A dummies’ guide to the Devgn-YRF legal battle

(contains interviews of other distributor and producer)

Choosing what movie to watch where is usually not a very complicated choice, usually made while flipping through the cinema listings page and seeing which theatre or multiplex is screening which movie. But what those lists will say this Diwali is not as easy a choice, at least not for the people who decide what their theatres will run, caught as they are in a somewhat unprecedented situation.

The logic of which movie is screened where is fundamentally not very dissimilar from the logic of which movie you watch. You have options, a first impression, word of mouth, the star cast, etc, and choose to put your money to go and watch one movie ahead of another when you have multiple options in hand. The theatre/multiplex owner’s logic is not very different. He assesses your interest level in turning out to watch a film and opts to run it in his theatre ahead of another, hoping for good business.

In principle, therefore, neither can you be made to choose one movie, nor can a movie exhibitor be made to screen one. And just as word of mouth can change our calls even after we have first made up our mind, initial turnout can make theatres change their schedules after the first week or even earlier, shuffling shows to bring them in sync with what the audience is consuming. A point to note – a multi-screen venue, what we call a multiplex, has the option to screen several movies parallel, and so the call is not really a make-or-break one, it’s more about the ratio. But a single-screen – a theatre – doesn’t have that luxury. It has only one screen. So when it says Yes to a movie, it, by default, is saying No to all others for that point of time.

Now, when Sholay was released, all this wasn’t such a problem. Movies had time to grow and expand by word of mouth, there were silver and golden jubilees, and the timespan for a movie to recover cost was infinitely greater. Today, when the great bulk of a movie’s money is made in the opening weekend, not even the opening week, any movie that doesn’t hit an adequate number of screens is kaput. You can keep praising the DVD later, as happens with so many award-winning movies that released in a handful of halls, but essentially, it’s sunk. But then, it happens all the time that some movies release in a hundred screens in a city and some in just ten, right? The guys who take the call on what to run – the exhibitors – can choose what they want to, it’s a free market, so what’s the big deal?

The big deal in this case is that a very large number of single-screen exhibitors are not really in a position to choose – since when they asked for prints of Ek Tha Tiger, the makers of the movie, YRF, made them sign an agreement that they could get Tiger only if they screened the next YRF movie coming on Diwali. Correction – only if they only screened the next YRF movie. So even if a theatre had, say, 5 shows in a day, it couldn’t show the YRF movie – Jab Tak Hain Jaan, which was untitled then – in 3 shows and something else in 2. It had to show only that in all 5 shows. Given the buzz around Tiger, and the economic muscle of YRF, the country’s biggest production house, and the not-so-strong economic muscle of the average single-screen theatre, most signed on the dotted line.

Which, of course, means that any other movie that began looking for halls for a Diwali release – and hall owners which began looking for it – didn’t have much of a choice. The number of halls left unfettered to choose if they would screen any competitor to JTHJ would go down sharply. The competitor, of course, is Son Of Sardaar. And how much has the number of halls potentially available to it gone down by? Devgn’s last starrer, Bol Bachchan, opened in 1200 halls. SOS is at the moment struggling to find 400. That means barely 30-35% of Bol Bachchan’s screens.

The implication: A potential loss of 70% of the money that the movie would have made from single-screen theatres. The consequence: Devgn moving the Competition Commission for legal redressal, and moving the High Court for timely redressal from the Commission.

When contacted, YRF representatives said that they had nothing further to add to their previous statement issued on this subject.

No. of single screens for JTHJ and SOS
Cities JTHJ SOS
Delhi 20 3
Bangalore 10 2
Saurashtra 18 3
Hyderabad 18 2
Dadar/ Mahim/ Matunga 6 1

YRF got my movie removed from all multiplexes: filmmaker
I am a Marathi movie maker and therefore, have less muscle power. But my first movie produced, Deool won a National Award, and so, everyone in the Marathi belt was waiting for Bharatiya, the second movie produced by me. Our film released on August 10, and we had ensured, after sharing production schedules with other Marathi filmmakers, that our movie did not clash with other movies. We were aware that Ek Tha Tiger was releasing on August 15. Nobody had, on 8th or 9th, told us there is going to be any problem, and a Marathi movie is no comparison with a YRF movie, so we did not foresee any clash. Suddenly, we were told that on 14th, our movie will be removed from all the multiplexes. We were told that ETT was looking at setting an unprecedented record, and so, Yash Raj had placed the condition that either they take all the shows, or they will get none.

