Dispute with exhibs jeopardizes release of 'Fanaa'

MUMBAI — Friday’s release of Yash Raj Films’ “Fanaa” is in jeopardy in the western Indian state of Gujarat.

Distrib Yash Raj Films has asked multiplexes for a bigger share of box office on the pic, but exhibs are balking.

In a statement, helmer Kunal Kohli said, “We believe that we bring a certain value to film and that we should accordingly get that benefit. We have also conveyed to (exhibs) that we are asking for better terms only if the film performs well at the box office. If it doesn’t, we are willing to go with the old terms.”

Multiplexes generally charge more than single screens in India. As the venues grow more popular with auds, distributors look to multiplexes for big openings.

Separately, the Gujarat Multiplex Owners’ Assn. has refused to screen the film in the state after the youth wing of the ruling right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party threatened disruptions because of the activism of the pic’s star, Aamir Khan.

Khan (“Lagaan”) has joined locals in protesting the construction of a dam in the state, which would displace many residents.

On April 17, exhibs similarly yanked UTV’s “Rang de basanti” (Spring Colors), which also starred Khan.

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