KOCHI: Film bodies have collectively decided to take an array of steps to regulate the release of Malayalam movies at too many theatres at a single centre, after investors found they are not getting the right returns.
As collection gets scattered, neither the exhibitor nor distributor makes any major gain. Release at multiple theatres also affects the movie’s longevity, especially if it suffers an early hiccup. Consequently, most exhibitors reduce the number of shows or change the movie altogether.
These include regulations on the number of releasing stations, shows allotted for movies on release days and potential of the release stations. The decisions taken by the Kerala Film Producers Association, Film Exhibitors United Organisation of Kerala (FEUOK) and Kerala Film Distributors Association will be implemented from the New Year. An online ticket booking site is also planned.
“At present, films are screened on the initial two-three days at multiple stations including malls and release centres. We’re planning to restrict their release to limited stations. In Corporation limits, release can be made in single screens and malls without any restrictions. In municipalities, it should be limited to a single theatre and multiplexes in malls. In panchayats, the film can be released only at one station,” FEUOK secretary M C Bobby told Express.
Bobby said if the movie is released in a theatre complex in municipalities and panchayats, screens can be increased only if it performs extraordinary well in the initial days.
“The Film Chamber approved the decision after the recent box-office performance of some biggies. These movies, came with much fanfare and hype, were released in more than 400 stations and ended up without any benefit to the producer, distributor and exhibitor,” he added.
Film Producers Association president G Sureshkumar said limiting the number of release centres to 50 is good for small movies.
“Even small movies without big stars are asking for more than 100 release centres. It won’t do any good to their producers. We’ll ask them to limit the release to 50 centres,” said Sureshkumar.
At present, 134 releasing centres/places are spread across the state. And they boast nearly 650 screens/stations.
“The common practice nowadays is when a hyped/biggie movie is released, the exhibitors will reduce the shows of other movies even if they’re running successfully. It needs to change. We’ll ask the distributor and exhibitor to sign an agreement in which a film should be given a minimum of three shows (matinee, first and second). The agreement can’t be violated unless the movie gets holdover,” added Bobby.
If a film fails to collect 70 per cent of the total collection of full-house show from all three shows at a theatre, it is called a holdover). A theatre’s potential based on proximity to another centre will also be considered while releasing a movie. There should be a minimum 15-km distance between two release centres. The new theatres which are coming up within that distance of an existing centre will not be given releases.
Taking into account the huge internet handling charges levied by online ticket booking sites, the Film Chamber thinks of launching its own site.
“The Minister for Cinema has recently pointed out the exorbitant charges levied by the online booking sites. He asked the film bodies to think of launching one such a website, an idea which we’re proceeding with,” added Sureshkumar.