The merger of the two biggest multiplex chains of India, PVR and Inox, happened some time back. When the news about their partnership was out last year, it was expected to make the producers and distributors uncomfortable with their increase in clout and power when it comes to bargaining. But even before the two get into action as one entity, the Punjabi film producers and distributors have already started feeling uncomfortable, as per a report by Film Information.PVR-Inox merger: With the Punjabi industry crying foul, are these the signs of things to come due to the merger of the 2 multiplex chains?
PVR and Inox, along with the third biggest multiplex chain in India, Cinepolis, have asked the Punjabi film producers to change the window of a film’s OTT release from four to eight weeks allegedly without consulting the producers and the distributors. In other words, they want a film to release on OTT eight weeks after its theatrical release, instead of the existing norm of four weeks. Unlike Hindi films, regional language films like Punjabi are allowed to release their film on OTT four weeks after their theatrical release. This affects the producers because the longer the gap for a film to release on OTT, the lesser the price they get from the platforms.
The report also mentioned that the multiplexes want the Punjabi film producers and distributors to sign an undertaking agreeing to release their films on OTT eight weeks after their theatrical release.
Reacting to this, Zee Studios wrote off a letter to the Producers Guild of India yesterday, requesting them to reduce the theatrical window back to four weeks, so that they can get in more revenue from the OTT platforms. “The Punjabi industry releases over 70 films a year; and with lower revenue shares, extended windowing, ends up on the losing side due to a monopolistic scenario created by the multiplexes. We urge the Guild and all stake holders to come together, discuss all pros and cons threadbare and arrive at a mutually beneficial resolution,” said an excerpt from the letter.
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