An agreement has been reached between Film Exhibitors’ United Organisation of Kerala and Kerala Film Producers’ Association to revive the ailing Malayalam film industry hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic
Actor Mohanlal’s multi-crore project Marakkar: Arabikadalinte Simham will have an exclusive three-week run in over 600 screens in Kerala from August 12 as per an agreement reached between the Film Exhibitors’ United Organisation of Kerala (FEUOK) and the Kerala Film Producers’ Association (KFPA) to revive the ailing Malayalam film industry hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.
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The decision not to release any other movies during the three-week exclusive window for the Priyardarshan-directed movie was taken based on the inference that a major film was needed to bring back the audience to the theatres once the pandemic situation eased. Marakkar: Arabikadalinte Simham was made under the banner of Aashirwad Cinemas at a reported budget of about ₹100 crore.
However, the trade bodies will not place any demand for an immediate reopening of theatres before the government as they feel that the situation is not yet favourable.
“Cinemas would not be able to reopen full-scale now as many districts continue to have containment zones. We hope that the situation will ease in the coming weeks. The theatres are expected to turn active once again with the release of the big-budget Marakkar: Arabikadalinte Simham,” said K. Vijayakumar, president of FEUOK.
M. Renjith, president of KFPA, said that the movie deserved an exclusive run as it was delayed by over two years. “The censoring of the movie was complete in 2019 and it was getting ready for release in March 2020 when the lockdown came into effect,” he said.
Even though the production house demanded a hike in their revenue share for the much-delayed movie, film exhibitors declined to alter the current revenue formula of 60:40 (producer: exhibitor share) in the first week of collections followed by 55:45 in the second and 50:50 in the third week respectively.
The other major films that got delayed and are ready to hit the screens include Rajeev Ravi’s Thuramukham, Srinath Rajendran’s Kurup, Shane Nigam’s Ullasam and Veyil to name a few.
Mr. Renjith said that the producers hope that movie shootings stalled owing to the second wave of the pandemic could resume once the lockdown restrictions are lifted. “The shooting of nearly 11 movies was held up midway after the second wave,” he said.
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