MP Loses More Than 20 Cr Due to ‘Padmaavat’ Row, Say Distributors
People protesting against  film ‘Padmaavat’ stage a demonstration in Bhopal on 24 January 2018.
People protesting against film ‘Padmaavat’ stage a demonstration in Bhopal on 24 January 2018.(Photo: IANS)

MP Loses More Than 20 Cr Due to ‘Padmaavat’ Row, Say Distributors

With tensions over ‘Padmaavat’, movie enthusiasts and theatre owners in Madhya Pradesh have been left without a choice of films to watch on Republic Day.

The Republic Day week is like a festival for stars, producers and film theatre owners to make a killing. Film producers and stars wait throughout the year and sometimes have their films pitted against each other for release this week. But following the delayed release of Padmaavat, the two most-awaited films Pad Man and Aiyaary saw their producers extending the release date of the films to 9 February 2018. What’s more, the raging controversy over Padmaavat has ensured the film doesn’t play out at the theatres either, disappointing film buffs.

The theatre association in Madhya Pradesh has decided not to screen the movie in the state despite the Supreme Court's ruling. Thus, the state lost out on a total gross amount of Rs 20 crore and the most crucial week to rake in the moolah.

Director of the Central Circuit Cine Association, an association representing the film distributors and theatre owners of central India, said they had no option but to wait for the furore to die down.

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We’re waiting for peace to prevail. It’s a big loss for the film fraternity as we used to witness a thick crowd on 26, 27 and 28 January because of a long weekend. We are helpless and can’t do anything but wait. 
Basant Laddha, Director of Central Circuit Cine Association

Padmaavat has not released in theatres across Madhya Pradesh following a series of violent protests and threats.

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The state has lost business worth more than a total gross amount of Rs 20 crore. If we add promotion and other expenditures incurred on the film’s release, the amount would have increased.
Basant Laddha

Traditionally, for a Hindi film with a wide reach, Madhya Pradesh contributes 5 to 6% of the entire country's box-office revenue. But, considering this film’s promotions and its Rajputana background, the state would have contributed 6 to 7% of the total revenue.

In 2017, two films – Raees and Kaabil – were released on 25 January. Both films collected over Rs 11 crore revenue in four weeks. “If Padmaavat released under normal circumstances, the possible collection may have jumped,” said Basant Laddha.

Film distributor Jai Prakash Chouksey pitched it as a saddest moment for theatre owners and distributors.

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It is disappointing that we have no films during the Republic Day week. We are running out of options and lost a total gross amount of Rs 18 to 20 crore. So, as of now, the state’s cinemas have no new release to cater to the audience on 26 January and there are no means of avoiding loss.
Jai Prakash Chouksey

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Moreover, this controversy hit single screen owners the worst. “We will lose single screens very soon. Even a few years ago, we had 12,000 single screens, but now they're reduced to 8,000. If these hurdles continue, we'll lose more single screens very soon and they may be reduced to 400 in the near future,” Chouksey asserted.

Previous year’s collection of Raees and Kaabil:

Film Total in MP

Raees 128. 56 crore 4.5

Kaabil 86.24 crore 4

Sources – Distributors

So, Now the cinema hall owners in the state and movie lovers running out of options because they have no new film to screen until Feb 9.

Also Read : Look Who Congratulated Deepika Padukone for ‘Padmaavat’!

Pad Man and Aiyaar Release Added Fuel to Fire

The 'film, Pad Man, could have been a saviour for Madhya Pradesh's multiplex owners, but the Akshay Kumar-starrer release date has been pushed to 9 February to avoid the clash, as has been the case with Sidharth Malhotra and Manoj Bajpayee-starrer Aiyaar.

Also Read : Padmaavat: SC to Hear Contempt Petition Against Karni Sena

(The writer is a Bhopal-based freelance journalist. He can be reached @MallickKakvi.)

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