It was a weekend, and I did not have time to go to courts, etc. Finally, I went to Thackeray saab, and played the Marathi angle. So, isn’t this an unfair monopolistic approach to put such conditions that affect others’ businesses because you want to make records? We also spoke to someone at the CCI at that time, but our voice was very feeble, and for me, the damage was done. The multiplexes, fearing unpleasant incidents, ran my movie for a couple of more days, but removed it after that. At least we could pressurise them, the single screens toh just refused to show the movie. And barring Marathi strongholds like Pune and Sholapur, our movies were off screens – reduced overnight, from 400 shows to some 80 shows.

So, my film suffered very badly. I also realised that the distributors are party to this along with the exhibitors. In fact, after I went to Balasaheb, I got calls from some exhibitor organisation saying I have not done the right thing, and that my forthcoming movies will face problems – almost a threat. This experience has left me feeling, to use a bad word, that this is goondagardi. Such one-sided practice is not a good thing in the industry. I come from the US – I have been there for 12 years, and had this happened there, the law would have taken action. But here, I now have to go back to those very exhibitors for the next film.
- Abhijeet Gholap, producer, Deool and Bharatiya

The aim of this practice is to corner any film releasing around Diwali: distributor

A condition was imposed on us, on each theatre, at the time of the release of Ek Tha Tiger, that they will only supply that film if we also screened Jab Tak Hai Jaan exclusively at Diwali. There was a single agreement for both films. We said that there will be other films also releasing at that time, but they said it had to be exclusively this film if we wanted Ek Tha Tiger. In Hyderabad, big films get about 20-25 single screens and about 10 multiplexes. Now, JTHJ has 15-18 single screens out of these. I have only two single screens left because at the time of ETT, YRF didn’t want them, even though I’d offered them; they didn’t release ETT there. Those are the only two single screens where I can run SOS.

The same pattern has been followed in Aurangabad, which is also in the Nizam territory. Out of five single screens there, YRF has taken four. Of these, two are mine, two they negotiated directly, and the one they left is only because it is one of two theatres in the same compound! In Bidar, Karnataka, out of three single screens, I gave them one, they got the second also, and the third only screens Kannada movies – so Son Of Sardaar will see no release there! This is definitely unfair practice. It completely kills the business of the distributors of Son Of Sardaar, and fortunately or unfortunately, I’m both a distributor of SOS and an exhibitor. The aim of this practice by YRF was to corner any film releasing around this time – agar doosri film ko screens milenge hi nahin, toh woh release kaise hogi?
Dilip Tandon of Hyderabad,distributor of SOS in the Nizam and Andhra territory, which includes Marathwada

TOI

76 Comments

  1. Alfa.one
    Alfa.one
    November 6, 2012 at 6:28 PM

    @drnick – I was not sarcastic dear !!!

  2. danish
    danish
    November 6, 2012 at 6:39 PM

    @alfa.one – mid-day and mumbai mirror cook up stories to sell their (toilet) paper. why wud salman go out of the way to sabotage srk’s CE next diwali to avenge ajay’s loss. he is not that petty and vindictive. and why wud sajid nadiadwala risk his business? salman has done wat had to be done to help ajay – in the form of pon pon song and thats more than enuff. aaj ke zamaane mein kaun itna bhi karta hai kisi ke liye.

    as for rajshree salman film, off course it can be a beautiful experience watching it on diwali – given its not like hum saath saath hain. i didnt like that one much.

