One of the complaints from the single screen and 2 or 3 screen multiplexes is how the producers or studios compel them that their film needs to be played in their cinemas, not just in the first but in the subsequent weeks as well. The exhibitors get into a fix especially when an exciting film is up for release simultaneously or in the next week. The single screen cinema owners are at times also told to choose between two films and the problem gets compounded when two studios are making such diktats at the same time. The theatre owners feel that producers should sit across the table and agree on a middle ground instead of making their lives hell.
Yash Raj Films gives a FREE HAND to exhibitors to allot shows to Akshay Kumar-starrer Samrat Prithviraj in Week 2 as per the film’s performance in Week 1; exhibitors react to this development
After the second wave, the exhibitors faced issues during the clash of Sooryavanshi and Eternals and later during the release of 83, which was released a week before Pushpa and Spider-Man: No Way Home.
However, the situation seems to be getting better and Yash Raj Films (YRF) has taken the initiative to do so. According to a trade report, YRF has not made any demands to the exhibitors with regards to compulsorily playing their much awaited film Samrat Prithviraj in the second week. This is unlike their modus operandi.
A source told Bollywood Hungama, “Not just YRF. All big producers and distributors indulge in this practice, even for their small films. YRF had asked cinemas even during Jayeshbhai Jordaar's release that the film needs to be played for at least 2 weeks in cinemas. Of course, theatres were not bound by any contract to do so. Moreover, Jayeshbhai Jordaar performed so poorly that many cinemas discontinued playing it in the second week.”
It's not known why YRF has not placed the ‘two week’ condition. Trade speculates that it's due to the unpredictable nature of the market or that it's clashing with two promising films, Major and Vikram. The source added, “Jurassic World: Dominion, which releases on June 10, must have played a role too. Hence, they must have told the exhibitors that ‘second week mein dekh lena kya karna hai’.”
An exhibitor on condition of anonymity said, “Many theatres had suffered during the Sooryavanshi-Eternals row. The situation had also gotten awkward when 83 was to release a week after Spider-Man: No Way Home and Pushpa. This time, we are glad that we’ll be allowed to play both Samrat Prithviraj and Jurassic World: Dominion. This is great as both the movies look exciting. We hope this trend picks up.”
When contacted, Akshaye Rathi, a film exhibitor and distributor, said, “Right now, we are living in times when there’s so much uncertainty around which films will do well and which films will not. Everything is now dependent on the law of supply and demand from the audience. If the film is doing well, cinemas would want to maximize the output from it. This is because the films that are doing well are doing exceptionally well while the films that are not doing well are virtually collecting nothing at all. Any film, whether Samrat Prithviraj or Major or Samrat Prithviraj or any film releasing before or after, that manages to work, cinemas will hold on to it by themselves and no kind of bindings, diktats or mandates need to be given to them. If Samrat Prithviraj scores, there’s absolutely no doubt that all the exhibitors across the country that are playing it will continue it in Week 2 and 3 and even beyond till the audience wants to keep coming. God forbid if audiences don’t turn up for Samrat Prithviraj or any other film, of course, it’ll be replaced by some other movie which will be given a chance at the box office.”
Vishek Chauhan, owner of Roopbani Cinema in Bihar, reminded that Jurassic World: Dominion is a Hollywood movie and hence it will be played only on 2K screens. As a result, the non-2k screens will be more than happy to hold on to Samrat Prithviraj.
He said, “Samrat Prithviraj is a big-budget theatrical experience. Hence, it will open well across the board. So this question does not arise of single screens playing something else (in Week 2) as this film will do well. For the single screen cinemas, there’s nothing to play on June 10. But the multiplexes and 2k screens will probably share the shows with Jurassic World: Dominion.”
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