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Multiplexes in talks for Slumdog's re-release
NEW DELHI: Now that Slumdog Millionaire has swept the Oscars, its rights holders and multiplexes back home are looking to pick up some of the gold dust left in its trail.

While multiplex players are in talks with Fox Star Studios for the movie’s re-release, rights holders are eyeing higher revenues through non-theatrical revenue streams.

Slumdog Millionaire and its Hindi version Slumdog Crorepati, which was released on January 23, earned an estimated Rs 22 crore in two weeks till February 2. In the first three days alone, the movie garnered Rs 13.5 crore, as per data available with Fox Star India. The movie, released a month late in India, lost theatrical revenues to pirated versions.

With no other movie lined up for release in the next two weeks, the players believe a re-release makes commercial sense. Fox Star Studios head-marketing Vivek Krishnani said the company had set up a team that was in talks with multiplex players.

Reliance Big Cinemas COO Tushar Dhingra said the multiplex chain was in talks with the Fox team for a re-release, with the Oscars generating renewed interest among movie-goers. He added, however, that the company was also evaluating whether there was potential for a repeat audience, considering the film is accessible on DTH and will soon be available on DVDs.

PVR Cinemas will be running the movie next week for a day as part of the Oscar movie festival. Said PVR Cinemas COO Gautam Dutta, “We are screening all the movies nominated at the Oscars and one evening will be dedicated to screening Slumdog Millionaire.”

Meanwhile, Fox Star Studios and the companies that have bought the home video and broadcasting rights are looking at making the best of the post-Oscars opportunity. The studio had sold the home video rights to Shemaroo and the satellite rights to Sony Entertainment Television. The studio had also struck a three-day deal with DTH player Tata Sky to screen the movie through video on demand, which is now expected to go to other DTH companies.

According to a senior executive with a media company, both Sony and Shemaroo may pay Fox a minimum guarantee for the rights of the movie. This apart, the two will also have to share revenue earned through the rights with Fox.

Sony India, on its part, is speculated to have paid just Rs 4-4.5 crore for the television rights of the movie in India, with the price of satellite rights having dropped due to the slowdown. In contrast, Ghajini’s satellite rights were sold for Rs 20 crore. A senior executive with a media planning firm said the broadcaster is expected to charge a higher rate to sell advertising spots when the movie premiers on national television.

“The movie is expected to grab huge TRPs and the channel will cash in on the Oscars,” he added. Sony is also expected to enter into a syndication deal with other broadcasters under which it will offer the satellite rights to other channels for a stipulated period to fully monetise the rights.

Shemaroo plans to release Slumdog Crorepati as a basic product and charge a premium on the English version by providing value-added stills on the making of the movie. “The way we market, package and price the DVDs and CDs will have to change from today,” Shemaroo Entertainment director Hiren Gada said.

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