Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Moneyback Guarantee!

Exhibitors are now demanding that they be compensated by Vijay for losses they incurred by screening his home production Aadhi, which is now being called the actor's biggest flop since 2003's Pudhiya Geethai. Whatever my thoughts on the film, this demand seems pretty unfair to me. Cinema is a business like any other and people who are part of it are definitely aware of the risks involved. So how can they demand to be compensated for a gamble they willingly undertook? By the same token, can viewers demand a refund if they didn't like the movie?!

17 Comments:

At 12:40 AM, Blogger skanda said...

i think that there losses here were enermous and the distributer lost out on the first day collections which were up to one crore...the film was sold at a very high price and i think that the distributers should be compensated..

 
At 2:19 AM, Blogger மு.கார்த்திகேயன் said...

Actually the exhibitors are asking mainly because the film was not released on announce date.that is on Jan 14. If they had released on that date, the loss will be minimal, which will collect the first day collectiions.

 
At 2:52 AM, Blogger vee-jay said...

At the risk of being dumb, I wonder how one day could make a difference? Could somebody please tell me!!
On a lighter note, soe distributors will be rejoicing as SA Chandrasekara decided to release the film himself since those distributors could not afford the huge price quoted :)

 
At 3:39 AM, Blogger Vidya said...

Refund for the Viewers - sound nice but wont be feasible...There is no gain in the business at all .. That apart.. Adhi I heard was pretty bad :) poor distributors

 
At 3:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think this is a good sign. Nowadays actors demand so high a salary that only a very successful movie can break even. This totally shuts the door for experimental/low budget movies with only the mass masala movie being preferred by the producers.

I think this is the main cause of the lack of quality in Tamil movies. With distributors demanding money back if a movie fails, there will be price pressure on the Minimum Guarantee amounts. This will in turn force actors to reduce their salaries because there is no way they can give only hits.

I think the Tamil movie industry should move towards a ( Base amount + % profit) scheme for salaries as followed in Hollywood. This would make more experimental movies economical and would save the industry from the rut it is under.

 
At 3:47 AM, Blogger bhuvan said...

If I had demanded a refund for every bad Tamil film I walked out of, I would be a millionaire by now. ;-)

 
At 6:19 AM, Blogger Raju said...

sariya sonneenga, Balaji.. To add to it, would the distributors share the huge profit they make out of some jackpot hits? Considering that this is his first flop after 5 or 6 hits, they need to understand that he is not any unprecedented superstar who keeps delivering hits after hits..

 
At 8:27 AM, Blogger Kaps said...

@Vee-jay,
one day can make a lot of difference especially if it released on an all important long weekend. I heard of a story where Steven Spielberg and Tom Cruise worked together under a tight deadline and ensured that War of the worlds get released just before the July 4th weekend in the US (http://www.boxofficeprophets.com/column/index.cfm?columnID=9048). This was a big gamble and somehow they managed to release on time. You can see the collections on Day 1 and also the following days. It makes a huge difference.

@Balaji,
Vijay was kind of seen as a MG (Minimum Guarantee) actor and hence the huge losses would have come as a shock to the distributors. IMO the risk borne by distributors and theatre owners are much higher than that of fans. You might argue that the principle of reimbursement is the same. Lot of distributors pay the money much before the money is released (even before knowing how the final product will look like). They are infact funding the film and hence they have every right to feel upset about the outcome. Further individual movie goers don't have clout / collective bargaining powers like the theatre owners and hence movie goers will not have the energy / enthusiasm to push for refunds. Movie goers also have the luxury of reading reviews and audience opinion before going for a movie, the distributors don't have such a luxury.

 
At 8:38 AM, Blogger Me too said...

I agree too (but he deserves it too! And who started this!!)! Guess, this will teach him and the other superstar wannabe(s) a good lesson!!!

 
At 9:17 AM, Blogger Preethi said...

Balaji,

I think in this case they are mainly demanding for 2 reasons:

One like Karthikeyan mentioned above, it was not released on "Pongal Day", which was a major blow for them. The first day collections are the best piece of the cake.

Secondly, not all the films are bought at the same cost. Distributors have to pay huge for certain actors like Thalaivar, nowadays Vijay. That's how the trade is and if Vijay wantes to achieve a place like Thalaivar, then he has to know the risks that people take for the selected few. That's the reason, Rajni gave the distributors back a part of their money when 'Baba' flopped.

Well, per say, there are no hard & fast rules that the distributors shud be paid back. Its just that, it is only fair, that if you deliver what people expect, then e'body rejoice. If you fail to deliver, then take some responsibility for it.

 
At 10:55 AM, Blogger mitr_bayarea said...

Balaji-

well said point. The latest news on this is that the Nadigar Sangam and the Producers' Council have come to Vijay's rescue by issuing statements in Vijay's support. Sarath Kumar has said that the theatre owners should have approached the concerned parties to talk and sort the difficulties instead of boycotting and adopting a hardline appraoch towards Vijay who was not involved in the commercial aspects.

