Even as the protesting members of exhibitors federation are adamant on their demand, the Malayalam filmmakers have finally decided to go ahead with the release of new films, which were supposed to hit the screens during Christmas last year.
The release of four highly-anticipated films of Mollywood including Mohanlal’s Munthirivallikal Thalirkkumbol, Dulquer Salman’s Jomonte Suvisheshangal, Prithviraj’s Ezra and Jayasurya’s Fukri were stalled by a section of theatre owners, who have been demanding parity with multiplexes on revenue sharing.
According to the latest reports, producers of Munthirivallikal Thalirkkumbol and Jomonte Suvisheshangal have planned to release their films on January 19 in theatres that are not part of the Kerala Film Exhibitors Federation. Ezra and Fukri, meanwhile, will also be released by the end of this month.
The new development comes in the backdrop of the release of Tamil film Bairavaa on Thursday. The film was released on 150 screens and another 20 plus screens was added on Friday. Earlier, it was planned that the film will be screened in multiplexes and theatres run by the government and non-federation members. However, some members of the federation defied the strike and accommodated the new Vijay-film, exposing the rift in the federation.
Meanwhile, on Saturday, producers, distributors and theatre owners will meet in Kochi, which will be presided over by actor Dileep to discuss the ways to move forward from the stalemate that has brought the Malayalam film industry to a standstill for almost a month now.
According to media reports, there is a plan to form a new federation of exhibitors.
The association of exhibitors led by Liberty Basheer has banned the screening of the new Malayalam films demanding a 50-50 share of the box office profit. According to the current policy, theatre owners get to keep 40 percent, while 60 percent of the box office revenue of a new film in its first week will go to producers.