The latest industry buzz is about the off-the-record discussions between Malayalam film producers and distributors to fight the menace of piracy. Delaying the simultaneous release of new Malayalam movies outside Kerala has become a moot point for all stakeholders in the Kerala film industry.
The stakeholders of the Malayalam film industry seem to believe that their movies are more vulnerable to piracy outside Kerala.
Tamil film producer SR Prabhu weighed in on the issue on Twitter. “Very good move by the Malayalam film industry on #piracy issue (sci),” he tweeted, reacting to the buzz.
However, the distributors outside Kerala may not be happy, if the discussions find the required consensus among stakeholders and become a norm. “It is not a permanent solution,” noted Bengaluru-based Malayalam film distributor, Yeshas Nag.
Yeshas wants the stakeholders to conceive a more comprehensive practice to fight piracy systematically. “A producer can manage to get hold of pirated CDs of his movie from any part of the country. And he can send those pirated copies to labs of UFO, Qube and Scrabble. These labs have technology which can tell the producer, at which theater, at which show and at which time, the privacy took place. If the Malayalam film chambers monitor this and find out the theater that is facilitating piracy, they can blacklist that theater in question,” he said.
He suggests that to check piracy across India, executive bodies of film industries across the country should put a united front and tackle the menace with large scale action.
— S.R.Prabhu (@prabhu_sr) February 12, 2020
But, how do you tackle piracy on the internet? “You can control online piracy, but it comes with a cost. For example, makers of KGF had spent about Rs 15 lakh to put in place a certain mechanism to tackle online piracy. Proxy servers streaming pirated version of the movies were blocked almost immediately after they popped up,” he noted.
Meanwhile, doing away with simultaneous release outside Kerala comes with an equal amount of pros and cons. “If a movie is a blockbuster and receives good reviews in Kerala, it will increase expectations in other parts of the country, and when the movie releases outside Kerala a week later, it will collect good money. With fewer number of theaters comes lesser expenses and it increases occupancy at those limited occupancies,” said Yeshas, who also runs Galaxy Paradise theater in Bengaluru.
“We should also consider the fact that more shows mean more money. The longer it stays in theaters, the better. If they delay the simulations release by a week outside Kerala, instead of four weeks, the movie can only stay at the box office for three weeks. Fewer shows, lesser money,” he observed.
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