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Producers guild condemn <i>Fanaa</i> no show

Thursday, May 25, 2006 

New Delhi (UNI): The release of Fanaa in multiplexes has been put in jeopardy following the dispute between Yashraj Films, the producers of the Aamir Khan-starrer, and the Multiplex Owners Association of India on the sharing formula. While Yashraj films are demanding from the exhibitors 60 per cent of the net collections by way of distributor's share in the first week, 50 per cent in the second week, 40 per cent in the third week and 35 per cent in subsequent weeks, the exhibitors (multiplex owners) are reluctant to to give more than 50 per cent of the net collections by way of distributor's share in the first week , 40 per cent in the second week, 30 per cent in the third week and 25 per cent in the subsequent weeks, which they say is the usual norm in case of every film.

With the multiplex owners association refusing to budge from their stand even if that meant not releasing Fanaa in multiplexes all over the country, the director of Fanaa Kunal Kohli is reported to have said that Fanaa may not be able to release at the multiplexes across India.

Reacting to the stand taken by the multiplex owners president of the Film and Television Producers Guild of India Amit Khanna, in a communication addressed to the President of the Multiplex Association, Deepak Asher, said,''we would like to strongly condemn the action of your members to boycott the release of our member Yashraj Films Fanaa.This uncalled for action is against the spirit of free enterprise and amounts to cartelization.'' ''Please remember that Producers are the fountain head of the film industry and your confrontationist attitude will only lead to disquiet in the fraternity,''Mr Khanna said.

While expressing the hope that the multiplex owners ''will do whatever it takes to resolve the problem'', Mr Khanna, in a veiled threat in case the Multiplex association went ahead with the blockade of Fanaa, said,''in case your members decide to go ahead with their blockade we too will have to advise our members to take whatever steps necessary to safeguard their interests.'' Trade sources say a rigid stand on the issue of release of Fanaa may cost them several big films like the Hrithik Roshan-starrer Krrish, Karan Johar's Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna and Dhoom 2, all of which are being distributed by Yashraj Films. Already, Fanaa not being released in Gujarat is likely to cost the multiplexes anything between Rs two to three crore that they would have netted from the release of the film in the first week itself.

Yesterday, several representatives of the Multiplex Association of India met the Yashraj Board of Directors to negotiate on the matter. While some multiplex owners have said they will release Fanaa come what may, others are adamant that they will not meet Yashraj Films' demands.

On their part, Yashraj Films is determined they will not compromise on the issue. Infact, the film's director Kunal Kohli says they are confident that the film will draw in crowds even if screened only in single-screen cinemas across the country. The Aamir Khan-starrer has been wrapped up in controversy with the Gujarat mutiplex association deciding not to screen the film in the state following Aamir's espousal of the cause of the Narmada Bachao Andolan.

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