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    Sooryavanshi-theatre row: Exhibitors ask for pre-Covid revenue sharing; flexibility in shortening of OTT window

    Bollywood ruckus Yesterday reported that the manufacturers Soryavanshi, Which is scheduled to release on 2 April, has sought a 70% revenue share from Multiplex. According to the pre-Kovid era system, producers used to get 50% share. Also, they have asked to shorten the OTT window from 8 weeks to 4 weeks. However, the exhibition area has not yet agreed to these conditions. The revenue sharing model, according to him, is not financially possible for theaters. Also, many theater owners fear that if films go digital in just 4 weeks, it could reduce footfall. But with Tamil blockbusters Respected teacher (2021) An example has already been set before reaching Amazon Prime in 16 days.

    Then there is also the issue of virtual print fee (VPF). This is an amount, usually Rs. 20,000 per screen, charged by multiplexes, and in the case of single screens by a third party to producers to upgrade their projection system for a better cinematic experience. Many producers feel that charging VPF is no longer necessary as theaters have recovered costs. Furthermore, the fact that it was only from Indian films and not Hollywood films has been a part of a long-standing dispute between them. In this case, the makers want exemption from VPF.

    Should the OTT window be shortened from 8 weeks to 4 weeks?

    We asked the three exhibitors their views and expectations regarding these issues. Raj Bansal, owner of Entertainment Paradise in Jaipur said, “(OTT window) 8 weeks Of Hi rihanna. Anything less is going unfair with exhibitors and distributors. For a short film, a four-week window between theatrical and digital is fine. But big budget movies last 6 to 8 weeks and releasing them within 4 weeks is absolutely inappropriate. If I find out that I can watch a particular movie online after a few weeks, then I will try to avoid going to theaters. This will be a big hurdle in our business. “

    However, Vishek Chauhan, owner of Rupani Cinema in Bihar, commented, “Reducing the OTT window from 8 to 4 weeks does not matter. Till here Wonder Woman 1984 (2020) was released on SVOD (subscription video-on-demand) and not PVOD (premium video-on-demand). It was later released in theaters as it began to flow from midnight. It was cold and Kovid-19 was at its peak. Nevertheless, it was successful in raising $ 16.7 million at the North American box office over the weekend. When Respected teacher Amazon Prime hits, collections in theaters that week were very strong. The drop was normal, not worrying. Cinemas do not compete with OTT platforms. Secondly, we have been competing with piracy for a long time. I will share an event with you. I was running Sultan (2016) in my theater. In the restaurant next door, which was also run by me, I saw three people watching the same movie, SultanOn their mobile phones. I felt bad. But I understand that the audience is different. Theatrical audience doesn’t really care if a particular film will come on OTT. With a population of 135 crores in our country, even if 2% of the people watch the movie in theaters, it becomes a blockbuster. So, I don’t think the lack of OTT and theatricality will make much difference, because people who want to see the film in theaters will do so anyway, which could happen. “

    He has an interesting solution for this tiff, “Variable windowing should play. A one-size-fits-all model is not practical. For example, like a movie Ramprasad’s Tahrvi (2021) was a non-starter from day one. Why should producers withdraw film from digital for 4 weeks or 8 weeks? Allow it to be released on a streaming platform in 2 weeks time. I believe the collection in theaters should decide when the film should be released digitally. If a film is running strong in theaters, its digital premiere should be postponed. There should be a threshold mark – say if a film starts collecting less than Rs. 15 crores or Rs. 10 crores a week, then it is worth going to OTT.

    “This will help producers earn more,” he said. And if they earn more, they will, in turn, make more films. So let’s not become enemies of each other. Let’s be smart and help the film business grow. The notion that preventing viewers from going to theaters is a myth. Respected teacher The theater business shown is alive and kicking and will always be around theaters. “

    Akshay Rathi, film exhibitor and distributor, as he says, agrees, “There should be a degree of flexibility. Ideally, it should be a minimum of 4 weeks to start. It’s not completely normal right now and it’s It is important that producers and exhibitors look at each other’s backs rather than looking at their individual interests. We would love it if producers gave us a chance to excel with business Soryavanshi And God forbid if it’s weak, I think it’s only right that producers hope they will be allowed to release on OTT before the normal old school window of 8 weeks. Such flexibility and give-and-take is important, at least for a few months or the first few big-ticket Hindi film releases. “

    Zee has the first significant film to release its PVOD portal, ZeePlex and Post Lockdown, Sun heavy on mars (2020), arrived on this platform in a month’s time. It is only after 8 weeks that it made its way to Zee’s OTT platform, the Zee5. Raj Bansal is fine with this arrangement and says, “India is not ready for pay-per-view subscription yet.” I would much prefer a film released on the pay-per-view channel than an OTT release before 8 weeks. It doesn’t affect me much. “

    Should VPF be dropped?

