Talks between digital service providers (DSPs) and the south Indian film industries have failed once again.
On Friday, the two parties met to attempt a resolution to the standoff. This was the third round of talks. However, the crisis was not resolved and now, no new south Indian film will release from March 1 till the two parties come to an agreement.
Jayendra Panchapakesan, co-founder of Qube Cinema, a leading DSP, tweeted that despite providing multiple price options and a cost reduction from Rs 22,000 to 14,000 per screening, all offers had been turned down.
The meeting was held on February 23 in Bengaluru.
Qube offers multiple price options in Bangalore meeting between Producers and Digital Service Providers including dramatic price reduction from 22,500 to 14,000 rupees. All offers turned down.â€” Jayendra (@JayendrasPOV) February 23, 2018
The south Indian film industries have claimed that the Visual Projection Fee demanded by DSPs like Qube and UFO are too high and eat into their profits. Producers like SR Prabhu of Dream Warrior Pictures have spoken against DSPs, alleging that they're running a "scam".
However, not all distributors and theatre owners are convinced. Distributor Tirupur Subramaniam had hit back at SR Prabhu, claiming that the film industry was making losses not because of VPF charges but because of the exorbitant salaries charged by top stars and technicians.
With talks having failed, no new south Indian film will release from the next weekend across all four industries.
The strike may affect several big releases in Tollywood such as Rangasthalam, starring Ram Charan and Samantha which is slated for a March 30 release. In Tamil, there about 50 movies in the pipeline for the next three months, including Vishalâ€™s Irumbu Thirai, Sai Pallavi's Karu, and Rajinikanth's Kaala.
The Malayalam industry has films like Prithviraj's Detroit Crossing and Mammootty's Bilal waiting to be released. The third and last film in the Dandupalya series from the Kannada industry is scheduled to hit the screens on March 2. The Kannada remake of Dhanush's Pa Paandi, starring Ambareesh, Suhaashini Maniratnam, and Sruthi Hariharan is also due for release.
Theatre owners may shut down or play films from other languages or old content from March 1. An official decision in this regard is yet to be announced.