Tamil Nadu

Producers’ council takes on theatre syndicate in Salem

Film fans in Salem could be forced to scramble for tickets as the Tamil Film Producers’ Council (TFPC) has decided to restrict the releases in the district.

The TFPC and Salem Area Distributors have jointly announced that while the films of big stars would be released in select 45 revenue- generating theatres, small budget films would be distributed for a service charge of just 3%, providing a new lease of life for small-budget film producers, and the rest would be released in 35 theatres.

While this agreement applies to the Salem territory alone, the TFPC committee members hope that it could soon be extended to other areas as well. They say that the decision was taken to scuttle the overwhelming power of a so-called syndicate of theatres that began dictating terms to producers.

A source explained: “The Salem territory has close to 115 theatres. Wealthy outsiders went to individual theatre owners, promised them that they would get them films and formed a syndicate. This syndicate began dictating terms to producers, killing the competition for films. While distributors used to compete for film rights previously, this new cartel refused to pay ‘Minimum Guarantee’ and skewed the revenue share for big films and left smaller films out to dry.” The TFPC members said though films featuring big stars have been screened in more than 100 theatres, the overall revenue from the Salem area for producers has reduced since the share was altered considerably.

“While producers used to get 70%, it has now been reduced to just 50%.

Also, the cartel pressures producers to release films in low revenue-generating theatres. This increases the cost of distribution and marketing budget for the producer,” a TFPC member said.

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Printable version | Apr 15, 2021 2:20:02 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/producers-council-takes-on-theatre-syndicate-in-salem/article28764500.ece

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