    For VPF, Akshay Rathi says, “These conversations cannot take place in a different way. VPF is a complex matter. The national chain of multiplexes charges the VPF itself. In the case of single screens, there is a third party called UFO that collects fees. Therefore, it should be a three-party dialogue and only then a mutually appropriate solution can be achieved. “

    Meanwhile, Vishal Chauhan starts in a mild vein, “As far as I know, India is the only country where VPF is a revenue model. We log The projector se paise kamate hai! “He then suggests,” You can’t force the VPF system to shut down overnight. If it does, it will greatly affect UFO movies and in turn, it will affect the existence of single-screen and standalone multiplexes. . So I agree that there should be a section of Sunset. You cannot expect a cough of rupees from the filmmakers. 20,000 per movie per theater for life. So VPF should go in a phased manner so that people are not hurt. This will give them time to explore other streams of revenue generation, such as logistics or cloning fees; or, perhaps, advertising may be larger, etc. “

    Would higher revenue sharing be ideal for producers in the post-Kovid era?

    Finally, speaking of revenue sharing, exhibitors feel that in the long run, producers will not be able to demand higher terms. Vishek Chauhan said, “success of Respected teacher And Crack Has kickstarted business in the South. Same will happen in bollywood Soryavanshi. Hence the first film can be paid more in terms of revenue. Its makers can negotiate as there are no other big films around. But once it emerges as a success, I believe this revenue sharing discussion will be closed once and for all. Speaking of Soryavanshi, Postponed for one year, his budget was Rs. Has increased. 15-20 crores Rs. Even they need to recover their costs, right? “

    He also lists the results of this new practice, stating, “High revenue share for manufacturers will not be in the interest of the business either.” Because if this system was not profitable, many cinemas would have closed down. If every film starts recovering 65–70% of revenue, the exhibitors do not make enough money to cover costs or generate profits. In addition, it will put a question on future investment. So people will not invest in theaters or upgrade their properties. A lot of thought was put into coming up with the 50:50 revenue sharing model. “

    Vishek Chauhan also says in another future scenario, “If two much-awaited films come on the same day, and if one asks for 70% of revenue, while the other agrees with the rates of normal pre-Kovid era, obviously Exhibitors will be interested to showcase the latter film. “

    Akshay Rathi said, “Increase in revenue sharing will be a short term thing. With due respect, as much as producers have waited, even exhibitors have waited and paid revenue, maintenance fees, electricity bills, etc., so instead of trying to prove that you are for us Doing a favor or we owe you. , We need to look at the fact that without the existence of this ecosystem, we will all collapse. Everyone performed sacrifices. Now is the time to stand by each other and help each other rebuild the business as soon as possible. “

    Shall we go back to the old model?

    Raj Bansal believes that with time, everything will be done as before – revenue will be divided according to the old model and movies will run on OTT only after 8 weeks. They say, “If normalcy comes soon and Soryavanshi Released in April, the next 9 months will be historic in terms of box office collections! So it will be back to normal in all cases. There is so much of backlog. No one will get a solo release. For the festive weekend, there will be 3 releases and for the non-festive week, there are chances that there will be at least 2 releases. “

    Meanwhile, Vishek Chauhan predicted, “Without him ()Soryavanshi Producer) 70% revenue Mangs have risen, Go tab 60% Pay weight done Hogie. Had they asked for 55%, multiplexes would have insisted on 50%. So I believe they will decide 55-60% at the end of the day for multiplexes. Non-national multiplexes and single screens can agree for 5% more. “

    However, the discussion will not be ugly. There is genuine respect and understanding of each other’s position. Raj Bansal said, “I want to thank the makers Soryavanshi. He stood by the exhibition industry and delayed its theatrical release by a year. We should appreciate that gesture. “

    Also Read: REVEALED: Sorivanshi manufacturers seeking 70% revenue share from multiplex; 4-week OTT window

    More pages: Sowrivanshi Box Office Collection

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