No Dhoom in Delhi?

Shubha Shetty-Saha – dnaindia.com
Thursday, November 23, 2006 23:00 IST

Even Punjab and UP may miss out as ‘Dhoom 2’ distributors irk multiplex owners with hiked rates

History does tend to repeat itself, at least before a Yashraj film release. Last time, just before the release of ‘Fanaa’, the multiplex owners had almost banned the release of the film as they thought Yashraj upping the price of the movie at the last minute was not fair.

However, things got resolved barely before the first day first show of the film.

This time, it’s happened again. The buzz is that Yashraj Films, who also distribute their films, have increased the prices again, this time making the multiplex owners of Delhi, UP and Punjab see red. The film will release in multiplexes in Mumbai and other areas, except for PVR cinemas, based in Delhi.

Amod Mehra, trade analyst, thinks the multiplex owners are justified in being upset. He says, “This last minute arm-twisting by the production company is not a good sign. Once a decision is taken at the distribution level, individual production companies should not increase the price again.”

Pankaj Jaisingh of Ashtavinayak Distributors, however, thinks the company has enough justification for increasing the price.

He says, “‘Dhoom 2’ is a very expensive movie. So the distributor asking for more money is justified. The collection for this movie is only going to be higher, so the multiplex owners shouldn’t really be complaining.” However, he says, the last-minute arm twisting is indeed an unfortunate situation. “It hurts the cinema, the audience and the personal relationships of everyone involved. It’s very unprofessional. It’s not fun doing it anymore.”

Gautam Dutta, the CEO of PVR Cinema, chose to be politically correct. He says, “These kinds of demands are normal to our business. The discussion with the company is still on and we will know only by tomorrow evening. But it’s okay, its part and parcel of the business. I wouldn’t say the company has made a last minute demand; we have been in talks for a few days now. Let’s see what comes of it.”

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