Exhibitors to seek refund for Aamir Khan-Amitabh Bachchan's Thugs of Hindostan?
Having suffered severe losses owing to Thugs Of Hindostan's poor box office run, exhibitors plan to seek compensation from production house
Despite megastars Amitabh Bachchan and Aamir Khan putting their might behind the project, this year's Diwali offering — Thugs Of Hindostan — has turned out to be a box office washout. The magnum opus that was reportedly mounted on a budget of over Rs 300 crore, has managed to collect Rs 145 crore over its 11-day run at theatres since its November 8 release. Since Yash Raj Films (YRF) distributed the film on a commission basis, it is the exhibitors that are staring at serious losses. Having lost more than 50 per cent of their investment in the project, the exhibitors, we hear, are considering approaching the studio for compensation.
An exhibitor, on the condition of anonymity, says, "As is the practice with YRF, the studio had taken on the distribution responsibilities. The exhibitors agreed to the minimum-guarantee deal as they expected handsome profits from the big-budget film, but the tables have turned. So, we are planning to approach the sub-distributors [YRF] to get a refund. We hope YRF, Aamir Khan and Amitabh Bachchan will help us in this situation, else there is a possibility of a few theatres having to even shut down."
Having opened across 5,000 screens in the domestic market — the widest release for a Bollywood film so far — the action adventure kicked off on a strong note as it crossed the Rs 100-crore mark in three days. However, the movie went on a downward spiral soon after, owing to negative word-of-mouth.
Trade analyst Akshaye Rathi says, "While the production house is not legally bound to refund the money, I believe they should do it on moral grounds. Considering YRF is a reputed producer, I am hopeful they will take a decision that will be in the best interest of the exhibitors." The exhibitors are likely to meet studio officials this week. Trade expert Amod Mehra says, "We have to wait and watch whether the production house will take stock of the situation and offer a compensation."
Not the first time
Shah Rukh Khan had come to the rescue of distributors when his 2017 outing, Jab Harry Met Sejal, proved to be a damp squib. He had also compensated them for Dilwale (2015).
According to reports, Salman Khan had returned Rs 35 crore to distributors and exhibitors after they suffered back-breaking losses on his 2017 Eid offering, Tubelight.
Megastar Rajinikanth too had his share of box office trouble — distributors came knocking on his doors when Lingaa (2014) didn't live up to its expectations. He had apparently offered them a compensation.
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