New releases in limbo as talks stall

Dispute between producers and cinemas continues

MUMBAI--Fresh talks between film producers and multiplexes broke down on Tuesday with no solution in sight to a month-long crisis that has stalled new Bollywood releases.

Producers in the world's most prolific movie industry are demanding a 50% share in box-office revenue while multiplex owners favor a performance-linked model based on a film's budget and star power.

Marketing and distribution of new Bollywood films has been suspended since the first week of April and analysts estimate multiplex revenue losses of up to 3 billion rupees ($60.7 million) in the first quarter.

On Tuesday, the Producers and Distributors Forum said it will devise a strategy to release films in single-screen cinemas.

"I feel sad at the way things ended today, but they were stuck on vital issues, which we felt we could not compromise on," Forum spokesman Mukesh Bhatt said.

"We will come out with a detailed strategy on how to release films in single screens and independent theaters."

But Bhatt said there was no possibility of any new Bollywood releases before June.

A spokesman for multiplexes did not respond to calls or messages.
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