As the strike enters its fifth week, the losses are mounting up for the Bollywood film industry. Big budget movies like Kambhakt Ishq, Blue and New York have had to postpone their release dates, and all movie promotions have come to a standstill.
"The industry has suffered Rs 50 crore losses in one month," says producer Mukesh Bhatt. He hopes that the strike will be called off next week.
The strike began after Bollywood producers and multiplex owners fell out over the revenue-sharing of movies. Producers demanded a 50:50 sharing of profits but the multiplex owners refused to comply. They argued that they would allow 50:50 profit-sharing only if the film was a hit. So, if a film flopped, the producer alone would have to bare the losses.
The strike has also affected auxiliary industries like hoardings, public relations and advertising, as their work has come to a complete halt. Apparently, this industry has suffered an estimated Rs 100 crore loss. Moreover, many companies have their own staffers, who have to be paid salaries irrespective if a film releases or not.
Arvind Bhanushali, Director, AUM advertising and Media Pvt Ltd, says, "The business has shut down as there is no new movie promotion on any television channel. I feel our industry has suffered a loss of Rs 20 crores." AUM advertising is a leading media planning and media buying firm.
"Many from our industry have bought minimum guarantee spots with different channels and they have to pay the money. Add to that, the overheads cost that we have to pay," adds Bhanushali.