wo-and-a-half months after the historic judgment between producers and multiplexes the first cracks within have begun to appear.
Ajay Devgan, who wants to release All The Best, may have to shell out Rs 50 lakh if he wants his film to hit the theatres on October 16, the same day as Aladin, Blue and Main aur Mrs Khanna.
According to our source, the United Producers and Distributors Forum (UPDF) had decided that they will fix the release dates of films till November this year and anybody who goes against their decision will be fined.
Commenting on why Ajay is keen on releasing All The Best on October 16, the source said, "Diwali is the best time to get the audience to the theatres."
Ajay's spokesperson said, "We cannot comment on this issue." However, an insider from Ajay's office said, "We are releasing All The Best on October 16. 50 lakh bharna pada, toh bhar denge. Yes, we are aware there is a clause, which states that if we go against the UPDF's decision we'll have to cough up Rs 50 lakh. But we hear that one of the three films may not release on that day, in which case we will be free to release our film."
Distributor Ramesh Sippy, who is part of UPDF, said, "After the producer-multiplex fight was resolved, it was agreed that the release dates will be decided by the principal body. There is a certain amount of fine that has to be paid to UPDF, but the amount has not been fixed. If Ajay releases All The Best, he will have to pay the UPDF. The makers have been told all this clearly but they believe that Main Aur Mrs Khanna will not release on October 16, and that is how they will be able to release their film on that date."
President of Association of Motion Picture & TV Programme Producers, Ratan Jain, who too is part of UPDF, said, "I don't think Ajay will release All The Best on October 16. He has given us in writing that he will go ahead only if one of the three releases scheduled for October 16 falls through. Even I am ready with my film, De Dana Dan and would like to release it on October 16. But we do need to understand that every big film needs a decent release in terms of screening."
Mukesh Bhatt, Chairman of UPDF, said, "Why should Ajay pay us? We are here to help people and not for extortion. Some of our people have advised Ajay not to release All The Best on October 16. Where will he release the film? On the roads? Moreover, how many films can a person see on a Friday or over the weekend? But if somebody has decided to commit suicide, you can't stop them, can you?"