Piracy affecting films box office collections


The release of the film Great Grand Masti has been preponed and the movie which was initially scheduled to release on July 22 will now hit theatres on July 15. Veteran trade analyst Taran Adarsh too tweeted about the same saying, “#GreatGrandMasti to now release on 15th July. The makers of the film had taken this decision as they were worried about the impact it will have on box office collections of the movie. It is especially bad because distributors who have already bought the film can refuse to take delivery if the feedback regarding GGM is unfavourable. This was the viewpoint expressed by trade analyst Amod Mehra. The Crime Branch of the Delhi Police had arrested nine people in connection with leakage of Great Grand Masti and registered six cases of copyright act violation. The Crime Branch conducted raids in several markets like Lajpat Rai, Saket, Kotla, Tughlaqabad in Delhi and seized pirated CDs of Great Grand Masti. Police sources said that the film was leaked online a few days ago. The police received a complaint that pirated CDs were being sold openly in markets, which in turn caused huge losses to the producers of the film.

If maximum people watch the movie online it will definitely have an adverse impact on the revenue earned by the film. In today’s internet era, prints of most of the films are available online weeks before their release which is bad news for the movie makers. Youth today watch most of the movies online and most of them view the movie on big screen only if it is worth the money they are spending for it. Either the movie should have better content, special effects, good story line else there are few takers for it. Earlier the Udta Punjab too was leaked online and it had affected the movie’s box office collection. Reportedly, even Salman Khan-Anushka Sharma starrer film Sultan has been leaked online. The ‘Sultan’ leak came just a day before the movie hit theatres in over 4500 screens across India.

Earlier Udta Punjab was leaked online allegedly by a member of the Central Board of Film Certification, forcing its makers to allege that the movie was being sabotaged by Pahlaj Nihalani’s men.

An offence under the sections of the Copyright and Information Technology Act have been registered by the Mumbai Police. Meanwhile, Nihalani has rejected the allegation of a CBFC member behind the leak of the film. The film’s lead actors Shahid Kapoor and Alia Bhatt had appealed to their fans to not watch the pirated version of the movie online. Earlier, the Supreme Court also refused to entertain the plea of an NGO seeking stay on the release of the film and asked it to approach the Punjab and Haryana High Court. On June 13, the Bombay High Court had cleared the decks for the film’s release after ordering the deleting of an urination scene and displaying a revised disclaimer.

Producer Anurag Kashyap’s “Udta Punjab”, made a strong pitch for freedom of speech earlier, attacking Censor Board chief Pahlaj Nihalani, who had ordered 89 cuts in the film. Actually, ahead of elections BJP is in no mood to expose drugs scenario in Punjab, Nihalani is BJP pet and to please his political masters he has taken adequate steps by cutting the movie at length.

Earlier, Rahul Gandhi made a statement that seven out of 10 youth are drug addicts which resulted in a heated argument from Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), which is ruling party of the state. Rahul also proposed the youth to come and join hands with Congress and become a part of politics for bringing changes in the country. There are many allegations on Punjab government for breeding terror and drug trafficking. Variety of incidences, which takes place in Punjab, is due to youth heading towards wrong direction.

There was also a hash tag post #DrugsMafiaMajithia, on twitter by AAP supporters against Punjab’s revenue minister Bikram Singh Majithia. Daring him to put him behind the bars, AAP national spokesperson Sanjay Singh commented that he continues to stick to his statement that ‘AAP will put Majithia behind the bars if voted to power as he is related to drug business in Punjab. Due to various issues and terror attack, drugs, flesh trading, arms, Badal government lost its credibility in the state and AAP could get strong foothold here. Meanwhile, Majithia has filed a defamation plea against Sanjay Singh in Ludhiana court claiming that without any proof he has been defamed as ‘drug trader’ by Sanjay Singh. Majithia had said that ‘not he but Sanjay Singh will be put behind the bars for defaming him. Anyway, after these allegation sagas no one went to jail and no one was actually exposed yet. The fact cannot be ignored that Punjab has become heaven for drugs. This evidently does not seem to be possible, at least, at the moment, but this can definitely pull seats for AAP.

The variety of incidences, which takes place in Punjab, is due to youth getting into wrong direction. Murder, robbery, rape and even teasing; these are common crimes in the state; Rahul Gandhi has hit the nail. We can see how Punjab has lost the battle against drug addiction even before it has begun, a study by All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Delhi, has indicated. It will take more than 10 years for the state government to provide even a single episode of treatment to addicts if it continues with the current strategies, the survey by the institute’s National Drug Dependence Treatment Centre says, painting a grim picture of the days ahead. A single episode of treatment is a standard course of treatment ranging from a minimum of four-to-six weeks to six months where the patient is given opioid substitution treatment (OST) that involves medication like methadone or buprenorphine to help him wean away from drugs. The study point out that Punjab does not have OST for the patients as a widely available therapy on a long-term basis. There is a huge gap in the availability of treatment services for opioid dependent individuals despite significant demand. OST is the most evidence-based treatment modality, which has been endorsed by United Nations and World Health Organisation as well as the Indian Psychiatric Society. In Punjab, less than 10% of patients have received OST ever, stated in study.

Finally the film industry and police officials must take stringent action against those people who leak the print of films. If the industry comes forward to fight against piracy then films can earn better revenues at the box office.

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Vaidehi, is an investigative Journalist, Editor, Ethical hacker, Philanthropist, Author and an inspiration to many. She is Group Editor of Newsmakers Broadcasting and Communications Pvt. Ltd. Since 8 years, which features an English daily tabloid – Afternoon Voice, a Marathi daily tabloid – Mee Mumbaikar, monthly magazines like Hackers5, Beyond the news (international) and Maritime Bridges, dedicated to IT industry, Indian news to the world and shipping industry, respectively. Besides the business perspective, she is an Offensive Security Certified Professional (OSCP), Certified Security Analyst and is also a Licensed Penetration Tester.