Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Movie producers'-Multiplex owners row: A conspiracy theory

The ongoing strike by Bollywood producers against multiplex owners has definitely affected everybody. For those unaware, the producers decided to go on strike because the multiplex owners refused to agree to the producers' demands for greater share in profits from ticket sales at multiplexes. From movie watchers, to the producers, to the parking lot contractors, beverage stall owners in the multiplex, everyone stands to lose a lot of revenue. With movies not being released, their pirated versions too are not available. Hence many movie watchers (those who cannot afford multiplex tickets) are starved for movies.

But this strike is not without conspiracy theories. The beginning of the strike coincided with the IPL 2009 season. IPL began on 18th April (the kickoff began a few days earlier), while the movie producers began their strike on 3rd April. Well before the IPL, many producers had decided not to release movies when the IPL is going on as it affects their revenues. Hence, even without the strike, very few movies would have been released during the IPL. The tiff with multiplex owners gave the producers a very good reason for not releasing their movies. With this year's IPL producing much more drama, the bickering between producers and multiplex owners too started increasing as the tournament progressed. The IPL will be followed by the T20 World Cup in England. The T20 WC will be held between 6th and 21st June 2009. That IPL causes a drop in movie ticket sales is well known from previous year's experience.

According to this article (dated 5th May 2009), any movie requires 2-3 weeks of promotion prior to its release. And on 30th May, there were reports that the producers are willing to end the strike and have presented a compromise formula on the profits. Apparently, there have been claims that both sides are under pressure because of the financial losses they are facing. The ball now is in the multiplex owners' court. It is for the multiplex owners to now respond to the situation.

So, if the strike ends, we should see movies coming to multiplexes in two weeks from the date of truce. Assuming that the strike ends by 10th June, movies should be released on screens by 20th June. And 21st June is the T20 World Cup final. So, the multi-crore rupee question is
Was this strike actually called by the producers so as to extract a greater profit share from multiplex owners or was it just a means to avoid releases during IPL and T20 World Cup?
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  1. I think it was to avoid releasing until the IPL is over coz if there was no IPL and still they go on a strike the loss is definitely theirs.

  2. @rads,

    That is very much the conspiracy theory. And I'm sure they will be out with movies by the time the T20 WC ends.

  3. Vindicated I stand, once again!