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.

is amoxicillin the same as penicillin tijuana pharmacy medications coversyl 4mg medications losartan side effects mayo clinic 24th pharmacy ltd atosil nebenwirkungen speed can you buy viagra in canada avodart hair loss 5mg buy seasonale online no prescription no script needed canadian pharmacy stanozolol for dogs pregnant baby cialis active over the counter overnight drug company super generac viagra digoxin side effects digoxin toxicity zetia cholesterol medication ezetimibe oracea side effects doxycycline acne best place top order viagra revatio purchase atacand coupons terbutaline preterm labor pregnancy cost of zyvox pills meloxicam 7 5 rumafen gel nail brand viagra fast shipping suhag rat ka tariqa lotrel medication cost viagra online and pay with paypal canadian rx network nizoral cream 2 treatment synthroid online england buy isoptin without prescription fertility drugs online no prescription cheap kamagra jelly viagra 100mg sale how to use cytotec for abortion order prednisone doxazosin 8 mg tablets licensed pharmacies in los algodones apodefil sildenafil from india levitra and norvasc dianabol for sale in canada pharm online flomax 0.4 mg capsule pheromones for women to wear finasteride side effects long term use levitra 20 mg reviews cabaser reviews for fifty viagra pour femme a vendre ornidazole injection vigrx reviews amazon insulin glargine generic name amsa fast diet pills motilium 10mg indications nitrospray kaufen viagra paypal zahlung prescription drug online what insurance covers viagra frumil lsifucidin entocort and ulcerative colitis vermox 500 mexico suhagraat scenes india finasteride 5 mg no prescription online pharmacy prilosec pregnant pictures of kourtney kardashian cipla india pharmaceutical vicodin dosage by weight grifulvin v 500mg information security strattera side effects in men levitra aus holland fast delivery on cialis buying ativan in mexico best price for propecia online order valrex without prescr prescription testosterone cream for men cialis nabp pharmacy jasmine pilchard gosnell facebook clomid aventis pharma what is arthrotec medicine used for leponex tableta dejstvo surutke potassium nitrate and sugar phentermine reviews and testimonials 2012 muscle relaxer mix with viagra sertraline mexico catafast 50mg trazodone buying tinidazole bentyl 10mg price starcef capsule size vgr 100 retin a micro gel cardizem cd generic imovane 7 5mg zopiclone online cytotec guatemala luvox cr coupon pravachol lipitor medication no prescription canada pergotime gravidarum tapiales hoy lidocaine patch 5 coupons luvox dosage for anxiety atomoxetine hydrochloride usp terramycin ointment for rabbits warfarin diet list tylenol 3 dosage metformina glibenclamida protonix generic side effects rythmol medication cost amoxicillin for sinus infection webmd best deal cialis ivermectin for horses dosage metallica one lyrics zetia 10 mg walmart express scripts prior authorization levothroid medication dosage indapamide side effects medication malaseb pledgets medicated pads atepros drug testing ingredients in sominex sleeping pills clomid 100 mg tablets to buy compare prescription prices in florida reductil diet pills usa rythmol propafenone feldene flash cardinal bank virginia cialis generico pagamento alla consegna lasix medication information epanutin phenytoin nasonex side effects medication nasonex nasal spray naproxen medication 500mg obat nexium viagra sans ordonnance pharmacie dutasteride avodart foreign pharmacy depression pills online lisinopril hctz side effects high pulse adapalene differin side effects byetta and gastric dumping buy valtrex tablets in australia homeopathic medicine vigora 5000 lialda side effects mesalamine dosage prednisone without a scrip phenergan india stromectol gale ordonnance cheap trazodone 100mg no prescription mentat himalaya herbals buy amoxicillin without px pharmacy technician job description maxolon tablets 10mg sildenafil ultra tabletas what is topiramate 25mg weight loss does it worktorsemide albuterol inhaler dosage for adults the weeknd xo album raymeds reviews for fifty clozaril registry agranulocytosis anxiety in children and adolescents levofloxacin 750 mg iv terbutaline preterm labor yasmin deliz feet long lasting cialis generic viagra costa rica cialis kantucky androgel testosterone gel indian aunty pharmacys in usa that sell cialis generic viagra purchase the little blue pill healthpoint buy dovobet mavidol sl 30mg methadone cialis soft 20mg without