Mere days before its release,Vidya Balan-starrer Kahaani 2 finds itself embroiled in controversy after a leading film distributor K Sera Sera Digital Cinema has accused the makers of resorting to anti-competitive practices.
According to a report by Mumbai Mirror, the distributor's petition in the Bombay High Court states that the producers and presenters, Pen India Ltd and Bound Script Motion Pictures, have unfairly refused to release the film through its system.
They have struck up a deal with select distributors and theatres in a move designed to control Kahaani 2’s release, which will help them to artificially spur demand and fend off competition, the petition claims.
“The respondents [Pen India Ltd and Bound Script Motion Pictures] have entered into understanding/agreement with its local distributors and select theatres to oust competition and limit/control the supply of movie, to increase demand in selected theatres by prohibiting hundreds of theatres from screening the movie,” the petition states, as per Mumbai Mirror.
K Sera Sera has alleged that the makers have violated various provisions of Competition Act, 2002. The legal representatives of the producers claimed that the distributors should first approach the Competition Commission of India (CCI). Though the court agreed, the legal representatives of the distributor argued that since the commission rules didn't allow an urgent hearing, the movie will hit the theatres this Friday on 2 December.
However, the court refused to hear the case on an 'urgent basis' and directed the distributor to file a petition before the commission instead, according to Mumbai Mirror.
The same report quotes Jayantilal Gada of Pen India as saying, "We had decided to release it on a smaller scale after we came to a conclusion that people who can pay through cards would watch this movie more than people who prefer to make cash payments."
Thus, the makers maintain that the decision to not release it through some distributors was purely a business call. While the film will release without any hindrance, the case is pending before the Competition Commission of India.
Kahaani 2 stars Arjun Rampal in addition to Vidya Balan. Directed by Sujoy Ghosh, the suspense thriller is slated to release on 2 December.