Mumbai, Feb 10 (IANS) Supporters of Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray may attack theatres showing Bhojpuri films but there are good business reasons why theatre owners prefer Bhojpuri movies to Marathi ones.
Thackeray blasted Mumbai theatre owners Saturday for their reluctance to exhibit Marathi movies.
Producers of Marathi movies too have long complained that it is becoming near impossible to hire theatres in Mumbai to release their productions.
About a decade ago, the Maharashtra government made it compulsory for theatres to show Marathi movies for at least 180 days a year.
The policy died a natural death as the Marathi film industry suffered a slump soon after that and productions dropped to the minimum.
Marathi films, those in the business say, do not fetch much money when shown in theatres. Few come to see them.
'Though multiplexes in Mumbai have started to show Marathi movies in limited numbers after Deputy Chief Minister R.R. Patil made it mandatory for them to do so about two months ago, it has not helped much,' said noted Marathi film producer Satish Kulkari. 'The movies are screened at odd hours so that not many people feel inclined to go for the screenings.'
He said that as fewer people watch Marathi movies in Mumbai, exhibitors prefer to show Bhojpuri movies.
'And since the government has allowed the owners to set aside Rs.2 on every admission ticket for the upkeep of the theatres, they prefer Bhojpuri movies as they draw more crowds,' Kulkarni said.
But whenever an audience-friendly Marathi movie comes to town, it is widely patronised by Mumbaikars.