Avatar: The Way of Water, a $250 million film directed by James Cameron, is not being shown in many theatres in the southern states of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, and Telangana because the producers want 70% of the money collected, as opposed to the customary 50% for Hollywood movies.
TN Theatre and Multiplex Owners Association President M. Tirupur Subramaniam opened up, “Other than the national multiplex chains, theatres in Tamil Nadu are not screening Avatar 2 because the distributors are asking for a 70 percent share in the collections. So far, we’ve only given 50 percent for Hollywood movies. But this time, they are asking for a 70:30 sharing arrangement. So, a majority of the screens in Tamil Nadu are not screening the film.”
In Tamil Nadu, he estimates that just 200–250 theatres are showing the movie, as opposed to the 600–700 screens that it could have had. The bulk of theatres in Trichy, Coimbatore, North Arlington, and Salem are not showing the movie, and the situation is the same in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, two states that speak Telugu.
The movie, a follow-up to 2009 hit Avatar, is being shown in English, Kannada, Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu, and Hindi on more than 3,000 screens across the nation in 2D, 3D, 3D ScreenX, 4DX 3D, and IMAX 3D. The Walt Disney Company’s 20th Century Studios is in charge of distribution. The company’s India division is releasing the movie independently across the nation, including in Tamil Nadu.
It is one of the most costly productions ever, with a budget of $250–350 million, and director James Cameron recently stated in an interview that the movie has to earn $2 billion at the international box office merely to break even. According to a report from the brokerage company Elara Capital, it is predicted to generate net revenues of between Rs 500 and Rs 600 crore in India.