Om Shanti Om and Saawariya are the two most-awaited releases this Diwali but there is a chance they may not come to your favourite multiplex.

There is a battle for revenue share on between multiplex owners and the distributors of the two movies – Eros International who shelled out Rs 50 crore OSO, and Sony, that is distributing Saawariya.

The distributors want more than the normal revenue share of 48 per cent of the takings, and multiplex owners like Fame, Inox, Cinemax, Fun and PVR are in a huddle trying not to miss out on what could be the year’s biggest hits.

“Negotiations are still on and I hope it does happen, because we are still going on with the publicity and stuff, and if it doesn’t happen, then we will pull out,” says CEO, Adlabs, Tushar Dhingra.

Vice-President (Marketing), Fun Cinemas, Anand Vishal sounds a grim note. “First the terms will be decided, then the pricing of tickets.”

The furore is similar to what happened during the release of Fanaa last year when distributor Yash Raj demanded more from multiplex owners.

The multiplexes gave in at the last moment while passing on the cost to the moviegoer. History was repeated when Vidhu Vinod Chopra urged viewers to watch Lage Raho Munnabhai at single screens, since multiplex owners were facing off against his demands.

Finally, exhibitors struck individual deals with Chopra and screened the film.

With more than 10 days to go before the two films hit the screens and negotiations on, there is a possibility that issues may get resolved.

But the question remains at what cost?


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