MUMBAI, India (AP) -- The dispute between Bollywood producers and Indian multiplexes over revenue sharing hardened this week, with no end in sight to the monthlong boycott of new releases.
Indian movie fans — who spend an estimated 63 billion rupees ($1.27 billion) each year at theaters — were again presented with a tepid array of aging Hollywood blockbusters and regional films Friday, the night usually reserved for new releases.
Richa Bose, a 23-year-old software engineer, stood out front of Inox cinema in south Mumbai, looking unhappily at his ticket for "Fast and Furious 4."
"We don't want to see it, but we don't have a choice," he said.
The stand off, which began April 4, has so far delayed the release of at least 6 major Bollywood films and two Hollywood movies, Angels & Demons and X-Men Origins, producers say.
Analysts estimate the boycott has already cost multiplexes 300 million rupees ($6 million).
Talks between producers, who want a larger share of box office revenues, and multiplex owners collapsed Monday, prompting Mumbai's largest movie studios to vow to release new movies at single screen and non-chain theaters, beginning at the end of this month.
Multiplex owners shot back Thursday with a plan to jointly acquire distribution rights to a film to screen on their own.
Movie producers complain that India's seven national multiplex chains, which account for half of ticket sales by revenue, have acted as a "cartel," negotiating revenue sharing agreements on a per-film basis which puts individual producers at a disadvantage.
"When 7 national chains get together and tell you take it or leave it, you've got no option but to take it," UTV Motion Pictures chief executive Siddharth Roy Kapur said in an interview Friday. "We were not getting our fair share."
Producers asked for more timely and transparent payments and demanded a standard 50:50 after-tax revenue sharing agreement.
During Monday's talks, they retreated, saying they'd accept 45 percent in the second week, and 40 percent thereafter.
Multiplex owners agreed Monday to instate a standard revenue sharing agreement of 50:50 in the first week, 40:60 in the second, 30:70 in the third, and 25:75 thereafter, Kapur said.
"That's the gap," he said.
There has been no date set to resume negotiations.
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