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Open Letter regarding Telugu Movie Exhibitors in USA
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October 20, 2006

Open Letter regarding Telugu Movie Exhibitors in USA

Hello Promoter garu and Jeevi garu or who ever is reading this at Idlebrain.

This is Anand. I am an exhibitor of telugu films in USA (I mean, I just started doing it recently). I have read this article just now and felt very very bad and express my disapproval of the information presented as a whole. And, I request idlebrain to validate the information they present on their website (I mean article of this nature) with some factual research in the back-end, as they are the most popular tollywood website, people can easily get carried away.

The reason I say this is , as an exhibitor myself, going through the process of acquring the rights to screen telugu movies, I know more added facts to this story. Please look into this and if you like, can add to this article and publish on the website. I think we need to keep the professional journalism intact as Idlebrain is no longer a film information drop box, it has turned into a live film news box - updated daily and most factually and I wish you guys keep this up.

Ok, coming to the promoter's point, I agree the reasons he mentioned for people not watching telugu films in theatrs in USA. But, I want him to know that this is not the case in all centers. For example , our state, California, has good telugu film screening locations , and likewise in Dallas ( and my personal visit limits to these locations only). Secondly, the most important factor - hike in the ticket prices. 30% of the reason can be attirbuted to the exhibitor's greediness as there can be some of them who do this. But, before you throw dirt on the exhibitors ( which includes me, well I never raised my prices, its always been 10.50 ) do you know the real fact of this phenomenal increase in recent times in ticket prices?

Let me throw some light on this, and I swear on my utmost passion - tollywood that these are facts, previously pre-athadu the producers back in India used to sell the overseas rights to a reasonable price to the distributor in the USA, which allows them to sell it to us for reasonable prices and in tunr we screen them at a pleasing price for the audience. But now, what happening in thie film business chain of Producer - Overseas Distributor - Local Exhibitor? Let me tell you, post Bommarillu and Pokiri, the producers are selling the rights to 200 - 300 % MORE than before based on each hero's market , trying to cash on this sudden surge of overseas market potential and TOTALLY IGNORING THE FACT that these movies are INDUSTRY HITS. They are sucking money out of the growing competition and enthusiasm among overseas distributors, they dont care about the fact that even if the movie turns and average grosser in case of Chiru, Nag, Pawan, Mahesh films and Okay hit in case of others, with these current prices, right from the second week most of the small centres are at loss. And who is only looser, ONLY THE EXHIBITOR, because by this time the producer back in the country and the Distributor have already made their money?!?!

Sounds unbelievable, do you know that Stalin and Boss are a big loss for our 3rd centers? The situation is so bad , let me tell a recent negotiation I trying to do, I was trying to acquire a popular hero's movie to screen in Los Angeles, and do you know how much did they quote me?? $15000 ????? And, Bommarillu has been viewed by 1590 patrons in LA (according to Idlebrain). Given the movie is such a big big big hit, if 1590 people turned up , I can assume this to be LA's potential. Now, keeping the popular hero's recent flop track or letsay the movie is going to be another Bommarillu, do you want me buy this and be at loss? What is my position here, 1500 people * $10 = $15000 and what about the theatre rental charges, who is gonna bare those , in our city its $1000 per show?

Now, even if I raise my ticket price to $13, I would get $4500 more, which just goes to my rental charges. So , who is gonna understand us? You want us to take all the pain of making them available to you and bare a loss of $3000 PER MOVIE. You know that they are asking more for a Prabhas movie than a recent Chiru's movie. When we were at loss for that one, how in theworld can we pay such huge amounts to the distributor and screen the movie. Even the movie is hit, we will be at breakeven, and I know for sure, this is not the definition of business.

On the whole. I am not pointing the distributors too, even they have their own plight , if they buy the rights for such huge sums, they need to cover their backs too. So the solution to this, a well balanced business distribution chain.

Producers back home should reduce their prices to the distributors and in turn these distributors should be reasonable in their price so that we can quote a decent ticket price. Nothing would please me more than screening my movies at AMC, memu evaritho cheppukomu.

Either the distributor is greedy or the producer, believe me , if we are greedy to make a quick buck, we would have raised the prices long long before, even we know that people wont take a over valued product, but we need to handle this pressure too right. As there is no legalisation in this process, we can easily be made the scapegoats.

Natshapoyedi meme matalu padedi meme ante elagandi. Kocham ma paristhiti n kuda alochinchadi. Please be sure of the allegation you make before you publish as this could hurt someone's feelings more than you can imagine .

Its easy to say, and impossible to take back.

Already we are facing huge huge pressure with this hiked rates on exhibition rights, its almost a vegas gamble for us now, and to hear such a word from the patrons, would just make feel worse.

Sorry if I have said too much , I have no offense towards idlebrain or you. And I love idlebrain ( as it talks about my only passion in life - films) and also bcoz, Jeevi is my college senior, kidding.

Please okasari alochinchandi, memu chaduvukunnavallame , chinna chinna kakurti panulu chesemundu lakshya sarlu alochistam.

Finally, I would apprecaite if idlebrain can publish an addendum to this article as there is more story to this. I think we need let the viewers know of the whole facts, they are entitled to.

And I totally agree that some citites have shabby screening locations.

Thanks and please write back to me.
[email protected]

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