disney and Fox Star Studios can adapt the Indian model, why are the other studios shying away? As they say, “When in Rome, do as the Roman’s do.”