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Business News/ News / Ammy Virk’s new Punjabi film to release on 9 June

New Delhi: Ammy Virk’s new Punjabi film Maurh will release in cinemas on 9 June. It has been directed by Jatinder Mauhar.

Multiplex operators in Punjab have been demanding an eight-week window between the theatrical and digital premiere of films, a norm before the pandemic struck, even as the regional film industry struggles with low footfall and limited run in cinemas.

Producers feel that the move is monopolistic as two large chains, PVR and Inox Leisure, have merged and can now dictate terms. Industry experts say it’s a fair ask given industries across India should follow standard practices, but the producers argue that it’s unfair on industries like the one in Punjab that’s already battling lower revenues.

A few weeks ago, Zee Studios wrote to the Producers Guild of India pointing to the ‘ad-hoc and lopsided change’ in the OTT release window by major multiplex firms in Punjab. “It is unfortunate that major multiplexes operating in the Punjab industry have taken an inequitable stand of changing the theatrical window to eight weeks instead of the previously agreed four weeks. These major multiplexes insist that Punjabi producers/distributors sign a letter/undertaking before the release of a Punjabi film agreeing to an eight-week holdback window, failing which the said major multiplexes refuse to screen the film in their multiplexes/cinemas," Zee had said.

According to Zee, an industry that has been struggling to find its feet post the pandemic to stay profitable has been short-changed due to a unilateral decision by the newly-merged, major multiplexes playing Punjabi film content. Zee also pointed out that Punjabi films get the lowest percentage share among all film categories, despite average ticket rates being similar to those of Hindi films.

In March 2022, the boards of PVR and Inox approved an all-stock merger of the companies to create India’s largest film exhibitor with a network of more than 1,500 screens.

Lata Jha
Lata Jha covers media and entertainment for Mint. She focuses on the film, television, video and audio streaming businesses. She is a graduate of the Columbia School of Journalism. She can be found at the movies, when not writing about them.
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Updated: 05 Jun 2023, 08:56 PM IST
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