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Monday, June 8, 2009

Strike over, but clash of release dates daunts filmmakers

By Agencies

The Bollywood strike may have ended but trouble continues for filmmakers who fear losses with the back to back release of some mega budget movies, which may divide the audiences. 

More than 50 films with an estimated budget of over 1200 crore are lined up for release, after the two-month long strike between producers-distributors and multiplex owners ended on June 5. 

"After the end of the strike between multiplex owners and Bollywood producers, filmmakers are keen to sort out release dates of their movies as they don't want them hit theatres at the same time," said producer Vasu Bhagnani, whose film 'Kal Kissne Dekha' will release on June 12. It is the debut film of his son, Jackky Bhagnani. 

Yashraj films 'New York' is also ready to hit the theatres on June 26 but director Kabir Khan says, "The biggest problem for the filmmakers is to find proper dates. My film is ready to release for the past two months but the strike is definitely going to affect business," Khan added. 

The films that are lined up for release include Sajid Nadiadwala's 'Kambakkht Ishq', Vasu Bhagnani's 'Kal Kissne Dekha', Imtiaz Ali directed 'Love Aajkal', Yashraj Films' 'New York', Ramgopal Verma's horror flick 'Agyat', Sujoy Ghosh's 'Aladin', 'Blue', 'Mr and Mrs Khanna' and 'Luck'. 

With so many mega budget films ready to release it is a daunting task for filmmakers to find a date which will not clash with other movies. 

UTV is set to release Ramgopal Verma's horror flick on July 24. The filmmaker also has 'Raktcharitra' lined up for release though no date has been fixed. When asked about the clash of dates, Ram Gopal Verma said that the filmmakers will have to bear some losses now that the strike is over. 

The Bollywood producers-distributors went on a strike on April 4. The last film to release was Akshay Kumar's 'Tasveer'. 

UTV is also planning to announce the release dates of 'Kaminaay' and 'Aage Se Right' soon. Filmmaker Subhash Ghai said that his new film 'Paying Guest' will release on June 19. 

'Love Aaj Kal' director Imtiaz Ali said, "I am very happy that the strike has ended because after working hard and investing your money you do not want to sit back with a film. However, with so many big budget films releasing together, the industry is likely to face losses." 

Under the new agreement between producers-distributors and multiplex owners, producers will get 50 per cent of the revenue from ticket sales in week one, 42.5 per cent in week two, 37.5 per cent in week three and 30 per cent from fourth week onwards. In addition to this, there will be a bonus on all those films which do exceptionally well at the box office. 

In case a movie collects more than Rs.17.5 crore at the top six multiplex chains (excluding single screens and independent multiplexes), then the terms will be 52.5 per cent in the first week, 45 in the second, 37.5 in the third and 30 from the fourth week onwards.

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