Sony Pictures Releasing India (SPRI) has gone ahead with the release of Angels & Demons only in single screen cinemas, after last-minute negotiations with the multiplexes on revenue-sharing terms collapsed.
Originally slated to open day-and-date with the global release, the Ron Howard-directed movie was delayed in India due to censor certification and dubbing schedules.
The film is the first major release of the summer in India, where producers and distributors are still locked in a dispute with multiplexes over revenue-sharing terms. It is opening in 122 screens with most prints in English and a handful dubbed in Hindi, Tamil and Telugu.
SPRI was negotiating terms as late as Thursday night but failed to reach consensus with the multiplexes.
SPRI managing director Kercy Daruwala said: “We were always open to both kinds of theatres and though we tried really hard, things didn’t work out and we are releasing in single screens only for now. We shall definitely face a loss of revenues as we have limited screens though we have selected good single screens across India.”
Multiplexes are crucial for Hollywood film releases in India and on average account for 55-60% of revenues.
A resolution to the discussion between the United Producers Forum (UPF) and multiplex owners over revenue-sharing terms is expected in a day or two.
Paramount Pictures International’s Monsters Vs Aliens was the only big studio Hollywood film to release in multiplexes after the UPF decided against releasing any movies in multiplexes after April 3.
The UPF is protesting against revenue-sharing terms and requesting prompt remittance from tickets sales and flexibility for producers-distributors to release their films as per their own distribution strategy.
Given that most Hollywood studios have now also entered local film production in India, they have offered quiet support to the UPF. Daruwala added: “We are also in the Bollywood space and members of the various associations so we have to handle the situation delicately.”