Diwali blockbusters Saawariya and Om Shanti Om may not be screened at a multiplex near you.
Leading multiplex chains PVR Cinemas, Inox Lesiure, Cinemax India and Fame, which account for 80 per cent of the country's multiplex screens and half the box office collections, have rejected a demand for a higher revenue share by the films' distributors and have threatened a blackout.
After an aborted meeting on Monday, the exhibitors stopped showing promos of the movies in their cinema halls. Another meeting is slated later this week to see if the two sides can compromise.
Distributors Eros International and Sony Pictures had joined hands to ask multiplex owners for a revenue share of 50 per cent in the first and second weeks and 40 per cent in the third and fourth weeks.
But the multiplex owners were willing to offer 50 per cent in the first week and 40 and 30 per cent, respectively, in the second and the third weeks. The share for the fourth week will be decided on the basis of how well the films did.
"We negotiate on a film-to-film basis. But this is unfair to multiplexes," said Devang Sampat, vice-president (marketing and programming), Cinemax India.
Executives of Eros International -- which bought the distribution rights of Om Shanti Om -- could not be reached for comment.
"We are unaware of this development. However, negotiations with multiplexes are on," said Kercy Daruwala, head, distribution (all India), Sony Pictures.
This is not the first time exhibitors and distributors have had differences over revenue-sharing arrangements.
PVR had, for instance, rejected a move by Yash Raj Films to increase its revenue share and had blacked out Dhoom2 and Fanaa. But this is the first time both sides are collectively trying to push their case.