In an unprecedented move for the Tamil film industry, the Tamil Nadu Theatre and Multiplex Owners’ Association has released a set of guidelines, outlining a revenue-sharing model with producers, seemingly based on the market value of male stars in the industry.
According to a statement released by the Association, the discussion regarding this decision took place at a meeting.
In order to ‘combat’ factors like, taxation regulations, increase in maintenance costs, increase in personal tax, increase in employee salaries, are a big burden to the management and operation of theatres.
The Association has said that it would like to ‘streamline’ its regulations.
According to this new model, theatre owners and producers would divide revenues based on the collections of a film across various audience centres, week by week.
The basis of the model seems to be the ‘bankability’ of the male lead in a film with ‘top-ranking’ actors being given a higher percentage of the revenue of their films.
For example, the new model proposes that producers and theatre owners share profits on a 60: 40 ratio for the first week collections in ‘A’ centres for Rajinikanth, Ajith and Vijay films— the most bankable stars according to the Association.
In other centres like B, C and D— traditionally the semi urban and rural areas where their film releases— the margin would be 65: 35.
The categorisation is just to put them into three tiers based on the commercial saleability of the actors.
Explaining the context of this new decision, industry tracker and analyst Sreedhar Pillai explains that the effort to streamline by theatre owners is a commercial decision given the dwindling revenues.
The classification has led to quite a lot of discussion on social media and film circles.
While Vijay Sethupathy, Dhanush, Sivakarthikeyan and so on come at the second level, Kamal Haasan and Vikram are clubbed under ‘Other Actors’ and are not mentioned by name.
Other big names which have been clubbed under ‘Other actors’ include Karthi and Vishal. And of course, there is no mention of any woman actor in the list.