I’m still sick, so this may not be as logical and clear as it could be. But I still have to report it because it is SO BIG!
The ban is ON! No screens for Ae Dil Hai Mushkil and maybe also Raees! Quote from the president of the COEA (from Bollywoodhungama):
“Today, the meeting between The Cinema Owners And Exhibitors Association took place. It was decided that, keeping in mind the patriotic feeling and the national interest of our country, we, the Cinema Owners Exhibitors Association of India request all our member exhibitors to refrain from screening movies, which have involvement of any Pakistani artist/s, technician, director, music director etc… We, the Cinema Owners Exhibitors Association of India, are also in the process of requesting other associations connected with the film industry to support the sentiments in the best interest of our nation”.
If you remember my other updates, the COEA is an association of single-screen theater owners in the regions around Bombay. Times of India claims they have members in Maharashtra, Gujurat, Goa, and parts of Karnataka. And, if you remember, the multiplex owners association of Delhi confirmed a few days ago that they would definitely be showing Ae Dil, they can’t afford not to.
So this is a ban by single-screen owners in a few states. What does that mean?
Well, it means they are afraid of the MNS and related organizations damaging their theaters first and foremost. That’s why the single-screens have to be more cautious than the multiplexes, they have a smaller margin to pay for repairs, and they are more “out there” in terms of targets. I mean, if a multiplex is inside a mall complex, that’s all kinds of security and layers of entrances and so on and so on. A single screen is usually just a building right there off the sidewalk, open to bottles through the door, paint on the walls, etc. etc.
And it is the single-screens in the particular area where the anti-Pakistani artists agitation is particularly high right now, so the risk is largest. This is the area where I think the ban might spread. If groups through out India start agitating in a similar way and making statements that threaten vandalism, then single-screen associations through out India may follow this lead and also put through a ban.
So, it’s all very exciting! And Karan himself has STILL not said anything! Which is kind of classy, really. To just ignore it, like a small child having a tantrum, and stay above the fray. He’s been focusing on releasing the music, following his regular promotion schedule.
And the thing is, the music and everything else has been super popular! He’s got the top 4 songs!
See, this is why the multiplex owners are going to be very hard to convince to have a ban. There may be a very loud minority against the film, but there is a huge majority that is eager to see it. To put out a ban means losing out on their tickets. It’s worth it for the single screens, they would run the risk of customers not being willing to cross a picket line plus property damage if they play the movie. But the multiplexes have less damage to be worried about, and know they can sell A LOT of tickets.