Big Cinemas has become the first multiplex chain to reach an agreement with the United Producers Forum (UPF) in the eight-week stand-off between Indian producers and exhibitors over revenue-sharing terms.
Owned by Reliance Big Entertainment (RBE), which is involved in production, distribution and exhibition, the company has broken away from the multiplex cartel and is the first to sign off on terms demanded by the UPF. The other multiplex chains are believed to have verbally agreed to the terms but are yet to sign on the dotted line.
The UPF was demanding 50:50 revenue-sharing terms for all films, irrespective of star cast and budget. Big Cinemas has agreed to a split of 50:50 (producers:multiplexes), in the first week and 42:58, 35:65 and 30:70 in subsequent weeks for all film releases.
Howver, a performance-based element has been added for films that gross more than $3.7m at the top six multiplex chains – in which case terms will be revised to 52:48, 45:55, 38:62 and 30:70.
The multiplex owners have also agreed that distribution strategy will rest with the producers, accounting anomalies will be rectified and entertainment tax will not be charged where it is not applicable.
Following the agreement, Big Pictures’ co-production Kal Kissne Dekha is lined up for release on June 12. The other multiplex operators (Fame, Inox, Movietime, Fun, Cinemax and PVR) are expected to sign in the next day or two. Since the stand-off started on April 4, films have only been released in single screen cinemas and independent multiplexes.