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Bang Bang and Haider tussle getting serious

There's a tussle on for more eyeballs as rival studios gear up for a box-office clash on October 2 when their productions, 'Bang Bang' and 'Haider', will be unveiled.

There is a lot of arm-twisting going on, with theatre owners being told that the theatres which won't give them more screens than the other film, will not get their next big film for exhibition.
Nitin Datar, VP, Cinema Owners Association, confirms this, saying, "I have heard that both Fox Star Studios (Bang Bang) and UTV Motion Pictures (Haider) are threatening to withdraw business from us in the future if we do not give in to their demands. We hope to resolve this ugly war soon. Both parties simply refuse to share the shows equally." Distributor Vinay Choksi, however insists that there is no solution in sight yet. "The single screens are more inclined towards Bang Bang," he insists.

Manoj Desai, owner of Gaiety, Galaxy and Maratha Mandir, says that he will give two of the three shows in Maratha Mandir to the Hrithik Roshan-Katrina Kaif action thriller. "But I am upset with the film's producer for demanding an extra percentage of profit from ticket sales. That's why I didn't open advance booking on Monday as is usual," he grouses.

Trouble is brewing at the multiplexes too. Arpan Datta, Head of Operations at Cinemax (Andheri West), informs that they had opened booking on Monday morning but later closed it down. While many expect the impasse to continue till late Wednesday, Anand Vishal, Head of Operations, Fun Cinemas, says that their chain has decided to give 60 per cent of shows to Bang Bang and 40 per cent to Haider.

Vijay, Singh, CEO, Fox Star Studios, sounded buoyant when Mirror got in touch, "Bang Bang will be the biggest Bollywood release across the world and the advance bookings validate the strong buzz. Negotiations are on and we will reveal the exact number of screens on Wednesday. As of now, it's releasing in over 4,500 screens worldwide."

Meanwhile, Aparna Pandey, VP and Head of Marketing and Distribution, Disney India, maintained, "We have planned a release across 1100 theatres in India for Haider. Our showcasing will be based on our mapping of the theatre's location and the audience we are targeting."

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