The Real Picture: Why have Sooryavanshi advance booking not opened yet? From VPF, show count to revenue share
We are just a day away from the release of Rohit Shetty’s Sooryavanshi fronted by Akshay Kumar and Katrina Kaif with Ajay Devgn and Ranveer Singh in key roles and there is no sign about the advance bookings opening up in the three national chains – PVR, Inox and Cinepolis. The development has put the entire exhibition sector and trade in a panic mode.
The distributor of Sooryavanshi, Reliance and the Multiplex Association of India have had a number of meetings over the last few days to discuss revenue sharing. While Reliance is asking terms similar to Akshay Kumar’s last release, Bell Bottom, the multiplex association is wanting to get back to the good old days of doing business. For those unaware, National Chains had agreed with the Bell Bottom team to share 60% revenue in week one, 55% in week two, 50% in week three and 45% in week four.
Team Sooryavanshi is also asking for the same terms. However, the catch here lies in the fact that the cinemas were operational with 50% occupancy across the country during Bell Bottom, the reason why multiplex association agreed on higher than usual revenue sharing terms. For Sooryavanshi, they are willing to share 52.5% in the first week, 47.5% in the second week, 45% in third week and 40% in fourth week. While the Sooryavanshi team is expecting better terms given that they held back on the release for over 18 months, the multiplex association claims that this would set a wrong example for all the releases going forward.
At this point of time, neither of the two parties are willing to bow down, which is doing nothing but delaying the advance. We are on a ticking bomb, as there isn’t any consensus and the first show is less than 24 hours away. Multiple meetings are expected to take place and it is now about which of the two parties blinks first for the larger good of the film’s box office prospects. The revenue sharing model aside, the two stakeholders were also debating on the VPF – Virtual Print Fees issue, however, that has been sorted now with the charges being divided equally between producers and exhibitors. This was a minor issue, with revenue share being the bigger fish for the two.
The single screens too are in a conflict with the team of Sooryavanshi due to the showcasing issues, which has again delayed the advances in some places. While team Reliance is asking for 100% showcasing at the single screens, there are some 2K equipped single screens which had signed a contract with Disney to allot at-least 1 prime time show to Eternals on Diwali alongside Sooryavanshi. The contract was signed way back during the release of Disney’s Shang Chi. This has resulted in conflict of interest as Reliance at this point of time is in no mood to share even a single show with the Marvel saga. Things are being worked out amicably in this front too.
For the single screens and non national chains, Reliance has put forth the following terms:
- All shows to Sooryavanshi in single screen property (4 to 5 shows a day)
- All shows to Sooryavanshi in two screen properties (8 to 10 shows a day)
- 80% of shows to Sooryavanshi in three or more screen properties (12 shows a day)
The countdown for release has begun and we hope all the issues are sorted out soon resulting in a Happy Diwali indeed for the exhibition and distribution sector. Stay tuned to Pinkvilla as we bring an update as there is further development in their conversations by noon. The advances have opened at limited non national chains and single screens and if the early response is something to go by, we are set for ample of surprises with this Diwali Dhamaka at the box-office.