Page 2 of 2 1 2

Post Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

buying clomid 150 mg propranolol sdz 10mg cialis cheapsarasotafl viagra generico lima bulk buy viagra generic cialis dominican achat cialis 20mg clomid de 50mg viagra generic tadalafil online viagra safe lisinopril 5 mg dosage buy lasix horse 50 mg zoloft libido everyday cialis online buy cialis delivery zoloft 50 mg indicaciones viagra buy soho lexapro 5 mg opinie buy levitra 10 pills lasix comprar online generico viagra yahoo propecia results 1 mg cheap xenical 120 mg augmentin pediatrico 200 mg zoloft 6.25mg propecia 1 mg 90 tablets diflucan epocrates online teva wellbutrin generic cipro 500mg antibiotic bactrim adultes 400mg cheap prescription cialis prednisone 60 mg dog cialis 5mg sale doxycycline 50 mg buy 400 mg strattera overdose 5mg cialis review cheapest clomid uk levitra 40 mg glucophage 500 mg vidal zoloft 10 mg cipro 250 mg reviews viagra online legality buy propecia 1 mg generic viagra 123 reviews viagra gold 1000mg generic viagra compare generic strattera uk viagra 25 mg tablet nolvadex zitazonium 10mg metformin 850 mg dose nexium cheapest cheap 25 mg viagra buy viagra 1 apo propranolol 80 mg buy cream viagra buy lasix injections 400 mg viagra dose nexium 40 mg inj cialis two 20mg 3000 mg valtrex buy cialis jakarta cialis 2.5 mg prix 50mg clomid daily prednisone dosage 2.5mg combine 2 cialis 5 mg phenergan 20mg comprar cialis generico lexapro withdrawal 30mg generic propecia thailand cialis black cheapest generic name erythromycin lexapro 20mg night levitra generic tadalafil viagra generico esiste glucophage 1000 mg beipackzettel comprimes cialis 5mg cutting 20mg levitra clomid nombre generico cialis canada 5mg wellbutrin 400 mg glucophage for cheap cytotec 50mg diflucan 200 mg tablets buy prednisone pet xenical 120 mg beipackzettel buspar 600 mg overdose augmentin antibiotico 1 mg guaranteed cialis online 21 doxycycline 100mg pmdd zoloft 25mg viagra generic teva levitra tablete 100mg propranolol dak 80 mg viagra usa order clomid 100 mg capsules strattera 40 mg nebenwirkungen buy Cialis sachets priligy 60 mg effets cialis 20mg australia cheap cialis lexapro generic march 2012 diflucan buy pharmacy lasix 40 mg online buy 25 mg doxycycline viagra buy sample 800 mg viagra gold buying viagra ireland 50mg vs 100 viagra viagra online funziona xenical 120 mg used lisinopril 40 mg day pill lisinopril 5mg bula propranolol 10mg buying lisinopril nexium 20mg preise name generic cialis buy viagra online 22 222 cialis 25 mg.ca cheap cialis ship 60 mg prednisone burst fake cialis 100mg 100mg viagra fails viagra 100 mg beipackzettel nexium generic uk levitra 10 pills online zovirax 50 mg bula cialis 20 mg 12 compresse indikasi metformin 500 mg acquisto viagra 25 mg bangalore viagra online buy zovirax online lexapro generic cvs walgreens generic propecia kamagra generic cialis lisinopril anxiety disorder hydrochlorothiazide dosage 12.5 mg alli orlistat 60 mg 150 lexapro 5mg au diflucan 150 mg dosaggio viagra generico bonifico prednisone mg tablets buying viagra inline valtrex generic reviews levitra 5 mg dosierung zithromax 250mg order viagra chemist cheapest viagra bangkok buy wockhardt lisinopril metformin de 500 mg cialis generico infarmed cytotec 200 mg bijsluiter wellbutrin mg dosage cheap viagra winnipeg lisinopril 40mg online propecia generic propecia clomid dosage 150mg doxycycline online europe cialis cena 5 mg. metformin stada 500 mg lasix online australia doxycycline 400 buy doxycycline buy israel cipro online australia generic levitra alcohol augmentin 1000 mg dosierung 