Surviving the Bollywood Multiplex-Producer Rift
An industry carved out of nowhere started mass-producing things called movies. And we treat these things called movies like mass-consumable items. We go to the theatre, purchase tickets, and ‘down’ another movie. We have a wide array of choices of movie genres, just like we have a wide array of choices of Maggi noodle flavours. We can purchase a whole bunch of movie-addons, like popcorn or Coke, just like we purchase iPod addons, like headphones or covers. Movies are advertised, just to garner more sales, similar to cosmetic items, also advertised to garner more sales.
For my entire life, I’ve seen movies as just that, something consumable and done over with in three hours or less (more than three hours, then I have a problem!). It wasn’t really necessary. It wasn’t life-threatening.
The recent Bollywood producer-Multiplex owners spat saw almost no decent film launching for full two months. And of course, the spat was over money – revenue sharing to be exact! Producers and Multiplex owners used to earlier split their revenue 40:60, but Bollywood producers wanted that to change to 50:50. Words were flung across, two fighting ‘factions’ were formed, and a boycott began. But after two months of complete loss, they have arrived at a solution – 50:50 in the first week, and a changing ratio in the consecutive weeks. Of course, it cost them Rs. 100 crore to do all that!
With two months of movie starvation, I’m ready to pull my hair apart (ignore the fact that I’ve already had a lot of hair loss, no massaging helped) (umm .. err .. ignore that altogether!)! I’m a slave to such entertainment, it feeds my soul. I can’t believe it, but I’m actually looking forward to seeing even the crappy Bollywood movies. Just, goddamnit, give me a nice comfy seat with an over-priced bag of under-nourishing popcorn and nice large movie screen in the front. With a movie playing!
Seriously, the real Indian summer starts in June!
But then I wonder – how many people even watched movies in the 19th century? I’m sure there were many theatrical plays, and musical sessions. But how many? 5 shows a day, 7 days a week? New plays every friday?
Yet we, the 21st century inhabitants, can’t possibly live without the movies. We’re the next generation of consumers – demanding whenever, wherever, however entertainment.
And theres lots of bloody money to be made out of that!