'Fanaa' no show: Fun Cinemas deny rift with Yash Raj

MUMBAI: Subhash Chandra promoted Fun Cinemas (the multiplex brand of Fun Multiplex Pvt Ltd), which along with Inox are the only two cinema chains not screening the Aamir Khan blockbuster Fanaa, has categorically denied any differences with producer Yash Raj Films.

A statement issued today by E-City Ventures (the corporate brand representing the Essel Group’s out-of-home leisure interests) made the following clarifications:

a. There exist no differences between The Essel Group or E-City Ventures and Yash Raj Films (the producers and distributors of Fanaa). All such indications prevailing in the entertainment industry are being spread out of malafide intent, through parties that could have vested interests in this matter.

b. The revenue model of film exhibition works in a way that films with assured commercial success pay for films that do not justify the exhibitor’s overheads. It is therefore necessary for the exhibitor to price both of them in a way that is acceptable to the audience. This assures a longer shelf life for the given film and ultimately benefits the producer and distributor.

All the points that The Essel Group and E-City Ventures brought to the table while negotiating terms with Yash Raj Films, were motivated by this strong belief.

c. The Essel Group and E-City Ventures currently have exhibitory control over 70 single screen cinemas and 40 movie multiplexes. The repercussions of the terms negotiated between Fun Cinemas and Yash Raj Films were to affect all these cinemas. It is not that the exhibitors respect the premium value offered by the producer any less – but they care more for the purchasing power of their audience.

Thus, the fact that both the parties could not agree on common terms, is a pure business deadlock and not a confrontation of any kind.

The statement concludes by saying that any subsequent releases from India's most powerful studio would be "negotiated as an independent premise". This is a significant point because for the remainder of 2006, Yash Raj Films has a virtual lock on all the big Hindi blockbusters that are slated for release. The A-list movies in its kitty include home productions Dhoom 2 and Kabul Express, as well as the year's other two biggies - Rakesh Roshan's Krrish and Dharma Productions' Kabhie Alvida Na Kehna.

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