Major multiplexes operating in the Punjabi film industry have changed their theatrical window from four weeks to eight weeks, according to a letter from ZEE Studios to the Producers Guild of India. Punjabi film producers and distributors are being asked to sign an undertaking before the release of their films, agreeing to an 8-week holdback window. This letter comes after a unilateral decision was taken by newly merged multiplexes, which has been met with criticism from industry professionals.The decision to extend the windowing period for Punjabi films has been seen as a lopsided move that will benefit a few, at the cost of the entire industry’s profitability. It is believed that the extended windowing will cause significant damage to the financial success of Punjabi films. This decision was made without complete industry participation and due diligence.
Punjabi films are known to receive the lowest percentage shares amongst all film categories in the country, despite having similar average ticket rates to Hindi language films. The Punjabi industry releases over 70 films a year, and with lower revenue shares and extended windowing, they may end up losing out due to a monopolistic scenario created by the multiplexes.The situation has been deemed as unfortunate by ZEE Studios, and they have called on the Guild and all stakeholders to come together to discuss all pros and cons of the situation and arrive at a mutually beneficial resolution. This move by major multiplexes in the Punjabi film industry could harm all parties in the long run.This decision has sparked a debate on social media, with many people expressing their concern about the lopsided nature of the decision. It is hoped that the Producers Guild of India will take a stance on the matter and help resolve the issue to ensure that all parties in the Punjabi film industry are treated fairly.