Siddharth Roy Kapur, Managing Director, Disney India, which took over Ronnie Screwvala’s UTV Software in 2012, are likely to shut their Hindi film business.
UTV Disney has played one of the most vital roles in production of Hindi cinema. When Walt Disney collaborated with UTV, UTV Motion Pictures was already a front runner in the industry.
They had produced movies like Swades, Rang De Basanti, Jodha Akbar, Peepli Live to name a few. After Disney came on board, the two co-produced more blockbusters such as Chennai Express, Haider and Kick.
A highly-placed source told The Economic Times, “It is unfortunate that Disney has decided to pull the plug on the Hindi film production business, which UTV was known and respected for. But in the current scenario, it is unenviable and loss making. I hope we will revive this business in the future, Kapur and The Walt Disney Company have agreed not to renew the contract and the search for the new head for its India business is currently underway.”
He further added that announcement can be made in first week of September.
After the massive hit PK, which went on to become the highest grosser in 2014, this year out of four films only one could pass through the Box-Office test. Only Tiger Shroff’s Baaghi could earn them a profit, while Saala Khadoos, Fitoor and Mohenjo Daro tanked at the box office.
Business Standard reported a source saying ,“The film was very heavily front loaded, with talent fees making up a chunk of the cost and then the content did not fly. It’s always a risk with big budget films and Mohenjo Daro is an example of that.“
Last year saw also saw UTV Disney take a huge hit, with movies such as Tamasha, Phantom failing to generate any interest. Only ABCD 2 was able to gross 100 crores and bring in the moolah.
The studio has Ranbir Kapoor and Katrina Kaif ‘s Jagga Jasoos and Amir Khan’s Dangal scheduled to release next. But as of now, it is still uncertain as to what exactly led to this decision.