prescription clomid pregnancy test sertralina bula pfizer patient assistance program phone number torsemide no prescription australia motilium drug zovirax side effects medication nizagara ingredients in tylenol oxybutynin chloride 5mg tab side effects viagra online cheap sildenafil manly eprex injection zocor medication interactions anxiety disorder symptoms tingling diamox altitude sickness side effects information on clozapine medicationcoderedmalecolchicine sulfasalazine azulfidine side effects purchase tamoxifen citrate online diazepam 2mg get you high permethrin cream otc canada best price cialis 20mg usa lipitor order out of country para q sirve oq medicamento es figral xerograx efectos secundarios why is alli available levitra shop uk flexidol tablet after taking viagra vulnerability amex prozac uses and side effects depression eutirox 50 mg hyzaar side effects with alcohol does viagra make you horny piadas de loiras burras piroxicam 20 mg and oxycodone buy no prescription allegra d cockapoo rescue dogs adoption online prescriptions propecia pravachol and high blood pressure levetra from canada khasiat cialis tadalafil come comperare viagra mobic meloxicam 15mg side effects elocon ointment 0.1 clomid success stories with pcos finax tablets on sale lamictal side effects weight gain cause weight gain gnc substitute for viagra doxycycline acne trimetabol uso san diego apetamin cyproheptadine lysine & vitamins syrup 200ml eprex liturgia de las horas laudes ciproxin 500 mg dianabol stacked with winstrol atacand medication for migraine headaches fastest known shipping generic viagra canadian pharmacy in north miami beach hydroxyzine pam medication for type 2 diabetes online claritab 500 amiloride hctz information levitra canada with overnight service nebivolol 5mg reviews rapidtabs pillsbury zanaflex tizanidine erowid estradiol blood tests strattera usa overnight cipla fieldcall garlic cloves ranitidine zantac for babies ed meds online in usa viagra pills overnight delivery cialis liquid form analgin tablete za sta su nexium mups 40 mg doxycycline cost cvs etodolac medications viagra apotheke preis viagra argentinien salazopyrin sulfasalazine 500 sifrol pramipexole treatment for hemorrhoids feldene gel side effects over the counter asthma medication viagra online reditab trazodone for insomnia and dosage hydrea 500 mg a day reglan side effects in infants divya pharmacy hong kong cialis online metallica black album songs list what is iraplax orabet bloger hr arthrotec generic names citalopram versus prozac erectalis paypal fees buy lasix online uk canesoral reviews on garcinia diltiazem hydrochloride drug crestor savings card 75.00 toy cockapoo puppies for sale in michigan terbutaline sulfate and pregnancy discount tadalafil 20mg xanex money pak polarmeds reviews on garcinia keflex dosage for cellulitis xalatan ophthalmic solution cost donde comprarpriligy en usa bevispas tablets sale danazol 200mg purchasing predisone by mail dutasteride and saw palmetto strattera adults buy alli slimming pills cheapest price iraplax orlistat 120mg cialis generika deutschland bestellen remeron medication depression indocin dose for preterm labor premarin side effects hair loss allegra d coupons 12 hour bisoprolol hydrochlorothiazide 5 6.25 side effects viagra bestellen per nachnahme medicinenet art main script colchicine treatment for gout buy generic propecia 2012 sildenafil citrate 100mg tab dont work buy 125 mcg synthroid no prescription precio de omifin pastillas arthritis foundation of america bactrim without prescription warfarin drug interactions with antibiotics famciclovir side effects zithromax online in us viagra prescription on line antibiotics for bronchitis in children prinivil side effects medication cialis free trials dapoxetine new drug myrx olanzapine indian viagra medicine is clavamox for humans cialis dosage vs viagra buspirone hcl 7.5 mg tablet amoxil capsule price in pakistan 277 antivert meclizine 25mg erexin ingredients lialda coupon 2012 nasonex nasal spray treatment orderpharma accutane before and after pictures wellbutrin dosage information name brand viagra online usa no prescription cialis generic cheap viagra for sale without a prescription viagra soft no prior prescription clenbuterol side effects athletes wives american express viagra seroquel for sleep side effects 24hr candian pharmacy zantac coupons walmart garlic shrimp recipe chinese buy priligy dapoxetine united states buy discount viagra online advair generic 2012 mobic 7.5mg information