King Khan SRK and Mr. Perfectionist Aamir Khan finally came together, despite their differences, to defend the interests of various production houses by pitching their disagreement with the revenue sharing model of the multiplex owners.

The producers believe that the split of revenues should be 50:50 between the two parties as this is the standard practice in most of the other countries worldwide.

The key concern of the multiplex owners is that a revenue split of 50:50 (instead of 35:65 seen in national chains like PVR and INOX) would not be profitable for them , as most of them are situated in expensive inner-city areas and are finding it difficult to service their debts that financed their construction and the rents. The exhibitors are suggesting a performance based revenue sharing model as the industry has produced a string of flops this year. Shravan Shroff, the managing director of the Fame Cinema chain, said: “When the producers started giving bad films to us, the audiences ran away. So, we are saying to them in simple words: give us good films and we are ready to pay you good money.” Several multiplex owners are planning to show cricket matches next month once the Indian Premier League (IPL) season begins on 18th April ,which is now going to be held in South Africa due to security reasons.

The dispute puts Rs 100-200 cr at stake, as some of the big budget movies like ‘Kambaqth Ishq’, which stars Akshay Kumar( who has given two flops this year) and Kareena Kapoor along with Sylvester Stallone and Denise Richards. Along with this Anil Kapoors’ home production ‘Short Kut’, Yash Raj’s ‘New York’ and Mukesh Bhatt’s ‘Jashn’ are the ones going to see a delay of at least 6 weeks. The multiplex owners believe that all this is just hot air and a big deal has been made out of this issue as many producers had already put off releasing their movies with IPL around the corner.

However this year has been tumultuous for the Indian film industry with big budget movies getting tanked at the box-office, recession hitting the entertainment sector with fewer financiers ready to take risks with small budget movies and new script makers.

As a consequence, the producers who have already lost money would have lean pockets for next year and hence would produce lesser films going forward. This could also convert their ‘risk-taking’ nature to being ‘risk-averse’, which could altogether reverse the latest trend of producing small budget movies with new content, and themes in them and giving newcomers a chance to showcase their talent.

This is all the more disturbing as the dismal performance in the first quarter of 2009 has indicated that the audience is tired of the old story lines, songs and dances and finally the taste is changing towards good scripts and stories.

Hopefully the second half of 2009 will help revive the industry back on its feet, with Aamir Khan’s home production ‘3-Idiots’ and Karan Johar’s ‘ My name is Khan’starring SRK and Kajol expected to release around November.

As Aamir explained ‘It’s a marriage that has problems and it’s not a marriage that is heading for a divorce’, we should see some form of agreement being arrived at by the two concerned parties very soon.