In November 2018 we saw the release of the big ticket Amitabh Bachchan – Aamir Khan starrer Thugs of Hindostan. While the film itself did not do well at the box office in the long run, it did start off on a high note. The reason for this massive start was attributed to the fact that the makers of Thugs of Hindostan, Yash Raj Films had secured a path breaking deal with cinema owners to exhibit the film. Now, we hear that with the upcoming Hrithik Roshan – Tiger Shroff starrer War, Yash Raj Films have demanded a similar deal from theatre owners.
Commenting on the same a source close to the matter says, “Back when Thugs of Hindostan released, Yash Raj Films had sold the film to theatre owner/exhibitors at a rather hefty minimum guarantee. However with the film under-performing at the box office, most exhibitors ended up facing nearly 50% loss. Now with War, YRF has demanded a similar if not better deal from exhibitors, which has obviously left many seething.” Prod the source for more details about the simmering conflict between exhibitors and YRF and the source continues, “After Thugs tanked at the box office, exhibitors had approached YRF to seek partial redressal of their loss, but YRF dismissed the same with impunity. This has left not just a bad taste but also a nasty memory among distributors.”
Further talking about the issue exhibitors’ face a source close to them says, “The last time a film was projected to be the new benchmark setter it tanked, and it was exhibitors who lost a lot. Now the same production house is returning with yet another ‘benchmark setter’ and demanding similar terms seems unjust, since if this film too under-performs it will be the exhibitors who suffer again. Now, obviously not wanting to burn their fingers again, and at the same time not lose out on a potential money spinner, exhibitors have found themselves stuck between a rock and a hard place.”
While it still remains unclear whether exhibitors will bend to YRF’s demands the release date for War is fast approaching. And point out this detail our source adds, “War is slated to release on October 2, a holiday weekend that will ensure a good start. No one wants to lose out on the business but it looks like YRF and cinema owners have reached an impasse, which can be solved only with time. But whatever be the solution, the same has to be arrived at immediately.”