Shocking monopoly by the multiplex chains thwarts new releases

Maazii Film stills
Subhash K Jha
Written by Subhash K Jha

If you haven’t read too many reviews and writeups of some of the films released this week it is with good reason.

Not all the films this week were able to get screen-time in multiplexes.

The producers of at least two of this week’s releases claim they were asked for money to gain access into the  cluttered screening times in the multiplexes.

Jaideep Chopra  who has produced and directed the riveting thriller Maazii says he was denied shows in the mutiplex chains. “They were asking me to buy shows.Rs 1 lakh per screen for one show per day for 7 days. So if I reserved ten screens I’d have to pay Rs 10 lakhs per day to the multiplex chains.I couldn’t afford this unexpected pressure on my limited budget.”

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Jaideep decided to bravely release his film in the meager outlets available to him.

“It’s a losing battle for us independent producers,” says Rohit Khaitan whose Prague has been released in random theatres , hence ensuring a burial for the thought-provoking experimental film even before it was released.

Khaitan says, “Everything from screenings to ‘standies’ at multiplex chains have to be paid for by us struggling producers. We have no choice but to pay up  as the big corporate production houses monopolize the multiplex chains.”

Wednesday sees the release of the new Ranbir Kapoor starrer Besharam thereby sealing the fate of the small films struggling to have their say.

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