Sooryavanshi, is all set to release on April 2, 2021. Starring Akshay Kumar and Katrina Kaif, the decision was taken after the union government allowed 100% occupancy in cinemas. Though the various states haven’t implemented the rule, it is expected that they’ll allow full occupancy in a couple of weeks. However, there’s another challenge that awaits the makers of Sooryavanshi.
Rohit Shetty and co-producers Reliance Entertainment have asked for revision of terms with the multiplexes and a meeting over the same is going on since the past few days with the exhibitors. A source reveals, “The producers of the film have asked for 70% of the revenue generated by the movie in theatres. In the pre-lockdown era, the producer or distributor used to get 50% of the amount. Their other demand is that they’d want their film to release on OTT after 28 days, that is, after 4 weeks. Earlier, the producers used to wait for 8 weeks before releasing their film on streaming platforms.”
The trade believes that the multiplexes might agree to the shortening of OTT window especially after the Tamil blockbuster Master arrived on Amazon Prime in just 16 days. Reportedly, the theatre associations in Tamil Nadu have asked for an undertaking from the makers that their films would get a theatrical release only if it has a 4-week exclusive run in the cinemas. Hence, just like their Southern counterparts, Bollywood too might go the same way. But it’s the first condition, of asking for 70% of revenue, that poses a problem.
The source continues, “The multiplexes feel that it’s an unfair demand and not financially viable for them. Meanwhile, the makers of Sooryavanshi argue that they have waited for a year for theatres to reopen at full capacity. They could have released their film directly on digital but they preferred to hold. Hence, they feel that their demand is fair. Moreover, during the clash of Aamir Khan’s Secret Superstar and Rohit Shetty’s Golmaal Again on Diwali 2017, Rohit felt shortchanged on the first day when many of the screens were undeservingly given to the former. From day 2, a chunk of screens were then handed over to Golmaal Again as Secret Superstar failed to get the desired footfalls. But in the bargain, Rohit Shetty lost out on a chunk of revenue on the festive day. He doesn’t want to burn his fingers again and hence has put forward these demands, which he feels are fair.”
A source close to Rohit Shetty confirmed that the director is in conversation with theatres owners, “Rohit Shetty is asking the theatres to stand by him, the way he did over the past year, even though he has been receiving astonishing price offer from OTT.”