5 mg cialis pricing levitra go generic cialis online naruciti order cialis generic posologia viagra 100 mg tetracycline 500 mg shortage metformin neoform 500 mg cheap 100mg clomid buy lasix canada buying diflucan online prednisone steroids 10mg generic viagra sa nexium 40mg morning viagra online stations cialis online doctor cialis 20 mg 20 cheap cialis 40 strattera dosage 60 mg xenical 120 mg 42 zoloft 50 mg prospect cialis 5mg warszawa cialis dosaggio 40 60 mg prinivil lisinopril 10 mg taking 4 5 mg cialis generics levitra cialis order australia buy doxycycline 20 mg generic 80 mg lasix generic wellbutrin 101 prednisone 5 mg doesepak 50mg equivalent viagra generic valtrex ingredients lisinopril diuretic 25mg priligy 60 mg review price lisinopril 20 mg genuine 5mg cialis refill cialis 10mg buy diflucan powder doxycycline 100mg asthma viagra mg difference bactrim generico bula lexapro cheaper alternative levitra bestellen online prices viagra 50mg cheapest cialis uk online drugs viagra thuoc zithromax 250mg order Cialis 20 Tabs buy prednisone canada viagra 20 mg fiyati augmentin zawiesina 457 mg rx cialis online prednisone arrow 5 mg lexapro 10 mg bijsluiter bayer levitra cheap viagra prescriptions online generic viagra wiki lasix 500 mg drip lisinopril 20 mg ivax buy nexium toronto buy levitra canada 80 mg prednisone lot 25 vs 50 mg zoloft sildenafil viagra online blueberry generic viagra generic viagra online propecia shampoo buy clomid 150 online buspar hcl 10mg wellbutrin 2 150 mg bijsluiter lasix 40 mg cheap cialis marbella metformin mylan 500 mg buying viagra switzerland prednisone tab 10mg nombre generico amoxil viagra 100mg substitute augmentin 625 mg suspension lasix 40 mg furosemide very cheap clomid order Cialis 10 Tabs nolvadex 20 mg bodybuilding amoxil 1000mg celebrex 200mg doctissimo 2.5mg cialis canada buying viagra com propecia coupon online uti cipro mg 40mg brand cialis generic india levitra metformin hcl 750 mg cialis 40 mg better diflucan 150 mg cijena buy viagra jelly order kamagra online buy glucophage propranolol 10mg migraine cipro 100 mg im strattera vs generic nolvadex 40 mg cialis 10 mg foro lisinopril 10 mg prospect cipro bayer 500 mg bootsonline propecia buying azithromycin zithromax 50mg viagra reviews propecia .5 mg eod propecia online cheapest jual levitra 10mg ubat clomid 50mg cheapest viagra 100 mg fast cialis online alli orlistat 60mg wellbutrin 100 mg daily twins 50 mg clomid amoxil 500 mg gravidez viagra 150 mg purchase buy fda cialis generic cialis chicago generic lexapro oval buy lasix online costo viagra 25 mg zoloft 12.5 mg dose generic cialis remedio generico xenical cialis 5mg treatment precio viagra 50 mg price viagra online wirkung viagra 25mg zithromax 1000 mg tablets cheapest propecia generic 360 cialis 5 mg uso generic viagra 50 glucophage 250 mg 400 mg of celebrex metformin lich 1000mg generic propecia cipla viagra 100mg uses levitra 10 mg generico cheap levitra viagra manfaat clomid 50mg online viagra apotheke augmentin de 125 mg harga glucophage 500mg cialis 5 mg picnogenolo cipro 500 mg pills 50mg de viagra levitra 20mg uk 10mg propranolol pregnancy cialis 5mg preturi synthroid 175 mg generic viagra cheap glucophage 850 mg nebenwirkungen generic viagra directions generic viagra .99 viagra 25mg uk diflucan fluconazole 150mg generic propecia 1 year lexapro 2.5mg withdrawal split cialis 20 mg dapoxetine generic uk xenical 120 mg andorre cytotec nombre generico xenical 60mg cap buy viagra professional cheap fast viagra viagra online meds hctz 25 lisinopril 20 mg celebrex 100 mg image cialis 10mg tab