Earlier we had written a story on how corporate productions companies in Bollywood are shutting shops thanks to more films not recovering the production and distribution costs involved in the making. At the same time, family-owned traditional production companies are still thriving because they look films as films, and not assembly line productions. If you have no clue, what I am talking about, you can read the story here. Earlier, there have been reports that Disney India is shutting down its production in India, removing itself from the UTV stakes as well. However another big production in Bollywood, Ekta Kapoor's Balaji Motion Pictures is shutting down its production activities and will henceforth, be more involved in distribution. Balaji Telefilms themselves confirmed the news that that its divisions Balaji Motion Pictures and Bolt Media will no longer exist as separate companies. This is a terrible news for all companies involved in the business of movie production, since Balaji Motion Pictures has been involved in some huge hits like The Dirty Picture, Kyaa Kool Hai Hum, Once Upon A Time in Mumbai, Shootout at Lokhandwala, Ragini MMS and its sequel, Main Tera Hero, Ek Villain and others.
However, 2016 proved to be a terrible year for the production company, as three of their films tanked at the box office. The first to perform badly at the box office was Tusshar Kapoor and Aftab Shivdasani's Kyaa Kool Hain Hum 3, the third part of the adult comedy franchise that had usually clicked with the audience. Emraan Hashmi's Azhar was another project that had much hopes on, but even the much maligned biopic could not do much despite good songs and an interesting plot. The final nail of the coffin was Tiger Shroff's superhero movie A Flying Jatt, that also became the actor's first legitimate flop. The production company did taste some success with Udta Punjab, but it was a co-production with Phantom Films, and it also a suffered a loss in revenue thanks to the movie's online leak days before the release.
In a statement to media, Balaji CEO Sameer Nair said, “We are committed to improving margins and profitability, and consolidation of our operations is a step in that direction leading to a better value creation for all our shareholders. This will also ensure more efficient use of senior management’s bandwidth, thereby allowing more time to focus on ALT Digital, our digital foray which is set to redefine the entertainment viewing experience of Indians in India and across the globe.”
However there is silver lining too. When it was announced that Balaji Motion Pictures and Bolt Media will be merged into the parent company, Balaji Telefilms' shares rose 14% on the announcement. Many believe that this move would create economies of scale as Bolt’s activities are largely similar to Balaji Telefilms’ production business.
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