viagrawithoutprescription us rythmol medications viagra online 3 days shipping depakote medication wikipedia cialis canada toll free gpchealth comcast cable periactin for migraines in children cipla suhagra from india nasonex nasal spray price gupisone prednisolone 5 mg usage statistics chloroquine side effects cialis canadian buy viagra in san francisco 77 vitamin b12 deficiency symptoms children hydroxyzine side effects for dogs visgra canada torsemide for sale synthroid dosage dose acticin cream midamor medication for anxiety anxiety medication list nuvigil vs provigil cost canada erection drugs pain killers without prescription levitra coupon walgreens eulexin manufacturers prescription motrin dosage for children viagra rezeptfrei paypal bezahlen best pheromones to attract women nandian medice none prescription cyprofloxacin sales brand viagra online paypal order domperidone mexico is cialis over the counter viagra going generic starcef cefixime for gonorrhea effexor dosage ropinirole hydrochloride tablets ketoconazole usa 30 day supply viargra cialis fra england viagra without a prescription usa cialis professional on ebay for sale where to buy salbutamol nebules premarin lawsuits ovarian cancer female viagra in india carbimazole treatment dose of lovenox amoxicillin and clavulanate potassium and alcohol viagra and adderall hydroxyzine pamoate vistaril drugibuprofen sertraline hcl 50 mg tablet side effects taking unisom for morning sickness adipex p 37.5mg capsules review accutane lawsuit settlements canada epanutin drug abc online pharmacy flonase over the counter walmart pay pal pharmacy danazol treatment in hereditary angioedema lanoxin 0.25 mg tablet ativan withdrawal with zoloft viagra online no prescriptions glucophage australia potassium deficiency symptoms in people cialis 30 day trial where to purchase tretinoin cream tijuana mexico pharmacy lasaoren computer virus cialis indian pharmacy generic viagras united states mobic 7.5 mg for headaches z pack no prescription online unisom and b6 dosage glucophage xr 1000 mg albuterol inhaler side effects and children buy viagra uk tesco mobic medication side effects viagra tesco pharmacy will cialis last all day tantalum capacitors codes no perscription drug websites actos alli walmart onlaintv ntvspor viagra tropfen suhagra india escitalopram 20 mg tablet richmond indoor paintball rapidtabs viagra for women meloxicam mexico best price on ed drugs levitra vs cialis vs viagra cost 143 the price of naltrexone in sa viagra bestellen auf rechnung arthritis medication for dogs extra strong viagra where to purchase arjuna cost of cialis walmart sertraline 50mg tablets en espanol toradol medication information black cockapoo puppies for sale in ohio no prescription online pharmacy amoxicillin for cats renagel 800 mg price lipitor vs crestor cost viagra 50 mg price walmart viagra with mastercard professional viagra sales sumycin capsules empty budesonide nebulizer side effects propecia side effects women dr reddys finasteride canadian pharmacy tampa adderall xr side effects adults proventil price careprost for lashes from india exelon patch 9.5 mg cialis on sale pay pal buy levitra benoquin monobenzone for sale cialis for young men viagra walgreens prednisolone for cats with lung cancer tofranil drug uses buy birth control pills online cephalexin for dogs side effects duphaston tablete hrvatski buspar medication reviews canadian meds pharmacy pharmacy technician jobs in san antonio sildenafil citrate tablets 50 prometrium progesterone coupons cialis black 800 mg zydus alidac penegra xpresspenisolepentrexyl vand cytotec 2013 clenbuterol cycle for women weight loss consiglio nazionale commercialisti pyridium side effects canada sildenafil tablets pyrocaps 20mg oxycontin robaxin muscle relaxer dosage provera to start period pill amiloride hctz side effects order an asthma inhaler bupropion hcl xl 300 mg side effects amoxil 875 mg tablet magnesium sulfate for preeclampsia synthroid side effects weight loss lipitor 40 mg citodon buy propecia with visa cialis supreme suppliers arrow roxithromycin buy tramadol from canada cod avodart side effects in women brand viagra online rezeptfreis mupirocin cream 2 grape seed and gyno unicure remedies pvt ltd sildenafil enalapril maleate medication generic viamedic coupon code viagra samples clonidine no presciption motilium 10mg janssen cilag anafranil medication doxepin side effects diarrhea vrdrug medicine vagra ofr men buy a viagra pills cialis price europe 345 propecia no prescription