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Distributors’ concern over spiralling star prices

Clipping (47kbs) - Screen, 29-09-1995. By Anon

Record Number : A0011514

Click to browse by keyword: Cinema Film exhibition Cinema Film Finance Cinema Film Production Cinema Film distribution Competition Market forces Prices Satellite Cable Operators


Distributors’ concern over spiralling star prices
N.N. Sippy, who has been elected President of Indian Motion Picture Distributors Association (IMPDA) for the eleventh consecutive year, expressed deep concern over the enormous rise in the cost of production of films. the bulk of which is on account of the abnormally high prices dictated by stars, “who have always had the lion's share of the income. Today, star prices have reached dizzy heights. The spiralling cost of production eventually prejudices the chances of distributors to break even on most occasions, and sometimes involve them in heavy losses.”

Speaking at the 56th annual general body meeting of the association, Sippy said that, despite mushrooming satellite channels, cinema has remained the mother of all entertainments. He felt that the honeymoon of the audience with the small screen is over and the audience has started patronising the theatres to enjoy the lavish splendour of the big screen. The increasing volume of business recorded by exhibitors also show that, relatively speaking, the revenue of the industry itself is on the rise though still many films are failing at the box-office.

Another disquieting aspect, Sippy said, was the high expectation roused about the prospects of a film just on the eve of its release, so that sizeable premia is extracted from the distributors who have no go but to submit to the demand of the producer. In many cases, distributors have lost heavily when, pictures on which such high premia was paid flopped at the box-office immediately after release. In the very nature of things, it is difficult to devise an effective foolproof remedy for meeting such a situation. All the same our distributor members should adopt greater caution when they are faced with such dilemma and resist such attempts by producers extract monetary gains based on the last minute expectations of a film, he warned.

In the current scenario, production of good quality films should be encouraged and, therefore, the existing restrictions imposed by the Film Distributors Council and Film Makers Combine regarding ceiling on star assignments need to be relaxed. The hold-over period for Cable TV also merits a second look with a view to making it more flexible in consonance with ground realities, he said.

The current hold-over period of two weeks for release of video rights has led to an increase in box-office collections. In fact some of the distributors and producers have, therefore, mutually agreed and extended the hold-over period of video rights and have found that, as a result, the collections have substantially improved. This bold experiment would prove beneficial to the industry as a whole. Thus, our experience clearly shows that the longer the hold-over period the better the box-office collections and, conversely, once the video is released there would be no control on its further circulation through Cable TV or any other medium, Mr. Sippy said.

Also re-elected at the first meeting of the new executive committee are Indravadan R. Shah (vice-president), Kantilal C. Mehta (hon. treasurer) and Devendra T. Shah and Haresh Bhatia (hon. secretaries).

Other members of the executive committee are: Ayub Selia, Balkrishna G. Shroff, Gulshan Rai, Guru Shenoy, U.A. Thadani, Vashdev Bajaj, Vijay D. Kondke, Vinod S. Kakkad, DY. Pattani and Mohanlal S. Susania.







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