The market is abuzz with rumours that UTV the Mumbai based corporate, controlled by Ronnie Screwala, had met Kamal Hassan in Mumbai, to hold talks on the sale of Dasavatharam. Kamal is said to be very keen that the deal goes through, as UTV, the producers of films like Rang De Basanti, knows the art of marketing especially in overseas markets.
The producer of Dasavatharam 'Oscar' Ravichandran is caught between the devil and deep sea. He is giving the UTV proposal a serious thought, as the film is almost 90 percent complete, and at the end of the day it may cost him between Rs 35 to 40 Crore. He may be able to market it in the range of Rs 50 to Rs 55 crore. But the buzz is that UTV is offering him a decent deal which includes Tamilnadu theatrical rights.
If Ravi sells out to UTV, he can kiss goodbye to his dreams of making 'Oscar films' a listed company and a major player in the big league. Ravi's strength is his marketing capabilities and reach among theatres in Tamilnadu. Dasavatharam is his big ticket to corporatisation and his company turning into a national brand. Remember at the time of Anniyan release, he refused a Coke sponsorship, because he did not want the cola giant to piggy back on his film!
UTV has already a tie-up with `Radaan Media Works` of Radhika Sarath Kumar and they are the co-producers of Priya.V directed Kanaampoochi Yenada, starring Pritviraj, Sandhya, Sathyaraj, and Radhika due for release in August. So if UTV buys Dasavatharam, they will also insist on Tamilnadu theatrical rights, something dear to 'Oscar'Ravi, who controls about 50 theatres in NSC area.
The ball is clearly in Ravi's court, he has to take a call on it. The man is a conservative old fashioned businessman, who is trying desperately to fend off the invaders from North. Ravi believes that pots of money is not the only criteria, but it is valuable experience at the grassroot level and knowledge of the local market, which will ultimately decide the winner.