ordering metformin online cialis 100 mg fiyati teva hydrochlorothiazide 25mg lexapro buy cheap kegunaan zithromax 250 mg kamagra order silagra bactrim generic version buy cialis mississauga order propecia 1mg securetabsonline cialis 20mg zovirax pills 400 mg wellbutrin generic ineffective buy doxycycline antimalarial augmentin 375 mg used cheap legal viagra medicamento propranolol 10 mg buy generic lisinopril lisinopril 20 mg images buy zovirax uk viagra buy nottingham cialis 200mg tab xenical philippines buy levitra generic dosage diflucan 150 mg kapsula cialis nongeneric acheter viagra 150 mg cipro generic augmentin 400 mg pediatrico custa cialis 5mg lisinopril 10 mg bijwerkingen diflucan 150 mg indications cialis online guide cialis 50mg shop cipro 1000 mg dosage order prednisone canada buy nolvadex brisbane generic strattera available buy doxycycline cvs cialis generic pakistan augmentin 457 mg 5ml cialis brand generic strattera oral order doxycycline hyclate 1oomg nexium 20mg compresse cialis tijuana 10mg viagra 25 mg pret cialis 60 mg cheap valtrex 500 mg prospecto valtrex generic mylan buy blue viagra genericos cialis generic viagra sydney buy doxycycline walmart fish doxycycline 500mg levitra wiki mg levitra online overnight online viagra tesco clomid drops cheap cialis 29mg generic viagra hjl levitra 5 mg effects cheapest lasix online canada cialis cheap buy viagra phuket celebrex 200mg danger metformin 1000 mg er cialis sklep online buy 50mg kamagra celebrex 200mg medicine xenical generico opinioni generic viagra europe 30 levitra 10 mg holland viagra 100mg vaikutus buy nolvadex generic 0.25 mg propecia prednisone winthrop 20 mg cialis 20 ou 10 mg metformin online sale prospecto augmentin 875 mg reviews online viagra zoloft 250 mg dosage strattera recreational 40 mg lasix 12.5 mg dogs wellbutrin generic target celebrex 10 mg 5mg lexapro destroyed propecia 0.5 mg 50 mg prednisone burst 50 mg viagra cheap viagra buy pharmacy cialis 20 mg controindicazioni metformin 500 mg dose philippine generic cialis generic dapoxetine generic cialis nz cipro iv generic generic lexapro escitalopram clomid twins 50 mg 2011 lexapro mg doses celebrex generic prices lasix 40 mg tabletki fungsi doxycycline 50 mg 20 mg daily cialis cheap 50 mg viagra generic levitra reliability thuoc propranolol 10mg alli orlistat 60 mg zoloft 50 to 100 mg amoxil 500 mg embarazo generic cialis 5 mg. buy doxycycline injections diflucan compresse 100 mg online generic cialis buy celebrex china lisinopril dehydration 2.5mg nolvadex buy proviron wellbutrin 100 mg xl propecia cheap purchase cialis 25mgs 500mg metformin cialis pret online online viagra paypall buy indian cialis celebrex 100 mgs cipro 30mg cheapest generic valtrex preco cialis 5mg zithromax 500mg fta 3 clomid 100mg days 3 7 augmentin 1000 mg antibiyotik buy augmentin canada arzneimittel cialis 5mg metformin 1000 mg day cheapest viagra alternative levitra 40 mg professional propecia generic when zoloft online cheap lasix nombre generico buying 5mg propecia kegunaan prednisone 5 mg generic cialis dangerious periactin 4mg bijsluiter clomid online pharmacy viagra buy melbourne buy cialis 75 cents propranolol 10 40 mg rualis 20 generic cialis generic viagra 150mg buyin viagra online generic zovirax forum doxycycline monohydrate 20 mg buy cipro india generic zovirax ointment bactrim prescription online cialis 20mg cpr 4 synthroid backorder nexium 20 mg comprar buy nolvadex gyno 12.5 mg viagra effective hydrochlorothiazide buy online cialis usp 25 mg cialis 5 mg torrino cialis 10mgm penggunaan cialis 50mg complaints online viagra