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Vishwaroopam

With the DTH rights of Vishwaroopam reportedly sold for Rs 35-40 crores, the producers are keen to explore another business revenue, but exhibitors are up-in-arms against the new invasion

This will have almost 30 million people watching the film on DTH, raking in good profits. There is no doubt that business of theatres will go down by almost 15 per cent, but with change you have toconsider the good with the bad — Vashu Bhagnani, film-maker

It's confirmed. Despite the resistance from exhibitors and a ban on the film from PVR Cinemas and Tamil Nadu Theatres Association and Tamil Nadu Distributors Federation, Kamal Haasan is going ahead with the DTH premiere of his Vishwaroopam (in Tamil and Vishwaroop in Hindi) on the night of January 10, a day before the theatrical release of the film. Reportedly Haasan was paid a whopping `35-40 crores for the DTH rights by Dish TV, and a few other players, who will be charging `1000 for a single viewing. This new development, which has been the topic of discussion across the country, has sparked different reactions from the film industry. While producers are receptive to the idea, considering that it could turn out to be another form of revenue, the exhibitors are a worried group.

"PVR Cinemas has taken a firm stand, that if Kamal Haasan releases Vishwaroopam on DTH, we will not release the film in any of our theatres, including our multiplexes in the South," said Gautam Dutta, COO, PVR Cinemas.

Big Cinemas is another exhibitor disturbed about opening a film in the comfort of people's homes. Ashish Saxena, COO of Big Cinemas, opines, "Releasing a film in any other way before a theatrical release is bound to affect our business. We recently digitalised all our theatres at an astronomical cost and this move can prove to be very detrimental to business. This move could set off a trend, which could become a cause of great worry. As of now we are displaying the promos as asked by Balaji Motion Pictures, who are distributing the Hindi version of the film in India, but there has been no interaction with the producers regarding the DTH release. If that happens, we will have to consider our stand on the issue."

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