Let us see where this goes, as these thatre folks who gain money when their films are a hit should also learn to face losses and not start thins kind of thing as it would be applicable to other films and heroes as well.

 
At 1:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Balaji,

Did you read this? Ajeeth kaattil balaththa mazhai.. thanks to Vijay!.. Anyways, I don't know if you read the last comment on your Paramasivan review posting in this blog, I had written that this was be Ajeeth's year to make a strong comeback and win all his fans back.. looks like it's coming true faster than what I anticipated.

 
At 2:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I totally back Balaji on this!

First of all, this is a business risk that must be faced by distributors. No one was chained and threatened by at huge prices. They were all eager to cash on Vijay's star status and were sure of a box-office hit. Had this film been a huge hit, were they going to give Vijay a share of the profit they made? It's ridiculous to ask for compensation in the present scheme. Film industry is a big gamble. If you lose money gambling, are you going to fight and ask for money back because you played your cards wrong? Yes, the film was sold at high prices, but then, after 4 very big hits, everyone was eager to cash on Vijay(including his dear Dad:-)) and he shouldn't be attacked for the outcome.

Stars ask for big salaries because big producers are willing to pay them the money. Producers like AM Ratnam should be banned from making films, if you want to control salary. Is anyone here going to say no to a bigger salary? Just because the field size is larger doesn't mean someone else should make a sacrifice that we would never make in our career. Moreover, let me point out that stars are temporary, and soon fall off their pedestal or are eclipsed, so making money when they can and when others are willing to pay doesn't seem to be a bad idea. Of course, if the delay for the one day was the fault of the producer, then Chandrasekar should pay back that day's collections.

Basically, I agree that salaries for heros are enormously high. But it's someone else who is willing to pay, and first, those people should change.

Crappy movies are made because the creative minds behind the films are cheap. Most are masala directors, so their films will be like that. There were some good films taken by Mani, KB, BR, but they never did as well as some masala flicks. When the audience today would much rather go for entertainment than enlightenment, how can one say that films are becoming trashy do to heros.

Lastly, Ajith is just a current media hype. Paramasivan was pretty lousy. The only reason for the film to be an average was because Aathi's delay meant Ajith alone had fan pull on Pongal day. Secondly, public had the option of refund for Aathi, or seeing Paramasivan. So they went for the movie. Aathi's delay gave about 3 crores collection to Paramasivan. Film took a complete nosedive second wk. If his next doesn't live up, he might just go back into the same rut. But at present, there is no other hero, in the peak of his career, to challenge Vijay. (Surya, Vikram and the like really don't have the fan pull that Vijay and Ajith enjoy) So they need to bring someone in, and the media has fallen to back Ajith. The same ripped him up sometime back for his big mouth.

-Kajan

P.S. I think SAC and Vijay need to learn that remaking a film word for word, will never work. I had seen Athanokkade(original of Aadhi) last year. It was pretty good, very slickly made. Vijay and Co didn't have the sense to even come up with their own dialogues. They just translated the Telugu dialogues into Tamil. This is what happens when producers like SAC(no talent, good luck) and brainless actors (Vijay really is a product of smart/lucky directors) think they can make a movie.

 
At 3:25 PM, Blogger Balaji said...

couple of things... i do understand that opening day collections r huge but i don't get how the film being delayed by a day could result in a 'loss'. wouldn't the next day, when the film released, be the opening day then? since films r seen pretty much only by fans the first couple of days, these fans would just watch the film the day it released right?

i understand the reaons that went into the exhibitors paying a lot of money for 'aadhi'. i sure feel bad for them. but they did this out of their volition. they decided that they would pay a lot of money for 'aadhi' rather than get a smaller movie with less money. when thats the case, how can they demand compensation? if a director delivers a flop, can the producer ask for a refund of his salary? whats so different in the case of the exhibitors here?

 
At 3:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lot of things in tamil cinema business world are'nt cut and dried and are based on faith and mutual understanding. If Vijay decides to play strictly by the rule book then tomorrow when his movies get shunned or if he cant get the theater owners to artificially prolong the life of his movies like he did earlier,or worse if no one comes forward to fund any movies for him after this debacle, then he cant go to any rulebooks. If you want to be the next "thalapathi", do what your idol did earlier. Personally, I would like to see him not pay back anything and get himself shunned. Wishful thinking yes, but still..

 
At 3:27 PM, Blogger Arvind Srinivasan said...

Well, there are two aspects to it. One, the people that fund it - do they have a right in feel upset at a flop production - they do.

Two, the movie-makers, do they have a duty to attempt to return more than what was invested. They do, and in most cases, it is their credibility at stake.

So the bottom line is, it is like stock-market....we invest, expecting returns, if it succeeds, we pay more for the same stocks, if it fails, we cry hoarse :-)

 
At 5:46 PM, Blogger Balaji said...

vijay, that actually made a lot of sense(the part about faith and mutual understanding). i guess that it was the fact they 'demanded' compensation riled me the most...

arvind, good comparison. and when the stock we've invested in fails, we don't expect the company to compensate us for the losses right? that was kinda my point :)

 

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