Theatre Owners in TN Call Off Strike

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Theatre owners in Tamil Nadu called off their four-day strike on Thursday over the new 30 percent entertainment tax. They said a committee will be formed comprising State Government officials and film fraternity of Tamil Nadu.

Abirami Ramanathan, president, Tamil Film Chamber, said, “We met four ministers and they said the 30% local body tax will be in abeyance. The committee will be formed and look into this issue.”

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When asked how soon the committee take to decide on the final ticket pricing, the association members said there is no deadline but decision on the state government’s tax imposition will be taken at the earliest.

Starting from Friday, the GST rates would be added to the ticket pricing. There will be an 18% tax slab for tickets below Rs 100 and a 28% tax slab for tickets more than Rs 100.

Two movies released last Friday screened in theatres for just three days before the strike. The losses are pegged at Rs 15 crores. The movies will be re-released tomorrow.

Three Tamil movies including Vikram Veda, Pandigai and Nibunan were slated for release on July 7th but that is now postponed to July 14. Only two movies will hit the silver screens on Friday — Spiderman and Mom.

A theatre owner told CNN News 18 that there are logistical issues as the strike was called off at the 11th hour and hence they have no choice but release it next week.

Sreedhar Pillai, a movie industry tracker, said, “Three movie releases are pushed by a week and that is the perfect thing to do. No Tamil movie can release tomorrow. These movies will be released on July 14.”

“The movie releases scheduled for July 14 will release on July 21. Even Spiderman and Mom will have limited reach due to distribution. By Saturday, the industry is hoping to expand the distribution network. The movies that were released last week are getting a new run without any opposition. It will be interesting to see how the audience react to the new price hike,” he added.

S Thanu, producer, said: “Tamil movies will not be released as it is logistically impossible. But this postponement will not affect the producers.”